IIT-M unveils low-cost demo building - The New Indian Express

IIT-M unveils low-cost demo building

Published: 08th June 2013 08:08 AM

Last Updated: 08th June 2013 12:13 PM

Chew on this: seven million tones of gypsum is generated in India every year, with 2,000 tons piling up every day in industries such as the Fertilizers and Chemicals Travancore Ltd in Kerala. No doubt an environmental hazard, but when reprocessed, gypsum turns out to be a valuable  raw material for construction, as IIT-Madras demonstrated on Friday.

Showcasing its rapid affordable mass housing technology, the premier institute unveiled a two-storied ‘model housing apartment’ that was constructed using Glass Fibre Reinforced Gypsum (GFRG) panels at its campus in Guindy. “Providing affordable and cost-effective housing is a big challenge today,” Bhaskar Ramamurthi, director, IIT-M, pointed out. “This technology will help millions get housing in the shortest period of time,” he said.    

Pointing to some of its salient features such as high speed of construction – the GFRG demo building with four flats was built in just a month – less built-up area (the wall panels are 124 mm thick) and lower cost of structure, Ramamurthi said the new technology was the result of a decade-long research. “While the basic technology for the GFRG panels was developed in Australia, intended for rapid erection of walls, our faculty extended the application for the entire building system, including floor, roof and staircases, reducing the consumption of reinforced cement concrete.”

The panels are pre-fabricated and cut to desired sizes based on room dimensions with openings for doors and windows, thus making rapid construction possible. A panel has two skins of 15mm thickness that are inter-connected at regular intervals and the cavities formed by them can be used for several purposes – filing with concrete and laying electrical conduits and plumbing pipes, he added.

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