AN INVESTIGATION ON THE CAUSES AND IMPACTS OF DEFECTS IN RESIDENTIAL BUILDINGS IN THE PERI-URBAN AREAS

ABSTRACT
Building defects have been a major problem for building owners and house occupants. Several buildings have collapsed in the country due to these defects; building owners and developers have incurred a lot of losses due to the occurrence of defects in buildings. House occupants seem to be complaining every day about defects in their houses and to some extent they end up vacating; and thus the building owner is left without rent income.  
This study aims at establishing the causes and possible impacts of these defects. The study was guided by the following objectives: to identify the types of defects in residential buildings in Kiambu County, to identify the possible causes of defects in residential buildings in Kiambu County and to determine the possible impacts these defects have on residential buildings in Kiambu County. The study had a null hypothesis that building defects do not have any possible impacts on residential buildings in Kiambu County and an alternative hypothesis that building defects have possible impacts on residential buildings in Kiambu County.
The study focused on residential apartments and the target population for this research was residents of apartments in  Kiambu County, members of design team and Contractors. The sample size was calculated and was used to collect data. The sample size for the house occupants was 72 respondents and that for the contractors was 24. Data was collected using questionnaires, interviews and personal observation.  
From the data collected it was found out that defects occur in most residential buildings in Kiambu County, ranging from one type of defects to four types in the same building. It was also found out that poor workmanship was the main cause of defects in the County. Several recommendations were made as measures of preventing defects from occurring. This study recommends further study to be carried out on to examine how ground movement maybe one of the causes of some of the defects encountered in buildings. Ground movement is one of the causes of cracks in buildings and foundation failure.  Further research can also be carried out to determine how poor project design by the design team can be a cause of defects that occur during the construction period.