The cost of steel rods and cement has become so high that
it is becoming increasingly difficult for an average Nigerian to
build reinforced concrete houses. Even though coarse aggregates
could be got locally, the cost of production is also high. Thus,
fewer houses are being erected nowadays. It will not augur well
for the country if this trend is allowed to continue since the
population of Nigeria is increasing daily. Therefore, there is
a need to look for alternative building materials. Timber is one
of such materials that can be used. Timbers that are good enough
for structural elements are readily available in many parts of
Nigeria and relatively cheaper when compared with the cost of
steel rods. The fear of the prospective users of timber in this
fashion is the fire hazard.
This work therefore investigated the use of timber encased
with concrete as an alternative to the conventional steel renforced
concrete columns in buildings, especially in low cost housing
schemes. The objective is to cut down the cost of columns in
buildings, since timbers are available and cheaper. A lot of
saving will also be made in the amount of concrete used.
The results indicate that encased timber columns have adequate
load bearing capacity for use in conventional residential buildings.
It has been found from test results also that the bond strength
between concrete and timber is adequate (averagely 1.95N/mm2) for
achieving composite action in the encased timber column. The
failure loads of the columns were also computed theoretically and.
the results agreed favourably with the test results.
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