Unsettling the traditional construction

Unsettling the traditional construction
Oct 2016 , by , in FEATURES

Unsettling the traditional construction

For a multitude of reasons developers across the country are exploring alternative to red brick for wall construction and AAC Blocks has emerged as a viable alternative both for residential and commercial building.

Construction industry in India contributes to about 10% of GDP and thebackbone of the construction is the clay fired bricks. India is the second largest brick producer in the world, producing 1,00,000 bricks that consumes around 18 tons of coal. In total the brick sector consumes about 24 million tonnes of coal per year which is about 8 % of the total coal consumption of the country.

Fly Ash based AAC Bricks/Blocks

Clay bricks are manufactured using top fertile layer of soil thereby causing –

  • Soil infertility
  • Soil erosion
  • Concern for food security

 

On the other hand, AAC bricks/blocks are composed of 60-70% Fly Ash and are therefore ight weight, high strength, earthquake and fire resistant when compared to conventional red clay bricks. They also offer insulation properties and are certified as green building material.

The AAC blocks on one hand have price parity with red bricks and on the other hand allow for faster execution. Their use involves less labour, reduces construction costs and offers a n environmentally and economically sustainable construction. A meagre increase of 5% in usage of fly ash based bricks can save252 Million m3 of clay and consequently 170 Million tons of coal and equivalent carbon emissions.

The Challenges

Ministry of Environment & Forests (MoEF), Govt. of India vide its notification (amendment) dated 3rd Nov 2009 had made it mandatory that a thermal power plantwithin 100Km radius shall use fly ash based building products such as cement or concrete, fly ash bricks, blocks, tiles etc. in all construction projects. Fly Ash shall be used in road or flyover embankment construction and for reclamation of low lying areas. The objective of such a measure was to conserve top soil and minimize environmental pollution caused due to dumping of fly ash.

In actual, agencies are still using red clay bricks in building construction within the said radius of 100 km and more than 58% of total 143 thermal power plants as on date, are missing their target of 100% fly ash utilization.

Globally, AAC blocks are being widely used in Europe, China, Japan and Middle-east. China has witnessed adoption of AAC blocks in last 10 years, having a cumulative capacity of 150 mn CBM. India today has total capacity of less than 5 mn CBM.

Indeed, the industry is at a nascent stage in India and has a significant growth potential.Among other manufacturers on India, MagicreteBuilding Solutions is one of India’s leading manufacturers of AAC Blocks, and has recently diversified in to precast concrete elements. It was started in 2008 and now is India’s second largest AAC bricks company with the capacity of 800,000 cbm.

SourabhBansal

Managing Director

Magicrete Building Solutions Private limited.
 

 

 

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