Mud block:A mud block is a "brick-like' building material made of soil stabilised by cement or lime but not fired. The mould is filled with the right mix of wet mud; subsequently, it is removed and the block dried in the sun. Since it uses only solar energy, not artificial burning, it is the cheapest form of primary construction material. It is commonly used in Kerala and Tamil Nadu. Stabilised fly ash can also be used as an ingredient of blocks. Laurie Baker, the doyen of low-cost architecture, has been striving to promote mud blocks since the late 1960s. In a manual, Mud (published in a bilingual Hindi-English edition in 1993), Baker describes what goes into making mud houses. He outlines the process of selecting the soil for the house and describes how to arrive at the best possible mixture of sand and clay. He provides very simple tests by which an average person can check whether a particular soil is appropriate for construction or not.
Recently, developers have invented a machine that can be used to produce compressed mud bricks. The machine is tough to use, for it requires great manual strength to be operated. But the bricks that come out of the process have a fine smooth finish, and walls using such bricks can take the load of a three-storeyed house.
Cellular Light Weight Concrete (CLC) Blocks: An eminently viable option to bricks and conventional concrete blocks in building. These are made by mixing foam in a slurry of cement, sand and fly ash (one-fourth of total material). This foaming agent is based on a technology developed by a German firm. CLC blocks can be used for making panels for both walls and roofs. Currently CLC blocks are used in 40 countries and they have been in use for the last 25 years. Some of the major advantages of CLC blocks are: better strength to weight ratio, they can be produced onsite, reduction of dead load resulting in saving of steel and cement as well as reduction in foundation size, better acoustics and thermal insulation (air conditioning requirement is considerably reduced).
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