The entire superstructure was completed and rendered fit for occupation within 29 days after the laying of the foundation. There was a saving of over 50 per cent in embodied energy for GFRG construction. The demo building was constructed using glass fibre-reinforced gypsum panels, originally designed for use as walls by Rapid Building Systems, Australia. The IIT-Madras research group extended the application of this product for the entire building system – including floors, roofs and staircases – thus significantly reducing the consumption of reinforced cement concrete (RCC). The team also collaborated in the indigenous development of an excellent waterproofing material, which is essential for prolonged durability of GFRG panels, especially in the case of roofs and toilets.
Currently, the cost of GFRG construction stands at Rs, 1,600 to 1,700 per sq. ft. The GFRG demo building inside the IIT-Madras campus, covering a total plinth area of about 1,981 sq ft, costed about Rs 23 lakh A comparison of the cost of this building with a conventional building of the same plan showed that the demo building was 25 per cent cheaper compared to the latter.
- SERAPHINA D’SOUZA