Go figure: Folks are trying out styrofoam homes in Kajiado District in Kenya. They’re apparently economical, pleasantly insulated, and environmentally friendly in a timber-poor environment.
To make houses, polystyrene foam is sandwiched between two slabs of steel wire mesh. Once these have been joined together, they are sprayed with cement to support and strengthen the walls.
The tiny air bubbles trapped in the foam mean polystyrene houses can control climatic conditions better than buildings made of timber or concrete. Because air is a poor conductor of heat, the house stays cool when external temperatures are high and warm when it is cold outside.
A little internet searching reveals that such construction isn’t new: there’s a polystyrene panel manufacturer that’s been operating since at least 2012.
(Photo courtesy of Koto Housing Kenya)