Construction industry

Understanding GFRG Construction for Low Cost Housing

Oct 14 2019

Malak Mehta

GFRG panels help in constructing affordable and low cost construction. It is eco-friendly material and is advantageous over conventional building materials and avoids heavy weight building such as with concrete.

GFRG panels, affordable house, low cost construction, eco-friendly material, building materials, concrete

IIT Madras students have built low-cost, eco-friendly houses by using ‘Glass Fibre Reinforced Gypsum’ (GFRG) panels. They have successfully built a housing unit, which was constructed within a month using pre-fabricated GFRG panels.

GFRG panels basically use the waste material gypsum produced in factories in combination with glass fibre as a reinforcement and adhesives making it highly economical. These panels are manufactured in factories and later transported to the site. They can be used as walls, slabs and even for staircase saving lots of conventional materials used for construction. In addition to that, the construction is rapid and can be completed in a short period of time.

Increased carpet area

GFRG panel is 12 m in length,3 m in height and 124 mm thick and provides more carpet area as compared to conventional bricks or blocks. The hollow cavities inside the panel can be filled with concrete to provide more strength to the panel.

Same panel used for wall and slab both

The foundation and plinth is prepared and then GFRG panels are laid vertically to work as walls and then laid horizontally over these walls such that they work as floor or slab. This makes the structure light and efficient with high strength. These hollow panels can be filled with steel reinforcements and concrete every third cavity to provide additional strength in case of increases floors. The panels forming slab are cut from above and the reinforcements are placed which are then filled with concrete. Moreover, these panels are also cut and made to be used as staircase with certain reinforcement and concreting.

Saves cost of complete concreting

Columns and beams are not required while building walls and slab with GFRG panels. Thus no concrete structure is needed to support the walls and slab. This lowers the cost of construction immensely and makes the structure light weight.

Saves cost of shuttering

The concrete is poured in the cavities within the panels. Therefore, no shuttering is needed while building the slab. Shuttering is required while making weather sheds over the windows to give external support.

Reduced cost in finishing

The panels have a fine finish and do not require plastering in turn saving lots of materials and labour. The panels can be directly painted to give desired look.

Less quantity of building materials

The construction with GFRG panels saves tonnes of cement, sand, aggregates and even water.

Thermal efficiency

As the panels are hollow, they form an insulation keeping the temperature inside the home cooler than the outside by 4 degrees.

Saves time

The construction can be completed in a very less time as the GFRG panels are factory made and just need to be assembled on the site. Moreover, the settling time of concrete in building the structure and placing bricks one by one for masonry is also avoided, which further helps in a rapid construction process.

GFRG panels make the construction affordable and are highly advantageous over the conventional building materials.

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