How it begun
To make a positive step towards achieving anything, you must have interest and the interest Express Concrete Works ltd. had was of developing construction material that could make building a house affordable. But first there was the issue of satisfying the following parameters:
- The material must be locally available.
- It must be easy to work with.
- The technology must be simple and transferable.
As it is always the case with any new venture, a lot of challenges had to be overcome to get us where we are.
The initial concept that led to the birth of the HOLLOW INTERLOCKING CONCRETE UNIT building technology started in the year 2014 and it took a lot of man hours to come up with a good product.
When the design was complete, we filed for a patent which granted in the following year (2005) have met stipulated requirements.
It was very easy to realize a good design on paper but it was a different ball game to actualize it. This was our major challenge and so after coming that far, the major obstacle was to come up with a prototype. The machine we had then could only produce one product in 24 hours and this was unacceptable.
We went back to the drawing board to see if we could find a machine that could produce several hundreds of our product. The search went on and on and finally a Chinese company was able to manufacture a machine that fitted the bill. Work started but it did not take us long for us to be hit with another setback. The workers at the workshop disappeared with all the molds and we resorted to fabricating one locally and work resumed.
It was very difficult for people to have confidence in HICU. Comparisons with the normal blocks overshadowed our attempts to introduce this innovation to the market as they were deemed unstable. We had to build a house for people to see and embrace the idea. A lot of time too was wasted in training our staff on how to make the units thus hindering faster implementation of the project.
Now and in future
Having cured people’s stereotypes via practical proof, Express Concrete Works ltd under the very able stewardship of Eng. Anderson Njenga is an icon of change and more significantly we are a success story. And now that we have acquired a state of the art machine that can produce 10,000 blocks a day, the sky can only be the limit. For Eng. Anderson Njenga and all those who stood by him throughout this time, the ride going forward will be smooth now that his masterpiece has gained recognition and acceptance.