The Indian Institute of Technology Hyderabad and KIIT School of Architecture, Bhubaneshwar, have shown a new way of converting agricultural waste into a sustainable material and churning wealth out of it.
It is one of the most significant innovations, considering the massive air pollution agro-wase produces and the loss of fertile topsoil.
The institutes have developed bio-bricks for construction from agricultural waste products and constructed India's first bio-brick building as a sample. Besides, the product solves serves two purposes — waste management and an eco-friendly approach to sustainable development. These bricks are economical as well.
A metal framework supports these bricks. The roof is made of bio-bricks over PVC sheets, which reduces heat by 5-6 degrees. The walls are cement-plastered to protect the bio-bricks from rain.
The institute inaugurated the building on Thursday, September 9. IIT-H Director BS Murthy called the innovation a perfect illustration of 'Wealth from Waste', The Indian Express reported.
The team will now propose the idea to the Ministry of Agriculture to promote the adoption of cost-effective buildings by the rural community.
Fathers Of The Innovation
The brilliants minds behind the innovation are research scholar Priyabrata Rautray and Avik Roy, Assistant Professor, KIIT School of Architecture, Bhubaneshwar. The research work was done under the supervision of Professor Deepak John Mathew, Head, Design Department, IIT Hyderabad and Dr Boris Eisenbart from Swinburne University of Technology, Australia.
The duo published two research papers on bio-bricks in 2019 at the international conferences at International Centre for Environment Audit and Sustainable Development (ICED) at TU Delft, Netherlands, and ICoRD 2021, IIT Mumbai.
The team has also received a 'Special Recognition Trophy' for sustainable housing at Rural Innovators Start-Up Conclave 2019.
In April this year, they booked a patent for the material and its manufacturing technology.
Professor Mathew called the technology a game-changer for the farmers, who can use their agricultural waste and generate income from it. The material can be made on the site, reducing labour costs and opening employment opportunities for several locals.
According to the report, these bricks are 1/8 and 1/10 of weight for a similar volume compared to burnt clay bricks and concrete blocks. They cost about ₹ 2-3 in mass production.