Archives for August 2016


How GFRG Technology Helps To Reduce Construction Cost

Cost of construction going up and paucity of skilled labour are resulting in high outgo for infrastructure. Besides environmental factors are also making people to look for alternative materials that will reduce energy consumption or result in lesser utilisation of precious natural resources. Pre-fabricated glass-fibre reinforced gypsum (GFRG) walls provide an alternative that allows faster construction saving time, using eco-friendly material and at a lesser cost as well. GFRG is made by using gypsum, a waste produced while manufacturing fertilizers. It piles up at fertilizer plants and its disposal is a big problem, he says. The material for the pre-fab walls is made by reinforcing it with glass fiber. The Kochi unit makes 12-metre-long panels with 3 metres of height.

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How IIT Madras Innovates Eco-Friendly Low-Cost Houses


The need for low-cost houses in India is gigantic in proportional calculations. Exact estimates are still to be worked out but government sources say that two crore dwelling units are required in the country, 90% of which are low-cost houses. As per the provisions, 100% deduction for profits to affordable housing schemes, under which homes will be built up to 30sq m in the four metropolitan cities and 60sq m in other cities.

There have been numerous efforts to build low-cost houses across the country. Most innovative among them is the method created by IIT Madras students, who have built low-cost, eco-friendly houses by using ‘Glass Fibre Reinforced Gypsum’ (GFRG) panels. They have successfully built a housing unit, which was constructed within a month using pre-fabricated GFRG panels made from waste gypsum.

These panels are cut into required sizes using a computerized machine at at the factory and brought to the construction site to used for all parts of the building, right from walls to staircases to roofs. Trenches are first dug at the construction site and the bottom surface is plastered with cement.

The foundation is made of conventional fly ash bricks and plinth beams are cast on it. The entire gap is filled with soil and then plastered with cement. This process takes 11 days to complete. Then walls, staircases and finally the roof are built using gypsum panels. The hollow gaps between two panels of the roof are filled using the concrete mixture and they are also reinforced. Special structural design is prepared for the building to withstand lateral loads such as earthquakes and storms.

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