‘Cabbro’ is Cliché and Over-rated

If you are caught saying ‘Mimi nitanunua zile Cabbro zinauzangwa Outer ring road’, you and the person who says ‘ile Canter ya Isuzu’ or ile Colgate ya red inaitwa close-up or ile omo mpya inaitwa persil,,, are of course, in the same wozapp. Cabbro is a brand name. ‘Concrete paving blocks’ is one proper way to refer to this somewhat cliché form of paved surface. In the 80s and 90s, ‘Cabbro’ and ‘cordless’ phones were for ‘rich people’. Now, more affordable and with us having less tolerance to matope because of our carpeted houses and cars, it is common even among the middle class.

It is possible that we adopt many materials in our construction projects mainly because of what we see, leaving one’s construction project looking ‘the same’ as for other people. When doing one’s construction project, one may opt to try out friendlier and CHEAPER surfaces like cobble stone or just regular construction stones that are laid on a rammed surface and fill the gaps with good soil that has fertilizer and plant some kidero grass/Arabica in between the gaps. This surface is environmentally friendly as it lets surface run-off percolate into the ground further easing your drainage system. It also absorbs heat unlike harder surfaces like tarmac and ‘cabbro’, hence giving your construction project a conducive microclimate.

Tarmac and Cabbro also have very high embodied energy and often, their manufacturing process consumes energy from non-renewable resources and have a high carbon footprint. This ofcourse ensures we continue to persecute polar bears with extreme temperatures and ourselves with flooding and prolonged dry spells (the ones for the weather; as in drought: not the other ones you are thinking about). The stones used have less ‘embodied’ energy. So, feel free to explore different paving surfaces. The top image shows laid masonry ‘stones’ and how it looked like after 4 months after the grass had grown. What are your thoughts on paving?