The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in Hyderabad has built India’s first building made of bio-bricks from agro-waste. IIT-H will submit a proposal to the Ministry of Agriculture to promote its wider adoption by the rural community. In April this year, the team secured a patent for the bio-brick material and its manufacturing technology.
The technology has been developed by research scholar Priyabrata Rautray under the supervision of Professor Deepak John Mathew at the Department of Design. Developed to counter the air pollution caused by stubble burning, bio-bricks cost only about Rs 2-3 when mass-produced and can be an extra source of income for marginal farmers.
As part of the BUILD (Bold Unique Idea Lead Development) project to demonstrate the strength and versatility of the material, a prototype of a guard cabin was designed and executed by the team on space allocated on the campus. The building made of bio-bricks is supported by a metal framework. The roof structure is made of bio-bricks over PVC sheets to reduce heat gain. The inside and outside of the wall is cement-plastered to protect the bio-bricks from rain.
According to the researchers, the material exhibits excellent thermal insulation and fire-retardant properties. When used in roofing and wall panelling, it can effectively reduce heat gain by 5 – 6 degrees. According to some experts, generation of ago-waste in the country was huge while the demand for regular bricks was growing exponentially, leading to the loss of fertile topsoil and more air pollution.
“Bio-bricks are economical and are found to be 1/8 and 1/10 of weight for similar volume compared to burnt clay bricks and concrete blocks, respectively. Compared to burnt clay bricks, Bio-bricks will cost about Rs 2-3 when mass-produced.,” said a press release.