India’s first bio-brick based building made out of agro waste has been recently inaugurated at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Hyderabad. A report by SURFACES REPORTER (SR).
Touted to be a design of Wealth from Waste, BS Murthy, Director, IIT-Hyderabad informed the media about the institute’s plan of submitting a proposal to the Ministry of Agriculture to adopt this design, especially in the rural community.
Designing a sustainable future
The IIT-lead research suggests that agricultural waste can be converted into sustainable materials, and these materials can therefore be used in creating sustainable and cost-effective structures. According to the daily, in April, the researching team – lead by research scholar Priyabrata Rautray under the supervision of Professor Deepak John Mathew at the Department of Design – secured a patent for the bio-brick building material alongside its manufacturing technology. Reportedly Professor Mathew believes that this technology will be a game changer for the rural farmers as agricultural waste will lead to generating income. Besides during off-seasons, this can also generate employment opportunities for them.
Not to forget that one of the major causes of air pollution is the burning of agro waste after the harvest season. Besides, the team realized that there has been a considerate rise in the demand for regular bricks, which is leading to the loss of fertile soil. To overcome these hurdles, the team came up with the bio-brick technology. These bricks are eco-friendly and economical. They weigh about 1/8th and 1/10th of similar volume compared to burnt clay bricks and concrete blocks, respectively. Bio-bricks would cost about Rs 2-Rs 3 as compared to clay bricks, when mass produced. Also labour costs can be reduced as farmers can produce this material on site.
Bio-brick properties and the first prototype
As per Indian Express article, the bio-brick material offers excellent thermal insulation and other properties such as fire resistant. To demonstrate its strength and features, a prototype of a guard cabin has been designed by the team on the campus space. A part of the BUILD (Bold Unique Idea Lead Development) project, the prototype structure is made of bio-bricks and is supported by metal framework. To reduce heat, the roof is made of these bricks over PVC sheets and to protect the bio-bricks from rain, the exteriors and interiors of the wall are cement plastered.