Academia, Business and Government Partner on Materials in India

Published: Sunday, December 7th, 2014 by Aaron Leaf

Screen Shot from IIT-Madras demo video

An interesting story out of India shows business, academia and government working together to advance projects that when completed could serve as model for the provision of successful affordable housing.

The civil engineering department of the Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT Madras) claims they are close to reaching a deal with Tata Housing Development Corporation Ltd to use their Glass Fiber Reinforced Gypsum (GFRG) panels in a affordable housing project in a Mumbai suburb.

The Times of India quotes Bhaskar Ramamurthi, director, IIT Madras as saying “The rapid low-cost housing project is headed in the right direction and we are in talks with Tata Housing to use the technology for mass housing projects. We are also collaborating with various state governments and housing structures are already being built in Kerala using this technique.”

Confirmed by Tata Housing, the first module of the pilot project will consist of nine, five floor apartment buildings with eight apartments on each floor. Success of the module will determine whether it will be scaled up. The partnership underway between IIT-Madras and the Kerala government is for a 54-unit building.

GFRGs are pre-fabricated load bearing panels that can be used for rapid construction. Their light color is meant to be heat resistant and energy efficient. Formed from glass fibres and specially calcined gypsum plaster, GFRGs are being billed as cost-effective, water resistant and eco-friendly.

Check out an IIT-Madras promotional video for the technology below