Monday, February 18, 2013

Recycled paper bricks!

An accomplishment in the field or recycling. The collaboratory efforts of Proffesor Rahul Ralegaonkar and Proffesor Sachin Mandavgane of the Visvesvaraya National Institute of Technology in India  
(VNIT) have developed a way of creating paper bricks from recycling waste! The bricks constitute of 90% recycled paper mill waste (RPMW) and 10% cement. Firstly, the mixture is mechanically mixed, pressed into moulds and lastly cured in the sun. This not only makes this brilliant recycled brick low-cost but also efficient and serves as a good alternative.

Mandavgane and Ralegaonkar visited a recycling plant in 2009. Later they discovered that 15% of the paper utilized was left to sit as sludge. They decided to bring the slurry back to their labs at VNIT, they experimented on that mixture and concluded that it would make a good building material. Their bricks are made from 90% recycled paper materials. They have been successfully used in false ceilings and partition walls.

Blocks made from these cast- off materials are half the cost of normal bricks and are way lighter in comparison. The Indian construction market ( 30% supply deficit) will highly benefit from these inexpensive bricks. Currently their team is working on waterproof coating for the bricks ( so they can be used on housing exteriors) and determining the material's efficacy in earthquake prone areas.

“Recycle Paper Mills (RPM) contribute 30 percent of [the] total pulp and paper mill segment in India. With 85 percent being the average efficiency of RPM, 5 per cent waste (RPMW) is produced annually. RPMW which otherwise is land filled has been utilized to make construction bricks that serve a purpose of solid waste management, new revenue generation and earning carbon credits,” says Mandavgane.

Image : Inhabitat

Friday, February 8, 2013

The bamboo bridge

Locals at Davoa, Phillippines, waited eagerly for their government to help them by building a footbridge to allow them to cross the Matina River. No one coming for their aid, the villagers decided to undertake this task themselves and build it for them and the local community. Utilizing the material that they had at hand - bamboo, they were assisted by several architects,  that included bamboo master Andrea Fitrianto.  All their efforts collectively resulted in a gorgeous new bridge.

The volunteers selected Dendrocalamus asper bamboo for building the Matina River's footbridge which grew around the city's outskirts. First they brought the fast-growing canes on site and it was followed by treating the material to create a long lasting structure. Led by traditional Indonasian bamboo carpenters, the construction of the bridge provided local people with new skill sets and a bigger sense of commitment towards their community.

To make the bamboo even more stronger and long lasting, the main joints were held with bolts while bolts of cement was poured inside the canes. In order to make it grounded and sturdy, reinforced concrete made a good base on each side. The Bamboo Bridge - (Tulay Na Kawayan) Matina River is just an astounding structure made to cross from side to another, it is an example of what togetherness and cooperation can achieve with a hint of craftsmanship. The time frame? Just a month!

Photo : Andrea Fitrianto