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Building Technology
 
Alternative building materials
Hi all,
I am doing a design thesis on alternative building materials. I have been to Auroville, which specialises in mud, earth blocks and ferrocement.
I would like to know more about other alternative materials. Can anyone direct me ?
Neha Shukla
Responses
 
Alternative building materials
Neha,
Does Auroville make "rammed earth" walls?
Frank John Snelling
Alternative building materials
Hi Neha,

Try sandbags:

http://archnet.org/library/sites/one-site.jsp?site_id=8219

I think this technique has great potential.

Best of luck in your thesis,

Wojtek Przywecki
Alternative building materials
Frank,

Auroville is famous in India for all sorts of soil/earth construction including rammed earth walls. You can visit their website at http://www.auroville.org/

Neha, you can try the following organisations also:-
HUDCO, BMTPC, CBRI, Flyash Mission (DST).

For micro-concrete roofing tiles (yummy, they are Swiss...like chocolates.. :-)), you can also contact Development Alternatives.

Chitradeep Sengupta
Alternative building materials
Chitradeep,

Thanks for the info :)

I am asking because 'mud and earth blocks' does not cover all of the many and various ways of building from clay.

Because of my interest in vernacular architecture I know about mud bricks (sun-dried)/earth blocks/cob/sod-walls/rammed-earth walls.

I notice you mention "flyash," which I assume is any type of ash from fires. Here in Turkey, coal-fired boilers are used for whole blocks of flats, and the ash is dumped as rubbish.

Whereas maybe it can be made into bricks for walls or used for making rough roads?

I do not like concrete (roof) tiles. They are larger and heavier than the original pottery tiles and so the roof sags because the roof timbers were not designed to carry the extra loading.
Frank John Snelling
Alternative building materials
Frank,

Auroville Ashram was started by Shri-Shri Aurobindo. It has flourished to a multi-national campus. It has people working on a large number of dedicated research and related works, specifically on alternate building technologies.

Flyash specifically means the ash coming out of THERMAL power plants where coal is burnt. These (dry flyash .. not dried flyash) do have some nominal binding properties, hence are used in manufacture of flyash bricks along with lime, gypsum, etc.

On the contrary, micro concrete roofing tiles are lighter than their earth-made predecessor. It is possible that we are talking of different sizes.
Chitradeep Sengupta
Alternative building materials
Ok,

If you are talking about that 'double' tile, then you are using an outdated version. (the 'Bill Gates' of MCR tiles has shifted to SE Asia :-))

It was rejected here because of it is cumbersome and heavy. We use lighter single tiles. That is the MCR tiles version 1995 :-)))))) There have been improvements after that.
Chitradeep Sengupta
Alternative building materials
Chitradeep,

Thanks for the explanation. I can only assume that Britain missed out on lightweight roof tiles.
Frank John Snelling
Alternative building materials
Yes, it has actually shifted to the Philippines. They make very good quality roofs with the 'Roman' style MCR tile.

After Japan started in metals, I suppose that London is busy with metal and glass ...Check it out:

http://www.30stmaryaxe.com/index2.asp

Chitradeep Sengupta
Alternative building materials
Hi all!

My addition:

1. laterite blocks (as popular in Kerala)
2. paper (as used by Japanese architect Shigeru Ban.
P Das
Alternative building materials
There is a resource which might be of use to you: fly-ash-information-center

Hope it's useful!

George Dirk
Alternative building materials
Chitradeep,

you said - the 'Bill Gates' of MCR tiles has shifted to SE Asia :-)) .... We use lighter single tiles. That is the MCR tiles version 1995 :-)))))) There have been improvements after that.

Do you have some additional info you can provide? Websites? Publications? Thank you in advance.
Nando Cruz
Alternative building materials
Nando,

check out:

www.devalt.org

You will find info and contacts for the same.

Chitradeep Sengupta
Alternative building materials
Thanks all of you but please can someone tell me how do I use laterite stone as an alternative material? Can we use it like DA has used local stone shavings? I need a material I can use in the Konkan area. Please reply soon.
Neha Shukla
Alternative building materials
Hi!
Laterite blocks may be cut into the right shape and size and directly deployed on site without any treatment.
P Das
Alternative building materials
Is there some other material we can use in the Konkan area with laterite?
Neha Shukla
Alternative building materials
Hi guys,

Thanks a lot for all your info. Now finally I have chosen a site in Goa; I will be designing a holistic healing centre.

I will be using laterite with some modifications. What do you guys think? Do let me know. Also please tell me if sand bag architecture will work at Goa?

And am I missing any other appropriate material that can be used at Goa?
Neha Shukla
Alternative building materials
Neha,

I am a Social Worker and an Eanterprenure and have been lately working on a project in North East to promote local talent. I have been working on Bamboo Products and looking at its alternative uses as a substitute to wood. If u find this interesting then drop in a mail on d_s@email.com
Deepak Sharma
Alternative building materials
Salient Features of rent scaffolding cost: *Rugged construction *Low maintenance *High impact resistance *Corrosion resistance *High tensile strength *Long service life
Irish Peril
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