Innovator and Founder of startup,
Er. Vikas Thakur
Structural Consultant, ‘APNA GHAR’
Er. Surbhi Sumedh Tankhiwale
Project Coordinator, ‘APNA GHAR’
With the rapid development of human race, the environment seems to be the first recipient to all the good and bad effects. In many cases, it is evident that the negative effects outweigh the positive ones. Due to modernization, construction has increased by leaps and bounds, which has made alot of progress in the field of human comforts, safety and indoor surroundings with primary raw material being cement concrete. But cement is a non-bio degradable and fine material, which is continuously polluting the environment and its disposal creates one more challenge. Urban Heat Island Effect (UHIE) is one additional bad effect of cement concrete, which is commonly seen in cities. Cement has tendency to release heat, forms a heated construction system and its surrounding.
In a conventional method of construction, water requirement is also one of the biggest challenge. Globally 50% of fresh water is consumed by construction sector. One ton steel saving avoids approximately one to two lacs liters use of fresh water. Hence Green building or Sustainable or High Performance buildings came in to existence to mitigate these problems and trying to save the environment. A lot of technologies are working in this field of housing market and a lot of money is used to create improvement but none of them or anything has fixed the housing crisis and the basic problem of affordability yet. APNA GHAR is a construction firm which is continuously endeavoring to provide eco-friendly, sustainable and cost effective house. “APNA GHAR”- with a Sustainable Approach APNA GHAR is a Nagpur, Maharashtra based Construction Company, a startup which has taken an initiative to create eco-friendly, sustainable and affordable houses for society without contributing any negative impacts on surroundings under PMAY (Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojna). The construction system is here adopting some strategies to create most energy efficient, thermal efficient and user-friendly modular structure, only approximately 20% cement concrete and steel being used. This construction system is primarily made up with Porotherm (clay) blocks and ISMB (Indian Standard Middle weight Beam)having a long life span near to 150 years. Porotherm blocks are hollow and hence thermally insulated, having compressive strength of around 15mpa and are light weight with density of around 10.5 KN/m3. With this green building material (G+3) floors can be made easily and can be reached up to (G+4) level structures. Main Objectives of the organization is: to provide alternative affordable and sustainable houses those are eco-friendly and are easy to construct for all the financially poor sections who cannot afford any professional services and to save environment by saving natural resources.
The innovative design solution implemented here are sustainable, eco-friendly, locally available, cost effective, less time consuming, less skilled labor required, provides thermal and acoustic comforts, pocket-friendly (post occupancy) and more importantly emits less CO2 to contribute carbon foot print to reduce global warming and last but not least it has a provision of earthquake resistance. Construction system adopted by APNA GHAR is briefly described in next section.
Main Components of APNA GHAR’s Construction System
This construction system is outright different than the conventional construction system. Here porotherm block for masanory works, ISMB Sections for filler slab, Reinforced Concrete band (RC band) for earthquake resistance, gypsum punning etc. are used. This construction system is broadly explained in following way:
Foundation should be strong and in order to support the superstructure appropriate type of foundation is to be adopted. The foundation is similar to that of conventional system with some changes (Fig. 1).
2) Brickwork and Columns
There is a special HP (Horizontally perforated) blocks made up of pure clay used as columns. These columns are reinforced with the four steel bars. Reinforcement is actually not required for static gravity loads, here they are provided to offer resistance against lateral earthquake/wind forces. The column extended above the ground level from foundation is surrounded by brickwork of VP (Vertically perforated) porotherm blocks. The external appearance of blocks is beautiful and hence is not plastered.
3) R.C Bands at Lintel level for Earthquake Resistance
The continuous Horizontal RC (Reinforced concrete) bands are provided at the lintel level over inner and outer walls to offer resistance against dynamic loads (Fig. 3). It protects structure under the action of earthquake motion.
Staircase is so designed that it does not require RCC and formwork. Steps are made of kadappa stones those are well-dressed of appropriate sizes (Fig.4). These stone steps are supported with the help of ISA (Indian Standard Angle) of appropriately designed property on masonry. These steps are durable, non-slippery, attractive, fine finished, can be cleaned easily, smooth textured and is easy to maintain. Moreover, this staircase is very economical than conventional staircase.
This slab has advantages of filler and RCC slab. Porotherm blocks of 4” x 8” x 16” size are used as filler material and upper layer of slab (2.5 inch thick) is of RCC material in order to make it water tight and to offer a wearing coat. ISMB (sizes are selected as per design calculations) sections are used for support (Fig. 5). The porotherm blocks make it thermally insulated. It offers a relief to users living in a hot region like Nagpur where, temperature reaches to 50 deg. In Fig. 6 pictures of some finished houses are shown.
Costing and Construction Duration
It is a very cost effective construction system (1-BHK configuration of 321 sq.ft. costs around 3.25 lakhs). The construction system is also endeavoring to construct houses according to the affordability of EWS (Economically weaker sections). Organization has shown its readiness to cater need according to economic status of user. For example, if one has even 2 lakh rupees, organization will customize and try to construct his house in 200 sq.ft.
As shuttering is not required and there is no conventional RCC members, time require in this construction system is very less. One flat of 2BHK configuration can be completed in just around 40 working days.
Salient Features of APNA GHAR Construction System
1. In this construction system costly building materials like cement and steel are used in a limited quantity i.e. up to 20% only, nowhere form work or shuttering is required, hence the total construction cost is less than the conventional construction system which makes it affordable and approachable for all sections.
2. Construction system is carried out with low embodied energy, fire resistive and low cost green building material called Porotherm blocks (terracotta clay blocks)which reduces UHIE from all five sides of structure.
3. No curing is required and water required for concrete is saved as only 20% RCC is used, this results in very less water consumption. This way it is ‘water efficient construction system’.
4. No waste produced during and after the construction and no cement pollution in and around the site, resulting in clean surrounding.
5. Silent or less noise during the construction, no noise pollution produced by the construction.
6. This construction system provide thermal comfort to occupants, eliminates dependency on Air Conditioners and coolers which will further reduce electricity bills up to considerable amount. Hence the system can be called as ‘Energy efficient construction system’.
7. This construction system has provision for Earthquake resistance, a continuous reinforced concrete band (RC band) is provided at lentil level. Light weight hollow blocks are used which attract less inertia force and prevent heavy loss of lives.
8. Less duration and less skilled labor are required.
An eye-opener for Affordable Housing for Entire South Asian Countries
Hope, it is not arrogance but, this is final anticipation to provide dignified and most eco-friendly houses for poor and marginal people. Otherwise by 2040, 60% population of India will live without their own houses. This construction system is the last hope not only for India but also for entire south Asian countries facing same problem. Mainstream construction professionals have still not taken any positive and effective initiatives towards EWS. In this system, design, planning and supervision is carried out by qualified construction professionals. This technique is so simple, modular and unbelievably faster that it can be replicated in large numbers. This technology cuts down the consumption of natural resources including, sand, cement, steel and most importantly water. The conventional construction system consumes 50% of fresh water and major contributory of releasing CO2 to environment. It is an eye opener & bitter truth that our rivers are in danger, if something is not done to keep sand safe from the hands of sand mafia, next generation will struggle to get drinking water. Through this system, excellent thermal insulation can be achieved; it reduces electric consumption by 30% to 40% and results in less dependency on AC and Cooler. It is an appeal to Government that it should adopt this system and make popular among society, especially to EWS and financially less stable groups.
We acknowledge the valuable contributions received from
Er. Satish Mowade, Structural Engineer, Accredit Structural Manager, Nagpur and Ar. Nivedita Singh, Principal Architect, Grapnel Asso. Nagpur.
Thank you for appreciation and positive response from
Mr. Durga Prasadji Mishra, Union Housing Secretary, Delhi.
Mr. V Santosh, Chairman, IGBC, Hyderabad. Mr. SK Agrawal, ED, BMTPC, Delhi. Mr. Amrit Abhijat, Director, PMAY Mission, Delhi.