According to The Times of India, two researchers from the Visvesvaraya National Institute of Technology in India (VNIT) have developed eco-friendly, energy efficient bricks made from recycled newspaper.
Professors Rahul Ralegaonkar and Sachin Mandavgane hatched the idea to create these bricks after a trip to local paper mill two years ago. They learned at that 15% of newspaper cannot be recycled and goes to waste. This, combined with the fact that India suffers from a brick shortage of about 30%, inspired them to manufacture bricks from the paper mill waste.
These recycled bricks are lightweight, energy efficient, and cost half as much as conventional bricks. They are not meant for structural purposes, but rather for false ceilings and wall partitions for interior design.
The Indian green building market is the second largest after the United States. However, the fact that India has a 30% brick shortage shows that the country’s success in green building is despite many challenges.
As Yusuf Turab discussed, Indian builders must overcome many hurdles to successfully build sustainably. In particular, he discussed a gap between technology and economic status – the materials needed to construct green buildings are more expensive than many Indians can afford. Therefore, the nation depends on researchers like Ralegaonkar and Mandavgane to develop cost-effective, green technologies to continue it’s leadership in sustainable building design and construction.
A recent graduate of Cornell University, where she studied Environmental Science and concentrated in Sustainable Development. Her interest in green building and LEED stems from her project-based coursework at Cornell, where she proposed design strategies for sustainable developments in Helena, MT and Ithaca, NY. Claire also exercised her passion for sustainability and energy conservation through extracurricular activities at Cornell, such as Solar Decathlon, Lights Off Cornell and Sustainability Hub. For the last three summers, she worked on energy projects at a town government, including an on-site hydrogen station and EECBG-funded activities.