Builders can contribute by using the right material, writes G.V.Prasada Sarma

Environmental friendly construction materials are being increasingly used in housing and big apartment complexes can contribute a lot by their use.

Using red mud bricks is a practice in these parts and of late it is being replaced by fly ash bricks. The red bricks are not considered environment friendly as precious top soil is used in their making.

Any big apartment complex can contribute a lot by using fly ash bricks. Making them at the site of the apartment complex saves time, transportation cost and helps in maintaining quality.

A pan mixture and a hydraulic machine set up at the site plant can help the builder turn in the required bricks.

The fly ash provided by NTPC free of cost, dust from concrete crushers and cement are mixed with water in the pan and it is transferred into the hydraulic machine. Fly ash comprises about 60 per cent of the inputs. The machine uses moulds to make bricks of various sizes. They are removed on plywood slabs and dried for two days. After curing for 14 days they are ready for use.

Comfort Homes coming up at Purushottapuram in 10 blocks is using the fly ash bricks for construction of 405 flats. The total built up area comes to 4.7 lakh sft.

“Because they are big it is easier to construct. Their making in a hydraulic machine gives the precise size unlike red bricks that slightly vary in shape. “We are using 15 to 18 lakhs of fly ash bricks for the flats and club house. For the same purpose if red bricks are used we need 40 lakhs,” says K. Satyanarayana Raju, site in charge of Comfort Homes.

The pan and hydraulic machine are located at the site itself in two sheds.

The moulds in the hydraulic machine are changed depending upon the size required. The bricks are made in the regular 4”X6”X12” and 3”X4”X9” and 6”X9”X12” size to suit various needs. Because of their precise size less cement and sand is required for plastering. It's stronger than the red brick and transmits less heat.

‘Power-saving'

This saves power consumption over a period of time, says Mr. Satyanarayana Raju.

“What we are saving in terms of transportation and time by making at the site is being used for quality material improving the quality of bricks,” says another site in charge D.V.V. Krishnam Raju. Besides, it provides employment to about 15 persons.