Top 10 Building Material used in Construction in India

There are many different types of building materials used in the construction industry including Concrete, Steel, Wood and Masonry. Every single material is varied with diverse properties like weight, strength, durability and cost making it suitable for certain types of applications. The choice of materials for construction is based on cost and effectiveness to resisting the loads and stresses acting on the structure. Architects and builders work closely with their clients and decide on the type of Construction and Building Materials to be used in each project.

Now, the construction industry in India fits in a variety of locally sourced materials. This highly depends on the kind of construction, which range from ‘Kuccha’ mud houses to modern town infrastructures that use prime building materials. The pressing problem with the industry is, however, the way the source materials are obtained. Sand mining, open fly ash factories, and disregard of sustainability standards have had a huge impact on the environment across the past decades. While the civil engineering and construction industry has boomed over the past decade, the country faces strong challenges from the exhaustive and highly polluting nature of building materials. Problems like illegal sand mining have been affecting the river systems. Densely clustered city planning has been leading to climatic disasters like the one our nation’s capital city has been fighting with for over a decade now.

Construction and Building Materials used in India

The new age infrastructure weights a blend of innovative construction styles along with the use of vigorous technology and high end and durable construction and building material to bring in the desired shell life and sustainability. With upsurging numbers of skyscrapers and huge infrastructure projects being planned, the need for them to be made up of most appropriate materials has risen. In 1990, the Indian Government took an initiative under the Building Materials & Technology Promotion Council (BMTPC) to encourage and promote sustainable, energy efficient and environmentally feasible building materials. The commonly used construction and building materials in India includes:

Source

1. Wood

Compared to alternatives like plastic and other engineered products, wood offers a great natural advantage. Traditionally, wood construction has been the primary choice of Indian construction, especially in rural areas. In modern times, wood as a building material is also making headway into urban spaces. The advantages include:

  • High tensile strength – lightweight and higher self-support length
  • Heat and electrical resistance – natural resistance to construction and heat – offering more stability and safety
  • Sound absorption – Naturally acoustic properties make it a great advantage in city living and workspaces
  • Aesthetic – Again, the natural touch of wood is fresh. Also, an incredible range of wood is available, based on the need.

Wood construction, however, has its set of disadvantages including:

  • Deforestation – sourcing requires cutting down of trees
  • Prone to damage – Easily damaged by natural elements
  • High maintenance – requires expensive maintenance

Source

2. Plastic

Mainly used as polymers in the construction industry, they form a relatively small percentage of the building materials in India. Its advantages include:

  • Can be molded into any shape or form
  • Hard, resilient, heat tolerant
  • Immune to water damage
  • Cost effective

However, at the same time,

  • Environment damage – Is not biodegradable and hence pollutes the environment
  • Flammable – Can be an easy cause of fires

Source

3. Glass

Glass has become an exceedingly important material in the urban scape. Not just corporate offices, but even modern homes are using glass as a façade alternative. The main advantages include:

  • Beautification – Looks good from outside
  • More sunshine – allows for maximum use of daylight, while saving energy costs
  • Privacy – Comes in a huge variety of reflective surfaces to offer privacy
  • UV Resistant – Keeps off the harmful UV rays from the indoors

However, glass fails when it is about:

  • Costly – Expensive to deploy and needs to be carefully handled
  • High maintenance – Requires regular cleaning and this can be challenging with high glass walls
  • Security concerns – Privacy and safety can be compromised

Source

4. Metal

Aluminum and steel alloys form a big part of the construction industry across the globe and are in fact the framework for big structures. The strengths lie in:

  • Flexibility and resilience – Highly durable and strong
  • Weatherproof – Can withstand adverse climatic conditions to a great extent
  • Fire resistant – less prone to burning, compared to wood or glass

Its disadvantages include:

  • Prone to rust – and consequently affects the structural integrity of the construction
  • Difficult to seal – inconvenient to design
  • Expensive – metal constructions are highly expensive. Also, they require high maintenance

Source

5. Cement

Cement is a binder and is perhaps the crux of all kinds of construction across India. It offers strong resilience to the construction and overall integrity of the building. The advantages include:

  • Massive and are better at accumulating heat – a longer warming/cooling cycle
  • Strong – can resist high compressive load
  • Easily manufactured

However, cement brings in several disadvantages when you look at the environment side of the issue. They have:

  • High carbon footprint
  • Are too hard and consequently very brittle – prone to cracking
  • Weather quickly – suck up dirt and dampness

Source

6. Bricks and Blocks

Made up of clay or mud, bricks come in several shapes and offer high strength to the construction. They have long been used to construct homes and offices across India. Its advantages include:

  • High thermal stability
  • Made from local materials
  • Cheap to manufacture and durable to use
  • Offers a range of insulation, moisture absorption and resonance properties

However, bricks are:

  • Environmentally damaging – soil excavation resulting in soil erosion
  • Requires high construction costs

7. Fly Ash Bricks

Fly Ash Bricks is a building material made using class C or class F fly ash and water. Fly ash is a byproduct from coal-fired power plants that are frequently used as an admixture in concrete to replace a portion of the Portland cement. Fly ash bricks are very commonly used in India mainly in the construction of low-rise buildings.

Few categories of fly ash bricks are also made from mineral residue, glass, water, and fly ash. They are energy efficient, water-resistant and provide natural thermal insulation for a low-cost house. But, they too come with certain disadvantages, these include:

  • Slow Strength Gain
  • Longer Setting Times
  • Poor Air Content Control

Read more at: Disadvantages Of Using Fly Ash Bricks In Your Project6. Concrete

Concrete, as in cement brings in the same set of advantages and disadvantages. They are long lasting building materials and have become the foundation for India’s bridges, highways, reservoirs, dams, parking structures, and everything big.

8. Concrete

Concrete, as in cement brings in the same set of advantages and disadvantages. They are long lasting building materials and have become the foundation for India’s bridges,

highways, reservoirs, dams, parking structures, and everything big

Source

9. Ferrocement Wall Panels

Ferrocement is made of cement mortar reinforced with small diameter closely spaced steel wire mesh to form a thin section conforming high performance of serviceability. It is a type of slim wall reinforced concrete panel where hydraulic cement is casted with closely spaced layers of continuous small diameter metal mesh. Ferrocement wall panels are used for walling and are particularly suitable where speedy construction is needed.

Salient features:

  • Energy efficient
  • Cost effective
  • Dimensional regularity in size and shape
  • Saves time in construction

10. Clay Bricks – The Most Superior Building Material

Clay bricks are, first of all, ideal for the tropical climate like India. Consequently, it has also been the oldest known building material for its utility and high sustainability. What’s more important is that clay brick is the healthiest and greenest of all the alternative solutions. Sourcing of clay is the least devastating on the environment and it can even be recycled into the process.

There are others too…

Apart from the ones listed above, plastic, ceramic and foam are other commonly used construction and building material in India.

– Foam– This one is mainly used for insulation purposes. Foam is known for its properties for maintaining temperatures, being light in weight and extremely flexible between building materials like cement and wood.

– Ceramic – a tile or fixture that is made up of clay that are fired up in kilns. These are mainly used in construction project for flooring, walls, counter tops and occasionally for ceilings in buildings.

– Bamboo – unquestionably, bamboo is one of the first construction and building materials known to man. While this material isn’t used extensively in urban construction, you may still see them in good use in rural areas. Bamboo is a perfect green building material that has been very popular in India due to its durability and low cost.

Conclusion

As the need for futuristic homes increases, we also need to be responsible for the environmental impact that our population leaves behind. Choosing green building materials like clay can help the cause of the environment and is perhaps the best solution at hand presently.

Source – www.gosmamrtbricks.com

Fly Ash brick is not good for a Sustainable Building !

What is Fly Ash? It is a powder containing toxic metals like mercury, arsenic, antinomy, chromium, etc. These metals create a very negative impact on our environment and are one of the things that go into the making of Fly Ash Bricks.

In this blog, we shall highlight the 7 major disadvantages of using Fly Ash Bricks in your construction project.

Let’s Begin With – What Is Fly Ash Bricks?

Fly Ash Bricks is a building material made using class C or class F fly ash and water. Fly ash is a byproduct from coal-fired power plants that are frequently used as an admixture in concrete to replace a portion of the Portland cement

Disadvantages Of Using Fly Ash Bricks

Image by Thamizhpparithi Maari under CC BY-SA 3.0

Fly ash in concrete is believed to improve performance in some ways, however, it has some evident disadvantages. We’ve highlighted a few disadvantages of using Fly Ash in concrete below:

1. Slow Strength Gain

Once concrete changes to a solid state a few hours after pouring, but its curing process takes longer. After its initial setting period, It continues to gain strength for weeks. The addition of fly ash can increase the length of time concrete takes to reach its full strength, this can be a big issue as slow strength gain directly affects the speed of construction.

2. Longer Setting Times

Fly ash admixtures can increase the time concrete takes for settling. Occasionally this could be desirable, mostly in hot weather where concrete set times are hustled, but during other times it can be a matter of inconvenience as it can delay construction. In such scenarios, other admixtures could be needed to adjust the set time of the concrete. Again, this proportion of admixtures could depend on the percent fly ash in the mixture and the outside temperature.

3. Poor Air Content Control

Concrete is vulnerable to damage from freeze/thaw cycles if it does not contain air. Here, tiny air bubbles can be created in concrete by using air-entraining admixtures which cause the concrete to foam in the mixing and pouring stage. Fly ash reduces the amount of air entrainment, and concrete mixtures high in fly ash often require more air-entraining admixture.

4. Seasonal Restrictions

Now, the winter season is very problematic for concrete pouring, and mixtures high in fly ash are even more prone to low temperatures. As we highlighted before, low temperatures increase the setting times and cause slow strength gain even in concrete mixtures without fly ash. And, when fly ash is added it can exaggerate these problems.

5. Color Inconsistency

While the structural effects of fly ash in concrete are more critical, it also has some cosmetic concerns. If there is fly ash in concrete it becomes more difficult to control the color. Fly ash can also cause many more visual inconsistencies on the finished surface, like dark streaks rising due to carbon particles.

6. Size limitations

Fly Ash Bricks face major limitations in size. Also, only modular size bricks can be produced. Large size bricks face the danger of getting more breakages or cracks.

7. Restricted Suitability

Not all fly ash is suitable for construction, only those produced in power plants are usually compatible with concrete. Other fly ash may need beneficiation. It is very important to use only high-quality fly ash otherwise it can have negative effects on the structure.

Let’s Summarise

Smaller builders and housing contractors may not be very familiar with fly ash products, that can have different properties depending on where and how the fly ash was obtained. Also, fly ash applications can face resistance from traditional builders who are well aware of its tendency to effloresce along with the concerns about thaw/freeze performance. Other prominent concerns of using fly ash bricks include:

  • Slower strength gain
  • Seasonal limitation
  • Increased need for air-entraining admixtures
  • Increase of salt scaling produced by higher proportions of fly ash

Alternatively, Walls made with Porotherm Smart Bricks i.e. has the power of Clay provides the home builders with a lifetime opportunity of building strong, comfortable, and healthy homes during all seasons.

Ways to make Sustainable Buildings and it’s requirement after post covid era !

As global warming and climate change increasingly enter public consciousness and impact public life, sustainability and eco-friendly living ways are emerging. Whether through the increasingly popular zero-waste lifestyle or using renewable energy like solar panels, humanity is continually making micro strides towards a more ecologically conscious way of life. Especially amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the increasing need for cleaner air and water to maintain basic hygiene means we need to take better care of our environments. 

(Source: Green Money)

This shift in the public’s comprehension of our climate crisis has impacted the real estate industry. Builders are more conscious of creating sustainable real estate (also called green real estate).  Buildings and construction centers continue consuming one-third of the world’s energy while contributing 40% of global CO2 emissions. Such statistics have led architects to reconsider their designs, pushing for a more sustainable building process, instead. 

How to Build Sustainable Real Estate

Making buildings energy efficient reduces their carbon footprints drastically. This remains the primary goal of builders across the world. Investing in eco-friendly living is more than just planting a garden or creating green spaces. While these are vital to keeping the air toxin-free, several aspects of the building require consideration to build a green building truly.

LED Lighting

LED lights are slowly replacing filament bulbs as the primary sources of light within a house. LED lights can add an atmospheric glow, and you can adjust the intensity of the light to your specifications. The fact that they enormously reduce your carbon footprint is simply the cherry on top. Therefore, they are becoming a favorite among sustainable real estate builders today. They are sleek, modern features that add elegance and eco-friendliness to every home. 

Vegetable Gardens and Orchards

Building homes with expansive backyards for gardening and growing your greens is also on the rise. This not only provides a breath of fresh air but having greenery around you has been proven to calm residents down. Additionally, you can grow your fruits and vegetables untouched by any pesticides or other foreign bodies. You get all your nutrients while maintaining an ecosystem. 

Insulating the Walls and Floors

(Source: Green Passive Solar Magazine)

Insulation is a huge part of building design that regulates indoor temperatures. It is well-documented that air conditioning and other such temperature regulating machinery adversely impacts the environment. Additionally, they also drive up electricity costs. Well-constructed insulation is a solution to this – ensuring that the indoor temperature stays leveled regardless of the outdoors. 

Solar Energy and Rainwater Harvesting

Solar panels are slowly making their way into everyday use. The cost of purchasing solar panels has come down significantly since they were first introduced as a result. Along with rainwater harvesting – i.e., reusing rainwater for drinking and bathing purposes – solar energy is one of the most energy-efficient methods of building sustainable real estate. Unlike fuel-based energy sources, solar energy has a negligible environmental impact while remaining robust and sustaining your home. Rainwater harvesting, similarly, allows the continuously-depleting underground water table to replenish while being your primary source of water. It can also help bring back the water table, therefore reducing the temperature of the Earth. 

Green Roofs and Walls

Covering the roof with a lawn or the walls with greens is becoming more and more common. This type of sustainable real estate provides a cooling effect and natural insulation and looks very aesthetically pleasing. As we mentioned earlier, greenery has a naturally calming effect. Therefore, green roofs and walls help prevent you from both heat and stress-induced strokes. 

Using Locally-Sourced Building Materials

Several sustainable real estate experts advocate for the use of local resources. This cuts down on possible pollution during the transportation of building materials. It also promotes local businesses and encourages homes to be build using available resources. This ensures that the materials are climate-appropriate and have a much lower environmental impact. 

(Source: Daily Green World)

Looking Forward

These are just a few sustainable real estate trends that have emerged during COVID-19 and are here to stay. Whether in terms of energy efficiency or aesthetic value, the benefits of eco-friendly living cannot be underplayed. 

More people are switching to homes that are environmentally conscious because of better air quality. Builders are answering to these demands and creating more environmentally-friendly homes. Additionally, grading criteria like the US Green Building Council’s LEED program give real estate agencies the push to continue sustainable real estate design today. 

Ten Materials which Contribute in making Energy Efficient Buildings

10 energy efficient building materials

Use of the sustainable material is a part of the sustainable development. Here we feature some of the most significant energy efficient building material.

Green buildings are ageless in the true sense. Green buildings are referred to as sustainable, intelligent, and reduced ecological footprint buildings. These buildings adopt building materials that increase energy efficiency and reduce water consumption. The green building practice is becoming popular among developers. The green building material market drives the demand for green building construction. Green building is one of the important solutions of sustainable development.

The sustainable building includes many strategies during design, construction and operation of a building project. Use of the sustainable and energy efficient green material is a part of the sustainable development. A green building is defined as the high performance building which uses less water, energy, generates less waste, maintains indoor air quality for the occupants and uses efficient building materials. The green materials are environmentally responsible materials as they help in reducing environmental impact. The sustainable building materials should have resource efficiency, indoor air quality energy efficiency and affordability.

A green building needs special materials and systems to adapt sustainability compared with a conventional building. In line with the growing trend of green building development, the industry of green building materials and services is also developing in India. The sustainable building incorporates many strategies during design construction and operation of building project. Using green building material is one of the sustainable design construction and operation strategies. The green materials are environmentally responsible materials as they help in reducing environmental impacts.

Energy efficient building material

Roofing

One of the biggest influences on the energy efficiency of building is the type of roof that it has installed over it. Fundamentally, for a roof to be energy efficient, it needs to do a good job of blocking the heat out instead of absorbing it. When a roof absorbs heat, that warmth is transferred into the air inside the building radiantly, and pretty soon the entire interior has gotten much warmer.

Fibre Cement

Although fibre cement roofing resembles slate in most manners, it is considerably lightweight in comparison. This is made from a mixture of portland cement and special cellulose fibre. It is an efficient fire-retardant apart from being durable in all weathers.

Concrete Tiles

These tiles are made from Portland cement and rank quite low on the eco proof scale. However, their durability has led to them becoming remarkably popular in recent years. The weight is significantly heavier than others hence it has to be considered while designing the house.

Insulation

Insulation decreases the exchange of heat (both heat gain and heat loss) through the many surfaces in a building—walls, ducts, roof, etc. In a well-insulated building, less warm air escapes during the winter, and less cool air escapes during the summer, reducing the amount of energy needed for heating and cooling. Insulation can actually be one of the most practical and cost-effective ways to improve a building’s energy efficiency: by improving the insulation in new and existing buildings, one can enjoy significant savings and reductions in energy usage.

Polyurethane insulation

Polyurethane insulation is used in many residential and commercial buildings. It is a solid, cellular polymer with a high thermal resistance. Polyurethane insulation comes in open or closed cell form, in varying densities. It is typically installed as insulation on the roofs, walls, floors and ceilings of new and retrofit buildings. It is also used to insulate appliances, pipes and a variety of other products. Polyurethane insulation is a sustainable material delivering real benefits to society facing escalating energy costs, diminishing fossil fuels and the negative environmental effects of climate change.

Polyurethane insulation is a sustainable material delivering real benefits to society facing escalating energy costs, diminishing fossil fuels and the negative environmental effects of climate change.

Spray Polyurethane Foam Insulation

Spray Polyurethane Foam (SPF) is an insulation product that is produced on-site and is typically applied by certified applicators. Two liquid components, polymeric MDI (A) and a polyol blend (B) are mixed at high or low pressure using a spray gun, and the reacting mix is sprayed onto the substrate. It expands and solidifies to form polyurethane foam that adheres well to the area it is applied to, providing a seamless seal. SPF insulation is ideal for roofs. It can also be sprayed into exterior wall cavities, or onto the exterior sheathing of commercial and residential buildings. SPF is compatible with many different wall types.

Construction chemicals

Construction chemicals improve the quality and durability of the buildings. Commonly used as bonding agents, tile adhesives, expansion & crack joint filters, and plasticizers, these chemicals increase the overall life of the construction work along with providing protection against environmental perils. Apart from adding more strength to the buildings, these chemicals bring down the volume of water and cement used in the construction process at an excellent rate.

Another key reason behind the improved adoption of construction chemicals is that it improves the performance of emerging building technologies like new thermoset hotmelts, structural tapes, and multi-purpose adhesives. Construction chemicals are one of the best things to be initiated in the building construction industry. Its astute use is sure to change the face of the global green building market.

Sealants

Sealants used to block the passage of fluids through the surface or joints or openings in materials, a type of mechanical seal in other words, they seal top structures to the substrate, and are particularly effective in waterproofing processes by keeping moisture out.

When sealants are used between substrates having different thermal coefficients of expansion or differing elongation under stress, they need to have adequate flexibility and elongation. Sealants generally contain inert filler material and are usually formulated with an elastomer to give the required flexibility and elongation. They usually have a paste consistency to allow filling of gaps between substrates. Low shrinkage after application is often required. Many adhesive technologies can be formulated into sealants.

Waterproofing

Water proofing admixtures can be broadly grouped as permeability reducers and water repellents or hydrophobic (water hating) agents. Permeability reducers are pore filling and porosive reducing materials which can be further classified into very fine particulate matters, workability and air entering admixtures, accelerators.

Water Proofers

Water repellent coatings, which can be applied on the concrete surface to impart water proofing to the concrete structure. Thermoplastic PU has been used in the water proofing of below grade structures building foundation, basements, reservoirs, ponds, walkways, tunnels, earthen shelters, bridge, abutments, retaining walls, landfills and water canals.  Acrylic compound polymer emulsion based additive for cement based coatings when mixed with cement gives excellent water proofing, excellent adhesion to concrete substrate, steel, asbestos, excellent resistance to ultra violet rays, excellent breathing properties and helps in reducing corrosion of reinforcement.  Styrene butadiene co polymer emulsion have also been used as water proofing coating for concrete, which also increase adhesion strength, chemical resistance and abrasion resistance.

Windows

Windows also represent the major source of heat gain/loss, visual and thermal discomfort. In residential and commercial buildings, a considerable amount of energy has been used to compensate the unwanted heat gain/loss through windows. Windows have undergone a technological revolution in recent years. Energy-efficient window are now available that can dramatically cut building energy consumption. These high-performance windows feature multiple glazing, specialized transparent coatings, insulating gas in between glass panes and improved frame. All these features reduce heat transfer, thus able to cut energy burden due to the window openings.

Low-e glass

Low-e glass stands for low-emissivity glass. This type of glass has a special metal coating which able to reflect much of the infrared portion of the solar spectrum while transmitting most of the visible. The low-e glass manages the sun’s heat by filtering the sun’s short-wave radiation. This cuts down the amount of solar heat gain into the building. Therefore, the energy efficiency of low-e glass is higher than that of ordinary clear glass.

Double Glazed Glasses

Double glazing glasses are nothing but a combination of multiple glass panes mostly two in number and can be three at times, these panes are having a separation by a spacer and a still layer of vacuum or gas which reduces the heat transfer while forming a part of building envelope. The thermal resistance provided reduces the artificial heating required leading to a reduction in the overall cost and also the ecological footprint. These glasses are also called as insulation glasses and the manufacturing of the same comes in with a thickness ranging from 3mm to 12mm or more depending upon its application.

source – https://aceupdate.com/2018/03/06/10-energy-efficient-building-materials/

To choose which is better between Cement brick & clay brick ?

Building your new home is one of the biggest investments you will ever make and, regardless of your budget, the exteriors of the home deserve more attention than the interiors – hence it is one of the best areas to consider good investments in. Now, if you want your investment to be a smart one you have to understand that the exteriors of your home should be built in such a way that it can provide you higher resale value in the future. And yes, the immediate benefits come along, which includes better protection and lesser maintenance cost or need for repairs due to continuous wear and tear. There are several options available that you can choose for exterior cladding, and it can be quite tempting to select the lesser expensive option. Again, you have the fact that sometimes saving a few extra bucks could cost you more expenses down the road. Today in this blog we are going to compare the two most commonly chosen wall cladding materials for your home’s exterior i.e., Cement Bricks Vs Clay Bricks.

Top 5’s For Cement Bricks Vs Clay Bricks Which Is Better

Here’s a 5-pointer comparison for the Cement Bricks Vs Clay Bricks:

1. Natural Vs. Artificial – Aesthetics

The moment you see your home you should get that proud feeling, isn’t it? And you get that feeling when you successfully create and maintain an excellent curb appeal; something that guarantees you a good return on your investment.

One interesting thing about clay brick masonry homes is that it promises you higher resale value. You may ask why; this is because of brick’s natural durability. Also, the aesthetic value of bricks doesn’t fade, break, crack, age, or grow dated. On the other hand, cement bricks are prone to fading, these have visible seams, can display cracks in the caulking, and has a ‘plasticky’ look which can nowhere match the charm of rustic bricks.

One more thing to note with Cement Bricks Vs Clay bricks is the color options available. Fiber cement siding does come in numerous colors, but clay bricks are available in limitless options with dozens of shades and textures. Clay bricks give us the option to be added even on creative details like around windows and doors, on porches and arches, and much more.

2. Installation Procedure

The brick installation process is tried and tested over generations now, but fiber cement brick installation is known for its complexity. Yes, if not done correctly cement masonry walls may face unsightly and expensive moisture problems. You can do quick research on common cement masonry installation errors to understand more information around it. Our point here is that any faults in the installation can create opportunities for moisture damage resulting in swelling, delamination, crumbling, and loss of paint adhesion.

3. Strongest Vs. Mediocre – Safety And Durability

A brick home provides superior protection from storms and fire. The Brick Industry Association provides this helpful web page with videos and studies that show how well brick performs to keep you, your family, and your investment well protected.

4. Energy Efficiency

Clay brick masonry homes unquestionably lead the way when it comes to energy efficiency. They are known for excellent thermal mass that provides and protects your home’s interior temperature from both cold and heat. Hence, you would save enormously on heating and cooling irrespective of the climate you stay in. Brick wall assemblies involve thermal mass and air space that create its remarkable energy performance.

5. Maintenance

To keep a cement brick masonry, look good, you would need to paint it at regular intervals of 5 – 7 years on an average. Painting your exteriors involves huge expense, along with this you would also need to regularly inspect the caulking used for joints, edges, around windows, and trim; caulking is prone to cracking and wearing down over time. And, if you need to do repairs, it’s hard to keep the entire exterior looking uniform. If you experience damage from accidents, sun fading, or storms, paint touch-ups might end up looking patchy too.

Compare this work to never having to clean, repair, or replace your brick exterior – that’s saving time and money!

Exterior cladding is perhaps the biggest portion of your budget. Brick is generally considered a more expensive option, but when you compare Cement Bricks Vs Clay Bricks along with the benefits the incremental difference could be huge in terms of longevity and returns – Basically brick saves you time and money over the years.

You can look upon Porotherm blocks. These are hollow clay blocks designed to provide better efficiency, durability, ease of use, and a host of other benefits that aid in cost-effective exterior wall construction.

Source – https://gosmartbricks.com

Green technology is essential for Future Construction

Builders all over the globe are gravitating towards greener technology methods that can make buildings energy-efficient and sustainable. Homeowners are also showing interest in projects that deploy raw material and construction techniques with a lower carbon footprint and that are not detrimental to the environment. These techniques are being extensively used in modern construction right from the inception phase and in every aspect of the project construction; design, selection of raw material, the systems that run the construction, and the operation.

Renewable power

Pic Credits: https://www.treehugger.com/

Renewable energy sources help in the creation of self-powered buildings. These structures generate their own power to support their energy requirement. In most cases, it is done through solar and wind power. The use of solar power isn’t a new technology. It has been around for long, but now it is widely used by builders as an effective and green alternative to traditional energy sources. 

Using the sun’s energy in active solar power generation involves using the solar panels to generate electricity. Passive solar power generation, on the other hand, uses the sun’s rays to heat the houses using the strategic placement of windows and heat-absorbing surfaces. Wind power is being used by skyscrapers that have wind turbines mounted on the rooftops. The strong air currents at high altitudes propel the turbine blades which results in the generation of power.

Green Insulation

Pic Credits: https://theconstructor.org/building/

Thermal insulation of a building plays a very important role in improving the quality of life of the people residing or working there. Using hollow clay bricks like the Porotherm Thermo bricks is one such greener technology innovations in the field of modern construction for green insulation. These bricks are eco-friendly, made from easily available raw material that is clay, and rank high on the sustainability meter. 

Sustainable raw material

Pic Credits: https://greenbuildingelements.com/

Using bio-degradable raw material is one of the ways of creating a sustainable structure. A lot of waste products and toxin materials are generated during the construction of a building. This waste piles up in landfills for centuries before degrading. We can avoid this by going in for bio-degradable raw materials like bamboo, recycled glass, and organic paints. A relatively newer but effective sustainable material that can be used is eco-concrete. It is practical, durable, strong, and acts as an air purifier with its smog-eating properties. These raw materials do not pose any threat to the environment and improve the productivity and health of people. 

Water-efficient systems

Pic Credits: https://www.homeonline.com/hol/home-tips

Using water-efficient technologies in the construction process is one of the green and sustainable ways of making the structure adhere to green standards and green technology. These technologies include re-use and application of efficient water supply systems and deploy methods like rainwater harvesting, dual plumbing, grey-water re-use, and water conservation fixtures. The use of these water-efficient technologies can lower water wastage by as much as 15%.

Cool roofs and smart glasses

Pic Credit: https://energyhawksusa.com/

Cool roofs reflect more of the sun’s rays than other roofs and prevent the warm or cool air inside from escaping through the top of a building. A cool roof keeps the temperature inside a building low (a cool roof can cut that down by more than 50 degrees) that reduces the strain on the air conditioning systems. This, in turn, reduces the emissions from the heating and cooling units. 

Smart glass is an electrochromic glass that uses a tiny burst of electricity to charge ions on a window layer. It controls the amount of light that the glass will reflect. It is different from the low emittance windows that block partial radiation of the sun as with smart glass, you can choose the amount of light you want to block. This technology is especially beneficial for skyscrapers that use a lot of glass in their façade. The smart glass windows tint automatically during peak sun hours and become transparent in the evenings, night. This glass is expected to reduce HVAC costs by almost 25 %.

A structure becomes great not only by its design but also by its impact on the environment. It is time for the buildings to enter into a symbiotic and healthy relationship with the environment by using green technology-based construction methods. 

Source – gosmartbricks.com

Understanding all about Roof Insulation & its importance

The insulation of a roof is just as important as the outer material. Insulation is important to the longevity of your roofing system and has been used for centuries. Over the years, insulation has changed and adapted, but its purpose is the same; keeping heat inside when you need it and outside when you don’t.

The Importance of Roofing Insulation

Insulating the roof of your building 2saves you money every year. By controlling the internal building temperature insulation saves the need for energy. You no longer need as heating and air conditioning. Insulation reduces the amount of energy needed to run the building. Using less energy means you are keeping money in the bank and protecting the environment by leaving behind a smaller carbon footprint.
Roofing is exposed to more environmental pressures than any other part of the building, especially weather. Rain, snow and sun exposure wears away roofing and can cause damage which interferes with insulation and energy savings.

1] What Is Roof Insulation?

Unquestionably, the roof is an integral part of any building structure as it protects the structure against extreme weather. Without it, the walls and even the foundation of any structure are defenseless to damage. A roof that is well-maintained can act as an excellent defense element for the building shielding it from all harsh elements – hence roof insulation is imperative.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy heating and cooling home accounts for approximately 48 percent of the overall energy consumption. And a typical house loses nearly 44 percent of the available energy to poor insulation. Explaining in simple words, deprived of any material blocking it, warm air would rise upwards naturally and cold air will descend – Resulting in abrupt interior temperatures. There may also be significant heat gains through roofs during the summer. This means that insulating a loft, attic or roof is a simple and effective way of reducing heat loss, the size of heating and cooling systems, energy usage and so carbon emissions. Hence if you wish to improve energy efficiency in a home, you would need to work on your home insulation.

Here is a simple video that explains roof insulation:

2] Different Types Of Roof Insulation

There is a range of different materials available that are easily available for roof insulation, a few of which are comparatively cheap and can be installed without any specialist expertise:

·Blanket Insulation Or Matting Insulation

One of the most common and easiest to install is blanket insulation. These generally come in foil-backed rolls or rafters, and are held in place using timber battens between the rafters or joists. Blanket insulation is usually made of glass wool or mineral but sometimes these are also made from plastic fibers and natural fibers like cotton and sheep’s wool.

·Foam Boards

Rigid panels of insulation that are first cut and then fitted in place. Commonly foam boards are made of polystyrene, polyisocyanurate, and polyurethane.

·Radiant Barriers

Radiant barriers constrain heat transfer by thermal radiation and are more effective in hot climatic conditions. These can be easily stapled to the underside of the rafters. According to studies, this type of roof insulation can significantly gain heat.

·Blown-In Insulation

This type of insulation involves cellulose mineral fibers being blown into a void in the roof space. These demand specialist equipment and expertise, but again, these are very quick to install and are very effective for spaces that have limited access, like the gaps between roof joists.

·Spray Foam Insulation

Here, spray foam is formed of polyurethane, and then it is sprayed as a liquid which slowly expands to up to 100 times its original volume. Once it sets, it creates an effective thermal and noise insulating layer.

3] Advantages Of Insulation

As a homeowner, there are multiple reasons to insulate, here are a few:

  • Energy and cost efficiency – With efficient insulation, you will save energy and money. Around 30 percent of a building’s heat loss is in the roofing. When an efficient insulation system is properly installed, you are saving both.
  • Adds an additional layer of protection – It prevents damage in the long run that can potentially come from moisture and ice dams.
  • Reduces carbon footprint – Insulating your roof is one of the most important energy-saving projects you can complete in your home. Studies suggest that efficient insulation reduces CO2 emissions which aid in combating air pollution.
  • Prevents the growth of molds – Insulation is the best tool to prevent molds from forming. Because insulation manages the temperature and moisture of a building, it directly affects the growth of molds.

Roof insulation may add to your expenses during construction for now, but soon you would see that you are getting more returns in the term of savings in the long-run.

4] Roof Insulation – Inside Vs Outside

The insulation of your roof can be done either from inside or outside:

Insulating your roof from the outside has many advantages. In addition to avoiding emptying any rooms in the attic, insulation from the outside does not cause a decrease in your living space and limits the risk of thermal bridges. This is a preferred solution if you are renovating a facade or roof. Among other benefits, this technique leaves the frame apparent from the attic.

Insulation from the inside is a suitable solution, mainly in new construction. This roof insulation method is ideal if you have not yet fitted out the attic and allows you to keep the roof covering system unscathed.

5] Things To Consider Before A Roofing Insulation Installation

If you feel that you need roofing insulation, here are a few things you should know and consider more things to know.

  • Insulate Flat Roof From Above

A flat roof should if possible be insulated from above. A layer of rigid insulation board could be added either on top of the roof’s weatherproof layer or directly on top of the timber roof surface, with a new weatherproof layer on top of the insulation.

  • Decide Whether To Insulate Your Attic Floor Or Roof

If you plan to utilize your attic space as a bedroom, you need to keep it warm as the rest of the house. In that case, insulate the roof. But if you don’t use your attic, you can insulate the floor. This option is easier and more affordable. Insulating both the attic floor and the roof is possible. Just keep in mind that this process is difficult and expensive.

  • Get A Roof Replacement During The Fall Season

Fall makes a perfect time to replace your old roof. Your roofing contractor can do a roof insulation foam installation at the same time. This prepares your roof for the winter. With new roofing insulation, you save on winter heating.

  • Beware Of Fire Hazards

Find a qualified and legit roofing contractor that knows how to install roof insulation foil or your preferred material. Incorrect installation can create fire hazards.

Source – Gomsmartbrickc.com, adcoroofing.com

Sustainable Future Buildings : After the Post Covid Era

Buildings : After the Post Covid Era

Year 2020 will be the year called as the year for Phase Transition not only because of a fight from virus but also the Transition in various sectors and how it will be different with the future scenarios. Its impacts are felt in every facet of society, from an individual’s emotional and social health to the broader consequences felt in the built environment, i.e. in architecture.

(Source: The New Yorker)

The hygiene levels demanded by COVID-19 simultaneously require a cleaner, more pollution-free environment something that begins at home. Therefore, sustainable homes that promote environmental consciousness are on the rise as harbingers of clean air and lower environmental impacts.

The Current Scenario

As we shift to work-from-home environments (with many companies indicating a permanent shift), the importance of the home comes into focus. Working from home does not mean that we suddenly have more than 24 hours in a day. It simply means we spend more time within the four walls of our homes, hoping that we are safer from the virus.

Eco-friendly homes, in this regard, offer a double benefit: they clean and purify the air indoors, reducing the risk of airborne diseases, and they reduce the overall environmental impact. Architecture has long been a contributor to global warming, with Ed Mazria, the founder of Arch2030, saying that buildings will account for 60% of greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

Therefore, urban and architectural planning will undergo a radical shift post-COVID. The goal will continue being providing the safest possible spaces that protect humans from COVID and any potential future virus of this magnitude. The built environment was not previously concerned with social distancing, therefore not accounting for it during the planning process. COVID changed this and is now causing indoor gardens, more partitions, and fewer open-plan spaces. These are all indicative of green or healthy housing techniques by preventing high-density crowding and giving people the feel of the outdoors from their homes.

Therefore, several consequences may be here to stay in the post-COVID world of sustainable homes.

The Future of Eco-Friendly Homes

(Source: World Green Building Council)

Although we have already mentioned a few possibilities, these remain the tip of the iceberg. People are more vigilant about their homes while trying to create the feeling of being outdoors. Staying cooped up at home all day can take a toll on one’s mental health, otherwise. With this in mind, we want to present some predictions for the critical changes that will stay in a post-COVID world.

Open Spaces 

Open spaces allow for the 6-feet apart mandate that prevents the virus from spreading. However, they also make places look bigger and lessen crowding. Such positive factors are in line with the WHO’s 1988 report that spoke of urban centers being hotspots for infectious diseases – something we see now in 2020.

Therefore, open spaces are the first aspect that we believe is here to stay. In sustainable homes, open spaces in the form of verandas, porches, balconies, etc. will be covered by buyers more than floor space. Additionally, the comorbidities caused by a lack of Vitamin D can make individuals more susceptible to COVID-19. This additionally makes open spaces more desirable for homebuyers.

Natural Ventilation

Artificial ventilation can cause air staleness. If the temperature is not regulated adequately through this ventilation, it can also lead to condensation on calls, leading to mold and other such problems. Natural ventilation allows for a literal breath of fresh air to continually flow through the house.

Incorporating natural ventilation also reduces the need for air conditioners and other such mechanisms that adversely impact the environment. This automatically paves the way for eco-friendly homes.

Building Materials that Promote Health

The kind of building materials determines the home’s insulation ability and temperature regulation. Depending on the climate the house is built in, designers will have to choose materials that will not place the occupants at risk. All-natural alternatives are an excellent way to ensure this.

Using all-natural paint, for example, prevents the likelihood of toxic fumes being released into the environment, automatically erasing a chance of illness. Therefore, the occupant stays safe and, as long as the paint is a light color, stays cool in our tropical climate. Similarly, using clay bricks or terracotta tiles promotes cooler indoor environments – something particularly necessary during Indian summers – while ensuring sustainable homes.

Office Spaces

As we previously said, work-from-home is set to become a norm of the post-COVID era. Therefore, functional, stress-busting office spaces are necessary. Incorporating greenery and lighter paint tones create stress-busting, calmer environments while creating eco-friendly homes that keep the indoor air pure in a natural, healthy way.

Meanwhile, using studies instead of desks can create more functional spaces. Here, ensure that you purchase eco-friendly furniture since furniture glue can adversely affect the air quality.

AI and Touchless Technologies

(Source: Echelon | Ai)

Saying we entered a new digital era with COVID-19 would be an understatement. AI and touchless technologies prevent virus transmission by reducing contact. They also automate environments, introducing the idea of smart homes.

Smart homes are safer while being sustainable homes in their own right. Using motion detectors to turn on lights, automatically open doors at the touch of a button, etc. are ways in which homes can evolve to meet the demands of an increasingly digital world.

Conclusion

Architecture and house planning will be different in a post-COVID world. The advantages of smart housing and sustainable living are here to stay. They offer a higher level of safety against diseases like COVID-19 while also presenting more aesthetic and less stressful spaces for occupants to use.

Methods for Natural lighting in our buildings!

Lighting Natural Sustainable Buildings

Natural lighting, also known as daylighting, is a technique that efficiently brings natural light into your home using exterior glazing (windows, skylights, etc.), thereby reducing artificial lighting requirements and saving energy. Natural lighting has been proven to increase health and comfort levels for building occupants.  

Daylight is the source of beneficial vitamin D which our body needs to stay healthy. A building could be designed in such a way that there is maximum natural light inside the house. Some of the fundamental benefits of daylight are:

  • Sunlight during the day helps in healing the body
  • It’s good for strong bones as it contains vitamin D
  • Keeps the environment inside the house clean and pleasant.
  • Builds good immune system of the members of the family
  • Daylight also keeps the happy mode on inside the house for every member of the family

There can be various ways of modeling a  house with a  good amount of natural light and ventilation. Discussed below are the sources that could be used to do so-

1. Design of the house

The house could be designed by the architect in such a way that the shape and size of the windows can be defined clearly. The shading and glazing styles must be in such a way that it suits the building. The windows must be planned in such a way that there is maximum daylight inside the house.

Daylight 1

Image Source: cloudfront.net/

2. Directions of the Windows

The placement of the windows in the house must be in such a way that natural light could comfort the house throughout the day. Windows facing north can give maximum daylight. However, the thermal heat is lost during the winters. South facing well-glazed windows can bring in a good amount of heat and be beneficial during summers and winters.

Daylight windows

Image Source: kechdesignstudio.com/

3. Use of Glazing 

Glazing is the most effective way of getting maximum natural light inside the house. Few small strip windows in the ceiling could be designed which will increase the natural light and give a trendy look to your house. Around 30 percent of the ceiling can be used for glazed windows.

Skylights natural light

Image Source: techomecontractor.com

4. Roofing Techniques

Solar panels could be installed on the roofs to generate electricity to reduce the consumption of electricity in the house. The monthly electricity bills reduce because of such panels and it is a good option to pledge for green living. These panels absorb heat during the sun hours and store it in such a way which can be used during the night. The solar panels can also be used to generate electricity in case of power shutdowns. There could be the use of tubular Skylights. These natural light saves lots of electricity as they are installed on the roof. It absorbs the natural light and then flows in a tube and brings in natural light inside the house.

daylight solar panels natural light

Image Source: logic-sk.com/

5. Use of Sober Colours

While getting your house painted use of sober colours helps in giving a bright look to the house. Light colours could be helpful in keeping the house cool. The trim of the windows can be painted in white which can help in giving an elegant look to the house.

Daylight windows 1natural light

Image Source: remcuaminhdang.vn/

6. Jali wall design for your home

A jali is a commonly used element of Indian architecture. Jali walls have numerous advantages over a solid wall since jali walls can be used in places where there is no need of a solid wall. From providing privacy to cooling the indoors, jalis make for a sensible design element particularly suited for our climatic conditions. And also saves materials and increase the speed of construction.

Image Source: architecturaldigest.in

Natural light is an essential and free resource. This resource is given less importance. However, it has maximum advantages if the house is well planned with lots of sunlight helps to keep the home environment fresh, clean and keeps the members of the family healthy.

source – Go Smart Bricks

How do eco-friendly paints contribute in lower down carbon footprint?

Changing the color of your homes is perhaps the fastest way of bringing in a complete makeover. With the rooms being just the same, repainting your home walls will feel like a completely different space and this, consequently, has been a favorite tool for both homeowners and interior decorators. However, it’s not as easy a choice when it comes to choosing the kind of paint you finally bring home. It will be important to note that we aren’t talking about color here. That is as vast a topic in its own right. Right now, we are concerned about the kind of paint materials you have to choose from. Of course, the first factor in this choice will be your budget. But if you aren’t too worried about the investment, eco-friendly paints would be the perfect suggestion.

Eco-friendly paints – What does it mean?

In simple terms, eco-friendly paints refer to natural paints that have low levels of volatile organic chemicals or VOCs. If you have ever opened a can of wall paint, you must remember the sharp smell it gives out. That’s VOC. It’s the chemical you actually smell and not only does this make you cringe for a moment, but it comes with adverse health effects in the long run. The toxic chemicals will linger in the room for a long time after a paint job is complete and in some cases, will be gradually releasing themselves for the whole lifetime of the paint itself. This is the reason why painters will tie a mask while working and insist on a well-ventilated environment.

Most paints available in the market today are oil and latex-based and according to Waste Management Inc., they fall under the “hazardous” category since the color pigments are mostly made from heavy metals such as lead.  Sometimes, paints specifically meant for outdoors also contain high amounts of fungicides. Today, most local paint brands will integrate some amount of biocide in the product to increase the shelf life and as per Green America; these can be detected even after five years of the initial paint job. All of it sounds disastrous since a home is where you are meant to raise a family, be happy and stay healthy. It’s easy to get fooled by the color but it is a responsibility to understand what lies beyond the looks!

This is where eco-friendly paints come in. A rather recent trend, these paints are generally made from a huge range of naturally available materials including milk proteins, clay, balsam, citrus, and natural minerals. The milk-based paint, for instance, is made from a combination of casein (milk protein) and lime. Though these are gradually coming into a trend, natural paints like this have actually been used for hundreds of years now. If you go to any Indian county side today, you will be astonished by how smooth they have been able to paint the walls using mud and select natural wastes. While clay mixed with cow dung has been a prominent choice of paint for village homes in India, modern technology has given rise to more sophisticated alternatives like milk paints.

Strictly for interior walls, products like milk-based paints are very low in VOC levels and are completely safe to be used in homes.

How to know if it’s eco-friendly?

Strict standards have been set by organizations like EPA to ensure that a paint product passes the eco-friendly criteria. When shopping for eco-friendly paints, it is necessary that you look for:

  1. The VOC label
  2. An organic certification (check on the internet for authentication)
  3. Check for chemical ingredients of the paint.

However, it’s not just chemicals you are getting rid of your homes by choosing eco-friendly paint products. Here are some added benefits to natural paints that should be considered:

1. Minimized environmental impacts

Natural or eco-friendly paints are strictly water-based paints without any oil base. Consequently, they aren’t toxic even when put to waste. Easily biodegradable, they leave very little impact on the environment. Over the years, technology has been improving and we now have amazing products with a range of colors for natural paints.

2. Natural raw materials

Natural paints are derived from plant extracts, lemon peels, bee wax, seed oil and the kind. This is what primarily defines the nature of eco-friendly paints. Consequently, producing natural paints don’t lead to unsafe emissions and nor does it require precautions when you are applying it in your homes.

3. Health benefits

The young generation of homemakers is quite upbeat about eco-friendly paints today. Thankfully, this is the generation that does take the environment seriously and does their bit in fighting the global climate crisis we are facing. While natural or eco-friendly paints do cost a tad bit more, they do balance out the extra costs in the health benefits they provide. Being non-toxic, they do not lead to any kind of illness, normally seen with chemical-based paints.

4. Fewer coats

Another reason why natural paints offer a good cost advantage is that they need fewer coats for the job to be done. Qualitatively superior to chemical-based paints, natural paints also provide better color retention properties, better coverage with fewer coats, minimal abrasion and an extensive choice when it comes to the range of shades.

5. Minimal waste

Made from natural products, there is very little waste generation in the natural paint production process. In the cases of chemical-based paints, several toxic by-products are produced during manufacturing and this alone leads to the toxicity of the environment. A more serious concern with the same is that these toxic wastes continue to harm the natural resources for several years to come. However, eco-friendly paints don’t come with any such bi-products.

A home is supposed to be the sanctuary for a family. This is a place where you bring kids into your life and see them grow. It certainly is a good practice to go for natural products, especially when it comes to the wall paint you are using. They are the part of the household that you most interact with and you can leave it to chance for an illness to creep underneath.

X
X