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C. N. Jha
& J. K. Prasad

Indias present housing shortage is estimated to be as high as 31.1 million
units as per 2001 Census and out of this shortage 24 million units are in rural
area and 7.1 million unit in urban areas. The Govt. of India has targeted the
year 2010 for providing Housing for All. In 1998, Government of India
announced a National Housing and Habitat Policy which aims at providing
Housing for All and facilitating the construction of 20 lakh additional housing
units (13 lakh in Rural Areas and 7 lakh in Urban Areas) annually, with
emphasis on extending benefits to the poor and the deprived. Apart from the
above housing needs, nearly 1% of the housing stock in the country is
destroyed every year due to natural hazards.
Such large scale housing construction activities require huge amount of
money running into thousands of crores of rupees. Out of the total cost of
house construction, building materials contribute to about 70 percent cost in
developing countries like India. Therefore, the need of the hour is
replacement of costly and scarce conventional building materials by
innovative, cost effective and environment friendly alternate building
materials. The new material should be environment friendly and preferably
utilize industrial/agro wastes because as a result of rapid industrialization, the
generation of wastes has increased several fold during the last few years,
which needs to be utilized/disposed safely on priority. Large number of
innovative alternate building materials and low cost construction techniques
developed through intensive research efforts during last three to four decades
satisfies functional as well as specification requirements of conventional
materials/techniques and provide an avenue for bringing down the
construction cost. Fly Ash, a industrial by-product from Thermal Power Plants
(TPPs), with current annual generation of approximately 108 million tonnes
and its proven suitability for variety of applications as admixture in
cement/concrete/mortar, lime pozzolana mixture (bricks/blocks) etc. is such an
ideal material which attracts the attention of everybody. Cement and Concrete
Industry accounts for 50% Fly Ash utilization, the total utilization of which at
present stands at 30MT (28%). The other areas of application are Low lying
area fill(17%), Roads & Embankments(15%), Dyke Raising(4%), Brick
manufacturing(2%) etc. The life cycle cost of Fly Ash based building
materials/constructions is much lower taking into account the environmental
benefits and durability aspects.

Ash is a residue resulting from combustion of pulverised coal or lignite in
Thermal Power Plants. About 80% of total ash is in finely divided form which is
carried away with flue gases and is collected by Electrostatic precipitator or
other suitable technology. This Ash is called (dry) Fly Ash or chimney Ash or
Hopper Ash. The balance 20% of the Ash gets collected at the bottom of the
boiler and is referred as Bottom Ash. When Fly Ash and Bottom Ash is carried
to storage pond in the form of water slurry and deposited, it is termed as Pond
Ash. Fly Ash consists of inorganic materials mainly silica and alumina with
some amount of organic material in the form of unburnt carbon. Its fineness is
comparable to cement, however, some particles have size less than 1 micron
in equivalent diameter. It possess pozzolanic characteristics. However, all kind
of Ashes are sometimes referred as Fly Ash by common people. The different
kind of Ashes are suitable for different applications as given below:

Fly Ash - For use as pozzolana and admixture in
cement, mortar, concrete (/Cellular light
weight concrete)

Fly Ash - Lime pozzolana Mixture Applications
(Bricks, Blocks etc.) (The quality
parameters are not as stringent as in
above application)

Bottom Ash / Pond Ash - Sintered Applications, Geotechnical
Applications, Structural Fills, Clay- Fly
Ash bricks (burnt type),Agricultural
Applications, etc.
2.1 Fly Ash as Pozzolana
Pozzolans are defined as silicious and aluminous materials which in
themselves possess little or no cementitious value but, will in finally divided
form and in the presence of moisture chemically react with calcium hydrauxide
at ordinary temperature to form compounds possessing cementitious
The properties of pozzolananic materials which are to be used for the
manufacture of pozzolana Cements, Concrete, Lime/Cement based
bricks/blocks are governed by stipulated standards which differ from country
to country. The requirement of Fly Ash for these applications in terms of
pozzolanic properties is as follows:
S. No. Component/
Unit British
Standard BS:3892
Indian Standard:
3812 (Part 1) : 2003
Fly Ash^
3812 (Par
2): 2003
Fly Ash^
Chemical Requirements
1. SiO
+ Al

+ Fe

% - 70 70 50 70 50
2. Sio
Min % - - 35 25 35 25
3. Reactive SiO

Min (Optional)
% - - 20 20 - -
4. CaO, Max % - - - - - -
5. MgO, Max % 4 - 5 5 5 5
6. Total S as
, Max
% 2.5 5 3 5 5 5
7. Alkali as
O, Max
% - 1.5 1.5 1.5 1.5 1.5
8. Total CI, Max % - - 0.05 0.05 0.05 0.05
9. Loss on
Ignition, Max
% 7 12 5 5 5 5
10. Moisture
content, Max
% 1.5 3 2 - - -
Physical Requirements
1. Specific
(Blaine), Min
/kg Variable 325 320# 200
2. Sieve residue
on 45 um
sieve, Max
% - 32 34 (Optional) 50
3. Control figure
(Product of
loss and sieve
residue on 45
m sieve),
% - 255 - -
4. Lime
strength), Min
- - 4.5 -
5. Compressive
strength at 28
days, Min
- - Not less than
80% of the
strength of
plain cement
mortar cubes

6. Drying
% - - - -
7. Soundness
% - - 0.8 0.8

^Part I : For use as pozzolana in cement, cement mortar and concrete
^Part II : For use as admixture in cement, cement mortar and concrete
SPFA : Silicious Pulverised Fuel Ash
CPFA : Calcareous Pulverised Fuel Ash
#Fly Ash of fineness 250 M
/kg (Min) is also permitted to be used in the manufacture of Portland pozzolana
cement by intergrinding it with Portland cement clinker if the fly ash when ground to fineness of 320 m
/kg or to
the fineness of the resultant Portland pozzolana cement whichever is lower, meets all the chemical and physical
** The method of test covers the procedure for determining the reactivity of the pozzolanic material with hydrated
lime, as represented by compressive strength of standard mortar test cubes prepared and tested under specific
conditions as per IS 1727:1967.
2.2 Fly Ash collection and storage in the Thermal Power Plant
The fly ash is collected in most of the old power plants in India through wet
system, since it is cheaper than any other mode of transport. In the wet
system, fly ash is mixed with water and sluiced to the settling ponds or
dumping areas near the plant. However, due to limited disposal area many of
the TPPs are in the process of converting to dry collection system (through
ESPs) particularly the NTPC Power Plants.
ESPs are most popular equipment and widely used for emission control today
which enables the collection of dry fly ash. In the dry collection system, after
arresting the fly ash in the ESP, it is taken to the silos for storage by
pressurized or vacuum pneumatic system. When required, this can be
obtained in a container for further transportation directly from the silos or
conveyed further to the delivery point by pneumatic pressurized system. All
new plants commissioned recently/being commissioned have provision for dry
fly ash collection system.
Fly ash collected through dry collection system is preferred for pozzolanic
applications (i.e. in Building Industry).
2.3 Need for Processing of as received Fly Ash
The chemical composition and physical characteristics of a fly ash from a coal
fired furnace are controlled by the type pf coal and processing conditions of
the furnace. These vary not only from one plant to another but also within the
same plant. Large variation in the chemical composition of fly ashes is,
therefore, natural. Fortunately, however, the pozzolanic properties of a fly ash
are not governed so much by the chemistry but by the mineralogy and the
particle size of the fly ash. It may be noted that modern coal fired thermal
power plant generally produce good quality fly ash that is characterized by low
carbon and high glass content with 75% or more particles finer than 45
microns. For coarse fly ashes or those with high carbon content, a number of
beneficiation technologies are available to improve their suitability for use by
the cement and concrete industries.
Another road block to the increased use of fly ash as a component of cement
and concrete is the uniformity of ash from a single source of supply. With
industrial by-products, the variability in physical and chemical characteristics
are unavoidable. However, this need not be an un-surmoutable task to make
the product suitable for its desired use. As for years, the cement and concrete
plants have practiced the art of blending inhomogeneous batches of material
to obtain end-products of acceptable and uniform quality.
As can be seen from the above there is a need to provide the fly ahs in graded
form so that the needs of the individual industries can be catered to. The fly
ash is available from different fields of ESP (also varies from plant to plant)
from 1000 blaines to 6000 blaines. It will not be economical to collect the ash
from different fields and moreover is required to classify the fly ash after dry
collection in the plant and also to grind the surplus amount of coarse ash.
Hence, to increase the market of the fly ash it is required to grade and grind
the fly ash to meet the requirement of wide spectrum of market.
Some of the innovative and commonly manufactured environmental friendly
building materials utilizing Fly Ash are covered below;
3.1 Cellular Light Weight Concrete (CLC) Blocks
Cellular Light Weight Concrete (CLC) blocks are substitute to bricks and
conventional concrete blocks in building with density varying from 800 kg/m

to 1800 kg/m
. The normal constituents of this Foaming Agent based
technology from Germany are cement, Fly Ash (to the extent 1/4
to 1/3
total materials constituent), sand, water and foam (generated from
biodegradable foaming agent). Using CLC walling & roofing panels can also
be produced. Foaming agent and the Foam generator, if used for production
of CLC with over 25% fly ash content invites concession on import duty by
Govt. of India.
Advantages of Cellular Light Weight Concrete;
Better strength to weight ratio
Reduction of dead load resulting in saving of steel & cement and
reduction in foundation size
Better Acoustics and thermal insulation (Air conditioning requirement is
considerably reduced)
Saving in consumption of mortar and Higher Fire Rating
3.2 Development of Fly Ash Based Polymer Composites as Wood
Fly ash based composites have been developed using fly ash as filler and jute
cloth as reinforcement. After treatment, the jute cloth is passed into the matrix
for lamination. The laminates are cured at specific temperature and pressure.
Number of laminates are used for required thickness. The technology on fly
ash Polymer Composite using Jute cloth as reinforcement for wood substitute
material can be applied in many applications like door shutters, partition
panels, flooring tiles, wall paneling, ceiling, etc.
With regard to wood substitute products, it may be noted that the developed
components / materials are stronger, more durable, resistant to corrosion and
above all cost effective as compared to the conventional material i.e. wood.
This technology has been developed by Regional Research Laboratory,
Bhopal in collaboration with Building Materials & Technology Promotion
Council (BMTPC) and TIFAC. One commercial plant has also been set up
based on this technology near Chennai.
3.3 Portland Pozzolana Cement (Fly Ash based)
Upto 35% of suitable fly ash can directly be substituted for cement as blending
material. Addition of fly ash significantly improves the quality & durability
characteristics of resulting concrete. In India, present cement production per
annum is comparable to the production of Fly Ash. Hence even without
enhancing the production capacity of cement; availability of the cement (fly
ash based PPC) can be significantly increased.
3.4 Ready mixed Fly Ash concrete
Though Ready Mix concrete is quite popular in developed countries but in
India it consumes less than 5 percent of total cement consumption. Only
recently its application has started growing at a fast rate. On an average 20%
Fly ash (of cementitious material) in the country is being used which can
easily go very high. In ready mix concrete various ingredients and quality
parameters are strictly maintained/controlled which is not possible in the
concrete produced at site and hence it can accommodate still higher quantity
of fly ash.
3.5 Fly Ash- Sand-Lime-Gypsum (/Cement) Bricks /Blocks
Fly Ash can be used in the range of 40-70%. The other ingredients are lime,
gypsum (/cement), sand, stone dust/chips etc. Minimum compressive strength
(28 days) of 70 kg/cm
can easily be achieved and this can go upto 250
(in autoclaved type).
Advantage of these bricks over burnt clay bricks:
Lower requirement of mortar in construction
Plastering over brick can be avoided
Controlled dimensions, edges, smooth and fine finish & can be in
different colours using pigments
Cost effective, energy-efficient & environment friendly (as avoids the
use of fertile clay)
3.6 Clay-Fly Ash Bricks
Fly Ash content can be 20 to 60% depending on the quality of clay. Process
of manufacturing is same as for the burnt clay bricks.
Fuel requirement is considerably reduced as fly ash contains some
percentage of unburnt carbon
Better thermal insulation
Cost effective and environment friendly


4.1 Blended Cement (Fly Ash based)/Concrete using Fly Ash
Use of blended cement has now become quite popular world over from
durability and environmental benefits point of view. For example, blended
cement constitutes 91% of the total cement production in Italy. In India also
45% of total cement manufactured is fly ash based blended cement. Now the
advantages achieved with the use of blended cement in concrete quite well
Reduced heat of hydration
Improved workability & Ease of pumping
Superior microstructure leading to lower permeability
Higher long term strength
Better performance in aggressive environment (Sulphates, Chlorides
Reduced risk of alkali silica reaction
Higher Electrical Resistively leading to lesser chances of reinforcement
4.2 Fly ash bricks viz-a-viz clay bricks
A lot of studies have been conducted on durability aspects of Fly Ash bricks in
many CSIR Labs, IITs, etc. Recently a study was sponsored by Fly Ash
Mission, TIFAC and implemented by four CSIR Labs namely: CBRI - Roorkee,
RRL-Bhopal, ERADA-Vadodara and CFRI-Dhanbad to assess the durability of
Fly Ash brick viz-a-viz clay brick. In this study all kind of aggressive
environment as acidic, saline etc. were quantified (in terms of its concentration
and exposure duration) to conduct accelerated tests on Fly Ash bricks and
clay bricks both. The study has been completed and it has concluded that Fly
Ash bricks are as durable as clay bricks and in fact in certain aggressive
environments perform better than clay bricks.

Most of the developing countries face energy scarcity and huge housing and
other infrastructure shortage. Ideally in these countries materials for habitat
and other construction activities should be energy efficient (having low energy
demand). The following table shows some examples of energy savings
achieved through the use of Fly Ash in the manufacture of conventional
building materials. It should be noted that use of Fly Ash also improves the
properties of building material, as mentioned above:

Energy Savings in the Manufacture of Building Materials through Use of Fly Ash
Building Material Composition Material Compared Energy
savings (%)
Portland pozzolana
75% Ordinary Portland cement
25% Fly Ash
100% Ordinary Portland
Lime-pozzolana mixture 25% Acetylene gas lime
75% Fly Ash
25% Lime
75% Calcined brick
Calcium silicate brick 90% Fly Ash tailings
10% lime
(waste source)
Burnt Clay brick 40
Burnt brick 75% Clay
25% Fly Ash
Burnt Clay brick 15
Source: Building Materials in India: 50 Years A Commemorative Volume, Building Materials &
Technology Promotion Council, New Delhi, India, 1998

Studies show that one tonne of Portland cement production discharges 0.87
tonne of CO
into the atmosphere. One Japanese study indicates that every
year barren land area approximately 1.5 times of Indian territory need to be
afforested to compensate for the total global accumulation of carbon dioxide
discharged into the atmosphere because of total global cement production.
Utilisation of fly ash in cement/concrete minimises the Co
emission problem
to the extent of its proportion in cement. Use of Fly Ash Sand-lime-gypsum
bricks also brings similar environmental benefits if used in place of burnt clay

6.1 Initiatives by Ministry of Environment and Forest, Govt. of India
(This Ministry is primarily responsible for preserving environment and forest in
the country)
MOEF recently issued notifications containing directive for greater Fly Ash
utilization, some of which are as follows;
i. Within a radius of 100 kms from coal or lignite based thermal power plants,
manufacturers of bricks/blocks/tiles would use at least 25% of ash in their
ii. Every construction agency engaged in the construction of buildings within a
radius of 50 to 100 kms of TPP have to use 100% fly ash based bricks/blocks
in their construction project by the end of August 2007. Within 50 kms of
radius of TPP the deadline for use of 100% fly ash based bricks/blocks is end
of August 2005. It is pertinent to mention here that any brick/block containing
more than 25% fly ash is designated as fly ash brick/block.
6.2 Status of Standardisation in the country
Several initiatives taken by countrys standardization body (BIS) regarding
higher utilization of fly ash are as follows:
i. Updation of Indian Standard on Portland Pozzolana Cement
Specification Part 1 Fly Ash based( IS 1489 (Part 1): 1991)
In the amended form, the Fly Ash constituent to be used shall not be less than
15% (from earlier 10%) and not more than 35% (from earlier 25%) by mass of
Portland Pozzolana Cement.
ii. Revision of basic Indian Standard Design Code for Plain and
Reinforced Concrete (IS 456:2000)
This revised Code lays emphasis on the use of PPC/Fly Ash in concrete in
aggressive environmental conditions.
iii. Revision of Indian Standard on Specification for Fly Ash for use as
Pozzolana and Admixture (IS 3812-1981)
Updation of standard has been done keeping in view the change in
technologies leading to generation of better quality of Fly Ashes and wider
applications of Fly Ashes. In the revised standard, the concept of improvement
of Fly Ash properties through beneficiation/segregation/processing has also
been introduced.
6.3 Circular by Countrys Premier Govt. Construction Agency (CPWD)
CPWD has taken a decision for use of fly ash as part replacement of cement
where concrete is obtained from RMC manufacturers for large projects in
concrete grade M30 and above:

In order to bridge the gap between research and development and large scale
application of new building material technologies, the erstwhile Ministry of
Urban Development, Government of India, had established the Building
Materials & Technology Promotion Council in July 1990. The Council strives to
undertake identification of potential technologies with emphasis on utilisation
of agricultural and industrial wastes. For promoting fly ash based products,
BMTPC has taken several initiatives some of which are as follows:
7.1 Machines developed by BMTPC
BMTPC has developed more than 30 machines for cost-effective building
products through its associated agencies. This has been done to popularize
the cost-effective building materials at grass root level. Some of these can be
used for manufacturing fly ash based products.
Alternate station hydraulic brick making machine:
This machine has capacity of 10,000 bricks per day and can produce Fly Ash
sand lime (/cement) bricks and clay/clay Fly Ash bricks.
Bi-Directional Vibro Presses of different capacities (AS 1824, AS
1818, AS B 189, etc.)
The same vibro press can be used for manufacturing fly ash based solid
blocks, hollow blocks and pavers by just changing the moulds. These presses
are available for different capacities.
Pan Mixer
As normal concrete mixer is not suitable for mixing raw materials used for fly
ash based products, Pan Mixer has been developed which ensures kneading
action also.
7.2 Role of Advisory Body to Govt. of India and in conducting training
and Entrepreneurship Development Programme
BMTPC is represented in various Govt. Committees responsible for issuing
notification related to utilization of industrial and agricultural wastes. It is also
represented in various standardisation committees. Regular training and
entrepreneurship development programmes are conducted to popularize the
waste based and cost-effective building materials and technologies at grass
root level from time to time.
7.3 Initiatives taken in the direction of creating Fly Ash Grading
facility at Thermal Power Plant
As circular by CPWD, IS 456:2000 etc. specifies certain grade of fly ash
(conforming to IS 3812) for cement/concrete applications which is not easily
available at Thermal Power Plants. Even products like fly ash based bricks,
blocks, tiles, pavers, etc. require fly ash of graded quality. Therefore, it was
felt necessary to create some fly ash processing facility at TPP so that graded
fly ash can be made available to end user. In this regard, letters have been
issued to many Thermal Power Stations detailed presentation has been made
to Central Electricity Authority and discussions are in progress with some of
the TPPs.
7.4 Publications by BMTPC particularly the Standard and
Specification of certain Cost-effective, and Environment-friendly
Building materials / Techniques
BMTPC has published over 30 publications covering a wide spectrum of
housing sector. Despite a number of innovative cost-effective building
materials, components and construction techniques developed through
extensive research, the housing and building agencies have not adopted them
in their construction practices because of number of reasons. Lack of
standardization and non-listing of the above techniques in Indian Standard
Codes is quoted as one of the foremost reasons by construction agencies for
non-adoption of these techniques in their practices. Realising this Building
Materials and Technology Promotion Council (BMTPC) has published
Standards & Specifications for Cost effective Building Materials and
Techniques which outlines detailed specifications for the cost effective
building materials, components and construction techniques including Fly Ash
based. The detailed specifications have been so formatted that these can be
readily inducted in the schedules and specifications by public and private
construction agencies.
7.5 Performance Appraisal Certification Scheme (PACS)
Under a notification issued by Ministry of Urban Development & Poverty
Alleviation, Govt. of India, BMTPC has also been entrusted with the
responsibility of running an innovative scheme called Performance Appraisal
Certification Scheme (PACS). Under this scheme any new product, system or
technique related to housing/building not covered so far by Bureau of Indian
Standards in the form of any IS Code may be certified after detailed
evaluation. Such certification will develop confidence among the users of the
new product/system/technique and provide marketing tool to the
manufacturers. The evaluation parameters and their results may later form the
basis for the formulation of new IS Code on the specific
Census of India 2001.
MOEF Notification dated September 14, 1999 regarding Utilisation of
Fly Ash and Amendments to this dated August 27, 2003.
Building Materials in India: 50 Years A commemorative volume
published by BMTPC.
Circular by CPWD No. CDO/SE (RR)/Fly Ash (Main)/387 dated May 13,
Proceedings of the International Symposium on Concrete Technology
for Sustainable Development in the Twenty First Century edited by P.
Kumar Mehta, Hyderabad, India, February, 1999.
Singh G. B. Cellular Light Weight Concrete, The Construction Journal
of India, September-October 1998, Vol. 1 issue 4.
Saxena Mohini and Prabhakar J. Emerging Technologies for Third
Millennium on Wood Substitute and Paint from coal ash 2

International conference on Fly Ash Disposal & Utilization, New Delhi,
India, February 2000.
Managing Low Cost & Innovative Housing Technologies
International Centre for Advancement of Manufacturing Technology
In cooperation with
Building Material & Technology Promotion Council
Entrepreneurship Development Institute (EDI)
International Seminar
Managing Low Cost & Innovative Housing Technologies
22-27 August 2004
Ahmedabad, India
Download brochure (pdf format)

In every country the housing industry is a fundamental and strategic
sector linked to improving the standard of living. The housing sector
depends highly on technological innovation as a constant driving force.
Technological innovation creates added value, it improves the product,
and cuts the costs, thus allowing for a greater distribution of the product
on the market and an extension in the distribution range.

Two main problems faced by developing countries are creating
sustainable livelihoods and preserving the environment. There are also
severe problems of agro-industrial wastes and their management. Over
the years, energy efficient technologies have been developed, which not
only convert waste into value-added composite materials for low cost
housing but also generate employment in rural areas.
The construction industry in the developing economies is facing an
immense and apparently worsening problem of required materials
shortage aggravated by rising prices. In most countries, frequent
shortages have often led to further increases in prices and profiteering,
thus marginalizing more and more people beyond the affordability
level. The consequent impacts are severe: skyrocketing housing costs
and expanding unplanned settlements in urban areas, and an ever-
deteriorating housing quality in both urban and rural settlements.

One strong option is to promote use of innovative composite materials
based on local resources from forestry, agriculture, natural fibres, plant
materials, and other local resources like agricultural and industrial
wastes available within small geographical regions. Such alternative
materials can be manufactured using the fibres as reinforcement in a
binder such as cement or polymer. Besides meeting the needs of
housing sector, the industrial production of the composite materials
would greatly help in environmental protection, energy efficiency and
employment generation in the manufacturing sector.

Research and development efforts in past 2 to 3 decades in several
countries, especially in India, have led to the development of various
scientific and engineering aspects of composite materials from local
resources. Such efforts have reasonably demonstrated and established
that many of these materials from local resources can effectively
substitute traditional materials like cement, steel, and wood. However,
these technologies, except in a few countries, have not widely gone to
industrial enterprises. The performance evaluation from field
application of these materials indicates their usefulness in other
developing countries too.


With rapid urbanization, population growth and industrialization, the
skills, materials and financing for the planning, design, construction,
maintenance, and rehabilitation of housing, infrastructure and other
facilities are often not available or are of inferior quality. Public policy
and private investment should, together, facilitate an adequate supply of
cost-effective building materials, construction technology and bridging
finance to avoid the bottlenecks and distortions that inhibit the
development of local and national economies. By improving the quality
and reducing the cost of production, housing and other structures will
last longer, be better protected against disasters, and be affordable to
low-income populations and accessible to persons with disabilities,
which will provide a better living environment.

Especially in developing countries there is an urgent need to be better
acquainted with new techniques on composites and new materials for
low cost housing design and their production processes.

Having a mind that UNIDO-ICAMT is implementing an Inter-Regional
Programme on Capacity Building for Transfer of Energy-Efficient and
Eco-Friendly Technologies and Promotion of Local Investments in the
Area of Materials based on Local Resources for Low Cost Housing in
Africa, Asia and Latin America, UNIDO International Centre for
Advancement of Manufacturing Technology (ICAMT) in cooperation with
Building Materials & Technology Promotion Council (BMTPC) and
Entrepreneurship Development Institute (EDI), Ahmedabad will organize
an International workshop and exhibition on "Managing Low-cost &
Innovative Housing Technologies" that will be held in Ahmedabad, India
from 22-27 August 2004.


To present a global perspective on low cost housing technologies
To present the state of the art of the latest innovative technologies for
manufacturing pre cast building components
To disseminate up-to-date information, knowledge and experience on
design, production, certification and application of low cost and
innovative housing materials
To present the country perspective on status of low cost housing
To promote and encourage networking and cooperation between
countries of the region, for the adoption of appropriate and affordable
technologies on low-cost housing
To arrange display of innovative & low cost housing materials
developed & promoted by Building Materials & Technology Promotion
Council (BMTPC).


Awareness and capacity development of about 30 technologists, from
both R&D institutions and enterprises on managing low cost building
materials based on Agro Industrial wastes.
Networking of enterprises, R&D and Standardization institutes,
counterpart agencies operating in the housing sector in order to
strengthen South-South Cooperation.
Develop an action plan for implementation by UNIDO-ICAMT and
Building Material & Technology Promotion Council (BMTPC) for
commercialization & transfer of proven technologies in India, South East
Asia & Africa.


There will be approximately 30 experts from industrial R&D institutions,
researchers and technologists from developing countries. A number of
senior level decision-makers will be encouraged to participate.
Participants will be required to present a short report of the state-of-the
art of the building materials production industry using local materials in
their country of origin and/or company where they are employed.


The resource persons will be from renowned National & International
institutions. The resource persons will be invited to deliver key lectures
on the main topics of the programme.


The basic documentation for the Training Course will consist of the

Aide-Memoire of the training workshop and agenda
Illustrative brochures / publications of Building Materials &
Technology Promotion Council (BMTPC) on innovative building
materials and construction technologies.
EDI publication on Entrepreneurship development
List of participants
Lecture notes.


All Lectures and their related documentation will be in English


Day 1 (22nd August 2004)

1600 h 1730 h Inaugural session Inauguration of International
Seminar & Exhibition. (Inauguration by Kumari Selja, Honble Minister of
Urban Employment & Poverty Alleviation, Government of India in
presence of Mr. A.J.J. Rwendeire, Managing Director, UNIDO Vienna)

1730 h 1830 h High Tea

Day 2 (23rd August 2004)

0930 h 1000 h Fly Ash: A useful resource for Innovative Building
Materials :An Indian perspective

1000 h 1100 h Low Cost Housing Indian perspective

1100 h 1130 h Tea

1130 h 1215 h Need and Relevance of Entrepreneurship
1215 h 1300 h EDP Input and sequencing

1300 h 1400 h Lunch

1400 h 1445 h Promotional Strategies

1445 h 1530 h Selection of Entrepreneurs

1530 h 1600 h Tea

1600 h 1730 h Country presentation Status of low cost housing
technologies ( 3 countries 30 minutes each)

Day 3 (24th August 2004)

0930 h 1030 h Opportunity identification

1030 h 1100 h Tea

1100 h 1200 h Business Plan Preparation

1200 h 1300 h Major Managerial Interventions

1300 h 1400 h Lunch

1400 h 1530 h Standardization and Certification for low cost
Building Technologies

1530 h 1600 h Tea

1600 h 1730 h Country presentation Status of low cost housing
technologies ( 3 countries 30 minutes each)

Day 4 (25th August 2004)

0930 h - 1030 h Private - Public Partnership : Cost-effective
Housing Construction A GSDMA Perspective

1030 h - 1100 h Tea Break

1100 h - 1200 h Application of the Glass Fibre Composites
Innovative Technology Options for Housing

1200 h - 1300 h Waste Based Building materials Environment
Friendly Technology Options for Housing

1300 h - 1400 h Lunch

1400 h - 1530 h Ferro cement Technologies: A viable solution for
Low Cost Housing.

1530 h - 1600 h Tea Break

1600 h - 1730 h Country presentation Status of low cost housing
technologies ( 3 countries 30 minutes each)

Day 5 (26th August 2004)

0930 h - 1030 h Role of Building Centres in propagating low
cost building technologies.

1030 h - 1100 h Tea Break

1100 h - 1200 h Social and Environmental Aspects of low cost
Building Technologies

1200 h - 1300 h Alternative Technologies : Construction with

1300 h - 1400 h Lunch

1400 h - 1530 h Technology Options for Low cost Disaster Resistant

1530 h - 1600 h Tea Break

1600 h - 1730 h Country presentation Status of low cost housing
technologies ( 3 countries 30 minutes each)

Day 6 (27th August 2004)

0930 h - 1030 h Quality Aspects of Low Cost Building Technologies
and the issues involved in training.

1030 h - 1100 h Tea Break

1100 h - 1130 h Low Cost Housing A Global perspective

1130 h 1200 h Low Cost Housing Chinese perspective

1200 h - 1300 h Community level Participation in Low Cost Housing

1300 h - 1400 h Lunch

1400 h - 1430 h Inter-Regional Programme on Capacity Building for
Transfer of Energy-Efficient and Eco-Friendly Technologies and
Promotion of Local Investments in the Area of Materials based on Local
Resources for Low Cost Housing in Africa, Asia and Latin America An

1430 h - 1530 h Post Programme follow-up and discussions

1530 h - 1600 h Tea Break

1600 h 1730 h Feedback Session & Valedictory


The workshop and the exhibition will be held from 22nd August to 27th
August 2004 at EDI premises in Ahmedabad. The address is as under:

Entrepreneurship Development Institute
Via Ahmedabad Airport & Indira Bridge),
P.O. Bhat 382 428, Dist. Gandhinagar,
Gujarat, India
+91 - 79 - 23969159
+91 - 79 - 23969161
+91 - 79 23969163
Fax: +91-79-23969164


24 international participants to be sponsored under India-ASEAN

6-8 international participants to be sponsored by UNIDO-ICAMT.


For the participants that are invited by ICAMT to attend the workshop,
round trip air/train economy transportation from the airport/station of
departure will be arranged and prepaid tickets issued where necessary
according to UNIDO standards (i.e. the most direct and economical
route). Room will be provided upon arrival at EDI, Ahmedabad. The
Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner will be provided at EDI. Invited participants
will be provided US $ 20 per day as pocket allowance to cover
miscellaneous expenses. No other expenditure will be reimbursed.

The participants will be required to bear the costs of all expenses in their
home country incidental to travel abroad, including expenditure for
passport, visa, and any other miscellaneous items as well as internal
travel to and from the airport/station of departure in their home-country.

The organization will not be responsible for any of the following costs
that may be incurred by the participant while attending the training

Compensation for salary or related allowances during the period of
the course;
Any cost incurred with respect to insurance, medical bills and
hospitalization fees;
Compensation in the event of death, disability or illness;
Loss or damage to personal property of participants while attending
the course.

Low Cost Housing
Posted in Building, Civil Engineering Information | Email This Post
Low Cost Housing is a new concept which deals with effective budgeting and following of
techniques which help in reducing the cost construction through the use of locally available
materials along with improved skills and technology without sacrificing the strength,
performance and life of the structure.There is huge misconception that low cost housing is
suitable for only sub standard works and they are constructed by utilizing cheap building
materials of low quality.The fact is that Low cost housing is done by proper management of
resources.Economy is also achieved by postponing finishing works or implementing them in
Building Cost
The building construction cost can be divided into two parts namely:
Building material cost : 65 to 70 %
Labour cost : 65 to 70 %
Now in low cost housing, building material cost is less because we make use of the locally
available materials and also the labour cost can be reduced by properly making the time
schedule of our work. Cost of reduction is achieved by selection of more efficient material or
by an improved design.

Areas from where cost can be reduced are:-
1) Reduce plinth area by using thinner wall concept.Ex.15 cms thick solid concrete block
2) Use locally available material in an innovative form like soil cement blocks in place of
burnt brick.
3) Use energy efficiency materials which consumes less energy like concrete block in place
of burnt brick.
4) Use environmentally friendly materials which are substitute for conventional building
components like use R.C.C. Door and window frames in place of wooden frames.
5) Preplan every component of a house and rationalize the design procedure for reducing the
size of the component in the building.
6) By planning each and every component of a house the wastage of materials due to
demolition of the unplanned component of the house can be avoided.
7) Each component of the house shall be checked whether if its necessary, if it is not
necessary, then that component should not be used.
Cost reduction through adhoc methods
Normally the foundation cost comes to about 10 to 15% of the total building and usually
foundation depth of 3 to 4 ft. is adopted for single or double store building and also the
concrete bed of 6(15 Cms.) is used for the foundation which could be avoided.
It is recommended to adopt a foundation depth of 2 ft.(0.6m) for normal soil like gravely soil,
red soils etc., and use the uncoursed rubble masonry with the bond stones and good packing.
Similarly the foundation width is rationalized to 2 ft.(0.6m).To avoid cracks formation in
foundation the masonry shall be thoroughly packed with cement mortar of 1:8 boulders and
bond stones at regular intervals.
It is further suggested adopt arch foundation in ordinary soil for effecting reduction in
construction cost up to 40%.This kind of foundation will help in bridging the loose pockets of
soil which occurs along the foundation.
In the case black cotton and other soft soils it is recommend to use under ream pile
foundation which saves about 20 to 25% in cost over the conventional method of
It is suggested to adopt 1 ft. height above ground level for the plinth and may be constructed
with a cement mortar of 1:6. The plinth slab of 4 to 6 which is normally adopted can be
avoided and in its place brick on edge can be used for reducing the cost. By adopting this
procedure the cost of plinth foundation can be reduced by about 35 to 50%.It is necessary to
take precaution of providing impervious blanket like concrete slabs or stone slabs all round
the building for enabling to reduce erosion of soil and thereby avoiding exposure of
foundation surface and crack formation.
Wall thickness of 6 to 9 is recommended for adoption in the construction of walls all-round
the building and 41/2 for inside walls. It is suggested to use burnt bricks which are
immersed in water for 24 hours and then shall be used for the walls
Rat trap bond wall
It is a cavity wall construction with added advantage of thermal comfort and reduction in the
quantity of bricks required for masonry work. By adopting this method of bonding of brick
masonry compared to traditional English or Flemish bond masonry, it is possible to reduce in
the material cost of bricks by 25% and about 10to 15% in the masonry cost. By adopting rat-
trap bond method one can create aesthetically pleasing wall surface and plastering can be
Concrete block walling
In view of high energy consumption by burnt brick it is suggested to use concrete block
(block hollow and solid) which consumes about only 1/3 of the energy of the burnt bricks in
its production. By using concrete block masonry the wall thickness can be reduced from 20
cms to 15 Cms. Concrete block masonry saves mortar consumption, speedy construction of
wall resulting in higher output of labour, plastering can be avoided thereby an overall saving
of 10 to 25% can be achieved.
Soil cement block technology
It is an alternative method of construction of walls using soil cement blocks in place of burnt
bricks masonry. It is an energy efficient method of construction where soil mixed with 5%
and above cement and pressed in hand operated machine and cured well and then used in the
masonry. This masonry doesnt require plastering on both sides of the wall. The overall
economy that could be achieved with the soil cement technology is about 15 to 20%
compared to conventional method of construction.
Doors and windows
It is suggested not to use wood for doors and windows and in its place concrete or steel
section frames shall be used for achieving saving in cost up to 30 to 40%.Similiarly for
shutters commercially available block boards, fibre or wooden practical boards etc., shall be
used for reducing the cost by about 25%.By adopting brick jelly work and precast
components effective ventilation could be provided to the building and also the construction
cost could be saved up to 50% over the window components.
Lintals and Chajjas
The traditional R.C.C. lintels which are costly can be replaced by brick arches for small spans
and save construction cost up to 30 to 40% over the traditional method of construction. By
adopting arches of different shapes a good architectural pleasing appearance can be given to
the external wall surfaces of the brick masonry.
Normally 5(12.5 cms) thick R.C.C. slabs is used for roofing of residential buildings. By
adopting rationally designed insitu construction practices like filler slab and precast elements
the construction cost of roofing can be reduced by about 20 to 25%.
Filler slabs
They are normal RCC slabs where bottom half (tension) concrete portions are replaced by
filler materials such as bricks, tiles, cellular concrete blocks, etc.These filler materials are so
placed as not to compromise structural strength, result in replacing unwanted and
nonfunctional tension concrete, thus resulting in economy. These are safe, sound and provide
aesthetically pleasing pattern ceilings and also need no plaster.
For more on filler materials check Filler Materials Used in Concrete
Jack arch roof/floor
They are easy to construct, save on cement and steel, are more appropriate in hot climates.
These can be constructed using compressed earth blocks also as alternative to bricks for
further economy.
Ferrocement channel/shell unit
Provide an economic solution to RCC slab by providing 30 to 40% cost reduction on
floor/roof unit over RCC slabs without compromising the strength. These being precast,
construction is speedy, economical due to avoidance of shuttering and facilitate quality
Finishing Work
The cost of finishing items like sanitary, electricity, painting etc., varies depending upon the
type and quality of products used in the building and its cost reduction is left to the individual
choice and liking.
The above list of suggestion for reducing construction cost is of general nature and it varies
depending upon the nature of the building to be constructed, budget of the owner,
geographical location where the house is to be constructed, availability of the building
material, good construction management practices etc. However it is necessary that good
planning and design methods shall be adopted by utilizing the services of an experienced
engineer or an architect for supervising the work, thereby achieving overall cost effectiveness
to the extent of 25% in actual practice.

S&T Extension Programme


One of the demonstration - Construction of cost effective housing units using
alternative building materials under the programme
India has always had an acute housing problem, especially for the poor who can hardly
afford the cost of conventional building materials. At the same time technology was
available for the production of alternative building materials, which could be used to build
low-cost houses in rural and semi- urban areas. The need was for an effective mechanism
of transferring the technology to those who needed it most. It was with this objective that a
5-year Action Plan was launched by Government of India on Innovative Building Materials
and Housing in 1990. The nodal responsibility was entrusted to the Central Building
Research Institute (CBRI), Roorkee. Several national agencies concerned with low cost

building technologies were also involved.

Key features of the action plan included
(1) Integrated training programmes for trainers at various locations in the country
(2) Setting up of demonstration units for local production of innovative building materials,
and demonstration - construction of cost effective housing units in semi-urban and rural
areas spread throughout the country.

The technologies selected were such that they led to employment generation, especially for
the poor and women, decentralization of production, and development of human resource.
As far as possible the demonstrations were organized at sites where the beneficiaries could
set up their own production units or houses with their own funds, although sites earmarked
by other collaborating organizations and agencies were also used.

During the 5-year period that the Action Plan was implemented, 34000 housing units were
constructed for the rural and suburban poor, 30,000 people were trained, and thousands of
masons, builders, social workers, contractors, engineers and architects got first hand
experience of what innovative technology could do for the poor. It brought about a new
awareness among the people about low cost housing in the country. It was a rewarding

Improvement in housing has never been a matter of high priority for the poor in India
because it does not bring them any tangible returns, while adopting improved scientific
methods of farming; fishing or cattle rearing can increase their income substantially. That
does not, however, mean that the poor do not believe in the dictum, durable and hygienic
shelters contribute to better health and improved quality of life. It is only that it ranks rather
low in their objects of desire.

It was therefore felt necessary that any programme aimed at improving the housing lot for
the poor should emphasize on poverty alleviation and tangible economic upliftment as a
major component. Keeping this objective in view, the programme was launched in April
1990 by the Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR), India with nodal
responsibility for implementing the programme, entrusted to CBRI.

In 1990, a wide range of low-cost technologies for building construction and housing
developed by CBRI and several other R&D establishments over a period of more than four
decades were available. But, in the absence of an appropriate mechanism, benefits of
these innovations had not reached the target user. Some on-site extension and technology
transfer efforts had been made earlier, but they were mostly symbolic and selective and did
not involve large participation. These efforts were unable to make any sustainable impact
for want of desired thrust and focus of a programme. The Action Plan (1990-95) was
designed to involve mass participation to disseminate the innovative technology as widely
as possible among the rural and semi-urban population, to achieve a high multiplier effect.

The main issues to be addressed were:
(1) Lack of motivation to improve dwelling units
(2) Lack of adequate trained manpower
(3) Lack of awareness about the benefits of using innovative low-cost technology.

It is universally accepted that for real progress, developments in science and technology
should be relevant to majority of the people in society. In the present context it implied that
the new technology should be acceptable to people both from socio-cultural as well as
economic point of view. Keeping these in view, the programme was devised in such a way
as to disseminate only appropriate technology among the rural poor who could then
propagate it further.

The programme had direct linkages with the neglected and downtrodden youth, women folk
and the poor landless in villages. Stress was laid on a self- employment, and
entrepreneurship development apart from improving sanitation and solving the basic
requirement of shelter.

The programme demonstrated the tremendous potential for generating employment
opportunities in production units which could utilize material such as non-agricultural soils,
mineral wastes, mine tailings, flyash, industrial waste, and lime sludge, etc. to manufacture
building materials such as bricks, blocks, binders and aggregates. It led to demonstration
construction of low cost houses and setting up of low-cost demonstration production units in
different parts of the country using local materials and improved technologies.

As a step towards generating trained manpower capable of handling the innovative
construction technologies at all levels, integrated training programmes for site engineers,
architects, trainers, masons and others were organized at different locations in the country.

To create mass awareness and acceptability of the innovative technologies and materials
among the people, a series of public awareness campaigns through mass media, get-
togethers and exhibitions were organized on a large scale all over the country. Land and
finances for implementation of the programme were mobilized mostly through collaborative
involvement of state, voluntary, private and cooperative agencies. Financial contributions of
CBRI/CSIR were only nominal. CBRI facilitated these affirmative actions as the nodal

The main features of the Action Plan were the following:
Priority (greater than 50%) to the rural sector
Curb on ostentatious and elitist bias and consumption
Benefits for scheduled castes, scheduled tribes, women and the poor
Direct participation of the beneficiaries
Appropriate structural changes for dispersal of incomes to the beneficiaries
Shift from large-sized capital-intensive urban-based to small-scale rural-based
industry with focus on employment and production for consumption by the masses.
The target was to put up 100 demonstration-units and take up six integrated programmes
each year in a mission mode apart from organizing awareness campaigns through mass
media, get-togethers and exhibitions.

In order to avoid the problem of land acquisition for demonstration units, the activity was
organized in such a way that the demonstrations could be given directly for the entitled
beneficiaries either at their land plots with their own funds and labor, or at suitable location
available with the agencies directly participating in the programme, or at sites earmarked by
other interested organizations for production units of building materials and components
and/or for putting up regular housing. Linkages were established with Government
supported autonomous financing bodies, not only to ensure funding of the demonstrations
construction but also to encourage use of innovative appropriate technologies in housing
projects funded by them. Laboratories of CSIR were the major source of the relevant
technologies, the bulk of know-how coming from CBRI. The intended S&T inputs were thus
assimilated into the efforts of several organizations utilizing their funds and with their direct
involvement; the CBRI playing the role of principal organizer, chief consultant and trainer.
Thus the direct cost component to be met by CBRI for the programme was notional and the
beneficiaries were expected to meet the major expenditure on these demonstrations.

Integrated Training Programmes
To develop trained manpower; integrated training programmes were organized throughout
the country for trainers, drawn from the major collaborating agencies, who were supposed
to carry the imparted skills deeper for greater multiplier effect. Finances for organizing
integrated training programmes were shared by CSIR and its laboratories and by the local
collaborating agencies. In most of the cases the agencies owning the land utilized for
putting up demonstration constructions also acted as the construction agencies.

The countrywide network of Building Centres supported by the Housing and Urban
Development Corporation (HUDCO), India was utilized for production and supply of precast
components. These building centres also conducted further training programmes for local
artisans and entrepreneurs resulting in greater diffusion of innovative technologies among
the users. At many locations newer areas of entrepreneurship got developed in the
production of prefabricated building components and low-cost innovative building materials.

Awareness Campaigns
Even after mobilizing all the above resources, no effective outcome would have been
achieved without the beneficiaries accepting these innovative construction technologies and
building materials. Exhibitions, press publicity, radio & TV programmes were extensively
used to create mass awareness. On-site demonstrations and training programmes held
throughout the country helped the beneficiaries and users to clearly see and understand the
new technologies for ready acceptance.

To enable the Central Building Research Institute to successfully carry out the nodal
responsibility of implementing a S&T extension programme of such a huge dimension, the
following institutions actively participated as a cohesive team, contributing to the
programme their respective infrastructural, administrative, financial and technological
Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), New Delhi, India along with its
following constituent establishments.
Central Building Research Institute, Roorkee
Structural Engineering Research Centre, Ghaziabad
Central Road Research Institute, New Delhi
National Environmental Engineering Research Institute, Nagpur.
Regional Research Laboratory, Bhopal
Regional Research Laboratory, Thiruvananthapuram
Central Glass & Ceramic Research Institute, Calcutta
National Chemical Laboratory, Pune
Department of Science & Technology, New Delhi.
Housing & Urban Development Corporation, (HUDCO) New Delhi, along with a
countrywide network of Building Centers supported by HUDCO.
Council for Advancement of Peoples Action and Rural Technology, (CAPART),
New Delhi.
Department of Rural Development, New Delhi.
Ministry of Urban Development, New Delhi.
Khadi & Village Industries Commission, New Delhi.
State Public Works Departments.
State Housing & Development Boards, and
Several private and voluntary organizations from all over the country.
Housing the poor is a major problem in most of the Third World Countries. So the
experience gained from the implementation of the 5-year Action Plan in a vast country like
ours, with great geo-climatic, socio-economic and agro-industrial diversities and with high
illiteracy and poor communication network can be a valuable guide for others to follow.
Decision-makers and field personnel had often had to face hostility, suspicion and
indifference from the villagers during the initial stages, and had to win them over by gentle
persuasion and patience. A similar situation may be prevailing in other Third World
countries too, where the Indian experience will be valuable.

The 5-year programme provided very interesting insights into technology transfer
mechanism in the building sector targeted towards the poor:
Non-governmental voluntary agencies with proven credentials command much
respect and their support is of immense value within their respective areas.
Rural women, once convinced, remain more enthusiastic and consistent in utilizing
innovative S&T than their male counterparts.
The traditional practices in rural areas are more conducive to sustainable
The local politicians and leaders can be very useful at times but generally they are
more interested in enhancing and consolidating their own power base rather than in
communitys development and therefore they do not generally act as good change-
In some areas where people had tasted the advantages and thrills of new
technology earlier, replication of technology progressed quite fast.
The main agents of change -- the youth and the women, rush towards those fruits
of S&T which are perceived to be status symbols or towards those technologies
which can bring the quick economic returns.
In absence of any past experience with new technologies individuals feel
threatened by possible economic losses or failures.
Building material and construction techniques are ideal for purposes of skill
development and employment generations in rural areas and are easily absorbed.
Non-availability of technology packages in regional languages is a major hurdle
affecting the acceptability of technologies such as bricks and blocks from waste
and locally available inferior soils.
The implementers learnt a number of lessons through this experience. Some of
them are:
Technology transfer through personal contact is most economical, has higher
multiplier effect and creates ready acceptability.
Women and tribal absorb self-help technology faster
Low -cost housing generates high levels of employment for unskilled youth
There can be no unique solution to the housing problems in a country like India. As
such a basketful of innovative solutions are needed to match different local/regional

Implementation of the programme led to the setting up of demonstration units (Table 1 -
Examples of construction units, Table 2 Examples of production units) at 436 locations

(States of India)
Improved mud and thatch construction
Non erodable mud
Self help
technologies, Low
investment, and Low
energy, Improved
Quality of life.
205 W.B., U.P., M.P.
Fire retardant thatch
Improved rural sanitation
Double pit sanitary
Low investment,
5006 Maharashtra,
Gujarat, Kerala, M.P.,
Waste water disposal
Prefabricated walling and roofing technologies
Stone masonry
blocks/solid concrete
Quality improvement
Saving in time, 20%
economical, Saving
in cement and steel
Labor intensive

U.P, A.P.,
Rajasthan, Kerala,
Meghalaya, Orissa,
Karnataka, M.P.,
W.B., Delhi.
Thin R.C. lintels cum
Pre cast channel unit
650 Tamil Nadu (T.N.),
U.P., Kerala, A.P.
Precast brick panel
Precast R.C. plank
and joist roofing
1900 U.P, Rajasthan, A.P.,
T.N., W.B., Orissa.
Precast cored unit
400 Gujarat
Precast L-panel
4800 Orissa, A.P., U.P.
Thin ribbed slab for
650 U.P., Kerala, Delhi,
Frameless doors Saving in timber and
60 Kerala, U.P., A.P.
Under-reamed piles
for foundation
Effective in expansive
/black cotton soils
Labor intensive
construction 40-50%
10770 Gujarat,
Maharashtra, A.P.,
M.P., U.P.
Pedestal piles for

(States of India)
Ferro-cement boards
for door and window
Cost effective,
durable timber
replacement, labor
5 Orissa, Kerala
Bricks from inferior
soils with/without
Improved quality,
economy in
29 Andhra Pradesh
(A.P.), Madhya
Pradesh (M.P.),
Precast walling
roofing components
Labor intensive,
economical, saving in
steel, cement & time
314 Rajasthan, M.P.,
A.P., Orissa,
Maharashtra, Delhi,
Uttar Pradesh (U.P.),
Assam, West Bengal
(W.B.), Punjab,
Haryana, Karnataka,
Tamil Nadu (T.N.)
Energy efficient brick,
gypsum and lime
Fuel saving, non-
polluting, improved
product quality
17 Haryana,
Maharashtra, A.P.,
M.P., Himachal
Throughout India, each demonstration unit being different in volume ranging from a small
production unit or a simple hut to a cluster of as many as 2000 dwelling units. Innovative
low-cost technology and materials were used to construct a total of 34000 housing units
(costing Rs. 860 million/US $ 25 million). It not only led to a national saving of Rs. 80
million/US$ 2.3 million but also saved scarce building material like cement and steel.
30,000 People were trained both through the integrated training programmes and the
demonstration constructions. The programme also generated employment opportunity of
6.3 million man-days for unskilled youth and women in 18 states of India.

Assessment of total impact of S&T Extension programme on the poor, however, is a difficult
task. Firstly because the impact spreads much beyond the confines of building materials
and housing. Any such successful effort tends to set in motion the processes of change of
world-view of the poor. The speed of this change varies very widely in a country of Indias

This programme was conceived, right from the beginning, largely as self-sustainable and
self-expanding. It revolved around locally available waste, low-cost materials and locally
available manpower. Only the S&T inputs at marginal financial cost were provided from
CBRI/CSIR. These external inputs would soon be internalized and the multiplier effect of
the programme would make it totally self-sustaining and self-propelling.

Concurrent to and in close cooperation with the above S&T Extension programme, the
Housing & Urban Development Corporation (HUDCO) has further expanded and
consolidated its chain of urban and rural building centres all over the country. At the start of
the programme there were an estimated 100 Building Centres in their initial stages of
formation/operation. The Building Centre movement got a tremendous boost from the
programmes resulting in setting up of more than 500 Building Centres in the rural and semi-
urban locales spread throughout the country. These Centres are now manufacturing and
marketing new building materials and prefabricated building components to local people in
their respective areas on a big way. These Building Centres have, in fact, become
cooperative nodal agencies, which are also validating and propagating appropriate building
materials and technologies in their respective zones of influence. It is hoped that these
Building Centres would continue to maintain and enhance the tempo of innovative building
material manufacturing, utilization of innovative construction technologies, and training the
local artisans in building trade.

CBRI on its part has gained immensely from the experience to venture into development of
newer technological option for application in rural areas.