It won’t be a misnomer to say that we are living in the day and age of Green Buildings. The buzz around green construction methods and materials has been such that today it has spawned a multi-billion dollar industry worldwide. With India being in the midst of it’s biggest ever infrastructure development spree and with a robust real estate sector, it is not surprising that it has emerged as a key global market for green building products and technologies. While several technologies have made an entry only a few have been able to make a major dent. Perhaps the most prominent amongst them is Auto-claved Aerated Concrete (AAC), which offers an unbeatable combination of excellent insulation, light weight structure, and fire & mould resistance, among others.
Contrary to popular perception, AAC is not a recent phenomenon. It has been used in the Scandinavian region for well over four decades now. In fact, it is being extensively used all over Europe. A good example is available in the form of countries like Germany and the UK where AAC blocks account for almost 50% of the construction. While the industry in India may still be at a nascent stage there is no doubting its huge growth potential. In fact, the market for AAC blocks in the country is already pegged around Rs. 500 crore, which is a remarkable figure given the relatively short span of time the product has been there in the country.
The fact that AAC blocks offer a combination of environmental sustainability along with being economically sustainable have made these blocks the darling of contractors, builders and developers all over the country. Perhaps the best testimonial for AAC blocks comes from the fact that today leading developers are using them in their prestigious projects. Many top builders, developers and government authorities are now using AAC blocks. The trends are already evident with AAC blocks now also being widely used for high-rise constructions, apart from being used by government departments like CPWD and PWD and other reputed institutions. Given all these advantages it is not surprising that AAC blocks are now giving red clay bricks a real run for their money. AAC is a specialized technology that offers several benefits. Because it is a highly specialized field, there are only a very few players who have been masters in this technology. While the demand is getting more by the day, supply is also increasing with the entry of several new names. However, it is a technology that only a select few companies have been able to specialize in and offer really quality products.
While it is a well known fact that AAC blocks offer several advantages what is important is how they are used. It is only when the right kind of accessorial products are used that all the advantages of AAC blocks can be obtained. We at Methra Industries, the name behind the immensely popular Cell O Con brand of AAC blocks, also additionally offer Cell O Con Dry Mix Mortar a ready to use light weight dry mix mortar specially formulated for laying AAC blocks and other cement blocks and Cell O Con Green Gypsum Plaster a ready to use dry wall plaster, products which are a result of a rigorous R&D process.
Let us take a closer look at the advantages of using these two path breaking green products.
Cell O Con Dry Mix Mortar
This is yet another quality green product from Methra Industries. Cell O Con Dry Mix Mortar is a ready to use light weight dry mix mortar, formulated by blending selected cement binders, graded aggregates and chemical additives.
The specially formulated dry mix mortar is the best suited for laying AAC blocks and other cement blocks.
The key advantages offered by Cell O Con Dry Mix Mortar include:
– Ready to use dry mix mortar, requires only water addition
– Excellent adhesion and good anti sagging property
– Versatile to use as brick laying mortar
– Minimizes hair line cracks caused due to material shrinkage
– Uniform & high strength and smooth surface finish
– Thin bed application helps in clean and neat laying practice, resulting in considerable savings in material consumption
– Economical as a result of fast installation
Cell O Con Green Gypsum Plaster
Cell O Con Green Gypsum Plaster, is a premium quality plaster which offers the best solution for dry wall plastering. Gypsum plaster a highly processed form of calcium sulphate, is a durable and stable mineral. It is a natural and eco-friendly product. The quality of Green Gypsum Plaster can be gauged from the fact that the product is approved by none other than CII – Indian Green Building Council (IGBC), the foremost Green Building rating authority, for consideration towards their rating system-‘LEED’.
Green Gypsum Plaster is ideal for use with AAC blocks and almost all other surfaces including bricks, concrete blocks and concrete wall.
The key advantages offered by Green Gypsum Plaster include:
– Long life- Gypsum Plaster does not contain any dangerous chlorides and so it retains its composition for thousands of years as testified by the Cheops Pyramids of Giza.
– Flexural tensile strength – Gypsum Plaster exhibits high tensile and flexural strength and are therefore less prone to cracking or de-bonding due to shearing or thermal stresses.
– No curing required- Gypsum Plaster requires no curing and should be permitted to dry out as quickly as possible, making it ideally suited for a predominantly tropical country like India, where in most parts water is a scarce commodity.
– Rust inhibitor – Gypsum Plaster is a good rust preventive agent and inhibits corrosion of electrical metal fittings and pipes.
– Non-toxic and Anti-fungal-Gypsum Plaster is resistant to fungal/mould growth.
– Insulation Properties – Gypsum has low conductivity and hence good thermal insulation properties, which helps in energy saving. Thermal conductivity of Gypsum is 0.2 W/mK (tested in accordance with BS 874:1973).
– Bonding Properties – Due to the nature and structure of Gypsum exhibits excellent bonding properties making it ideally suited for AAC and cement blocks.
– Fire-proof- Gypsum is non-combustible. It is designated class ‘O’ in accordance to BS 476:4:1970.
– Aesthetic Finish- Provides smooth finish to ceilings and walls and therefore ideal background for good quality paints and wall paper finishes.
– No Shrinkage Cracking-Gypsum Plaster does not shrink like cement plaster during the drying out and hardening process.
Given the rising popularity of AAC blocks, it does not come as a surprise that an increasing number of manufacturers are now entering the fray in order to address the demand supply gap. While this is a welcome development what is also important is the fact that not all the products available in the market are quality products. Anyone using AAC blocks should first ascertain the quality or otherwise it could lead to long term damage to the structure. Moreover it is also important that the right kind of accessorial products such as dry mix mortar and gypsum plaster are used along with quality AAC blocks in order to obtain full benefits of using the three products to ensure a sustainable environment.
“The Indian construction industry is full of stories symbolizing the triumph of entrepreneurial spirit backed by technical and business acumen. The story of Methra Industries is a good example”.
ME (Structure), MBA, PhD.
Managing Director, Methra Industries India Pvt. Ltd.
For further details:
Methra Industries India Pvt. Ltd.
62 Panchali Amman Koil Street,
Arumbakkam, Chennai – 600106