Researchers Turn Agricultural Waste Into Ecofriendly Bricks To Solve Rural Housing Crisis Bio-Brick

India’s first bio-brick based building made out of agro waste has been recently inaugurated at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Hyderabad. Touted to be a design of Wealth from Waste, BS Murthy, Director, IIT-Hyderabad informed Indian Express the institute’s plan of submitting a proposal to the Ministry of Agriculture to adopt this design, especially in the rural community.

Need for bio-brick technology

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 costeffective structures. In the month of April 2021, the researching team – lead by research scholar Ar Priyabrata Rautray PhD scholar, Design Department, IIT Hyderabad and Ar. Avik Roy, Assistant Professor, KIIT School of Architecture, Bhubaneshwar under the supervision of Professor Deepak John Mathew Head, Design Department, IIT Hyderabad and Dr Boris Eisenbart from Swinburne University of Technology, Australia – 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 generateemployment opportunities for them. Not to forget that one of the major causes of air pollution is the burning of agro waste after harvest. Besides, the team realized that there has been a considerate rise in 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. Also labour costs can be reduced as farmers can produce this material on site.

The bio-brick technology will be a game changer for the rural farmers as agricultural waste will lead to generating income.

Bio-brick Properties

  • Made from agricultural waste
  • Generate income for agro farmers
  • Cost-effectiveness
  • Weighs about 1/8th and 1/10th of similar volume compared to burnt clay bricks and concrete blocks, respectively
  • Costs about Rs 2-Rs 3 as compared to clay bricks (when mass produced)
  • Offers thermal insulation and is fire resistant

The first prototype

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.


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