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ABSTRACT

This paper aims to point out the various aspects of prefabricated building methodologies For low cost
housing by highlighting the different prefabrication techniques, and the economic advantages achieved
by its adoption. In a building the foundation, walls, doors and windows, floors and roofs are the most
important components, which can be analyzed individually based on the needs thus, improving the
speed of construction and reducing the construction cost. The major current methods of construction
systems considered here are namely, structural block walls, mortar less block walls, prefabricated
roofing components like precast RC planks, precast hollow concrete panels, precast concrete/Ferro
cement panels are considered. In economic terms, the demand for housing is the housing requirement
supported by purchasing power. One of the most important factors that influences demand for housing
is population. Growth in population leads to formation of new households, which in turn requires
housing space to live in. More number of persons would mean larger requirements of housing space.
Housing is an important social welfare measure and is an integral part of the nation’s economic
development. Industrial growth and employment opportunities, excellent facilities for higher education,
lucrative careers, infrastructural development and social welfare in cities have acted as powerful
magnets to attract the rural population. Growth of cities which were within reasonable limits of 8-16
kms around the center have sprawled to the outer limits creating satellite towns. Affordable housing
projects are characterized by an increasing demand mainly due to urbanization. The selection of building
materials should meet the needs of local conditions to improve quality of life for the most needed ones
by building new structures and/or by improving existing structures. One of the three basic needs for
mankind's survival is shelter which is not adequate in India as per the estimation reported by the
Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation, Government of India. With an annual population
growth rate of 1.64 % as compared to world population growth rate of 1.23 % during the last decade
there is a great vulnerability to housing needs in the coming decades. This would result in an enormous
over dependence on traditional building materials like steel, cemented wood. To reduce this over
dependence there is a need to review alternate building materials and formulate guidelines for their
application in construction industry. This paper focuses on the recent advancements in energy efficient,
eco-friendly low cost building materials like fly ash, earthen materials and natural fibers (bamboo) along
with the different problems associated with them. Numerous technologies are available nowadays to
build two story bamboo house, pre-engineered bamboo portal frame buildings, composite bamboo
beams and columns, fly ash concrete, fly ash bricks, fly ash blocks, non-erodible mud plaster, terra cotta
skin in mud walls, tumbler tiles, and fibrous boards. The recent developments in this area in India by
various organizations like Building Materials and Technology Promotion Council (BMTPC), Central
Building Research Institute (CBRI), Indian Institute of Technology (Delhi, Rourke, Madras, Kharagpur) and
Indian Plywood Industries Research and Training Institute (IPIRTI) have been discussed along with their
potential applications, cost aspects. Numerous problems such as lack of coal guidelines, technology
transfer and manufacturing facilities associated with these materials have been discussed. Need of the
hour is for their widespread usage and awareness among peoples but the lack of specific guidelines
unlike other countries hinder their application.