GFRG – New Affordable House Building Technology

GFRG (Glass Fibre Reinforced Gypsum) Technology

India, as a nation, is growing at a rapid pace, both in terms of population and development. The increase in population also results in increase for the demand of own houses, which is a dream for the common man. Usually, it takes a lifetime worth of savings to construct/buy a house. Add to that, the ever increasing prices of cement, sand, steel and other building and construction materials, the overall cost of house construction has shot up considerably.

Of late, there has been lot of research done by construction industry professionals to find a more affordable construction technology that would bring down the overall costs considerably lower. As part of that, IIT Madras had taken an initiative to explore and come up with a new technology to build quality houses at affordable costs in the year 2003. Going forward, a new technology called GFRG (Glass Fibre Reinforced Gypsum) has been invented in 2013. This technology is being touted as a revolution in the construction industry as it makes use of Gypsum as the main raw material which is widely available in India and hence bringing the costs down by more than 50%.

Building constructed using GFRG technology, IIT Madras

What is GFRG technology?

GFRG technology makes use of prefabricated Gypsum panels instead of the traditional bricks and blocks. The panels are manufactured at factories by using Gypsum, cement, sand, steel rods and reinforced glass fibres, and brought to the construction site. The fabricated panels are usually 12 m long, 3 m tall and 12.5 cm thick which gives ample carpet area. The hollow cavities inside the panel are filled with concrete to increase the panel’s strength.

Advantages of GFRG technology

 (1) Economical:

Gypsum is available naturally and as a waste product of fertilizer industry, hence making use of gypsum is economical and makes the whole construction cost affordable by reducing the costs up to 30-50%.

(2) Eco-friendly:

Construction industry accounts for more than 40% of world’s carbon footprint. It’s highly essential we find an alternative to reduce the green house gases emission. One such alternative is GFRG, which is a GEP (Green Environmental Protection) material and is recyclable thus making it eco-friendly.

(3) Strength:

GFRG technology gives five times the strength of a conventional building technology. Houses constructed using GFRG technology can last up to 75 years without any deterioration and can withstand any kind of natural disaster.

(4) Rapid construction:

It usually takes six months to one year to construct a normal house. However, GFRG technology helps quicken the construction process and can be finished within one month.

(5) More space:

GFRG houses are constructed without pillars and beams. The thickness of the walls is only five inches, whereas the walls are nine inches thick in conventional houses. As a result, GFRG houses provide much more carpet area.

(6) Cooler interiors:

GFRG panels can reduce the interior temperature up to four degrees compared to conventional houses. This will be very useful in houses constructed in hot and humid areas like Mumbai and Chennai.

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