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Cost-effective materials are materials that provide good performance and functionality at a relatively low cost. These materials can be used in a variety of applications, from building construction to consumer goods.

1) Introduction

  • Construction of cost-effective buildings by using the low cost building materials increases the access to buildings by low income group peoples.
  • Cost-effective buildings can be achieved by use of
  1. efficient planning and project management,
  2. low cost materials,
  3. economical construction technologies, and
  4. use of alternate construction methods.
  • The use of such methods can decrease the cost of construction and make the cost-effective buildings accessible to all.

2) Selection criteria for CEBMs

  • The first step to cost-effective building material selection is to select eco-friendly building materials.
  • This also enhances the sustainable design principle.
  • The life cycle of a building material can be divided into three stages –
  1. Pre-construction,
  2. Building construction & use/maintenance, and
  3. Post-building construction & use.
  • Each stage of building material should be such that they help conserve the energy.
  • Pre-construction stage consists of manufacture which is subdivided into processing, packing and transport.
  • The building construction & use phase mainly consists of construction, operation and maintenance whilst the last stage would be disposal where the material can be recycled or reused.

3) Classification

Cost-Effective Materials can be classified on the basis of the building structure:

  1. Foundations
  2. Walls
  3. Roofs
  4. Floors
  5. Opening supports
  6. Non-structural items

4) Exercise


i) Foundations

  • Locally available materials
  1. Mud (Rammed Earth Foundation)
  2. Brick
  3. Stone (Random Rubble Foundation)
  4. Bamboo

ii) Walls

  • Locally Available Materials –
  1. Adobe
  2. Brick (Sun-dried / Country / Wire-cut)
  3. Stone
  4. Bamboo (Split / Whole)
  • Innovative BMs –
  1. Fly-ash Bricks
  2. Bamboo Reinforced Plaster Composite
  3. Pre-fabricated
  4. Light-weight Concrete Block Panels
  • Upgradation of traditional materials & technologies-
  1. Compressed Earth Blocks (CEB)
  2. Stabilised Mud Blocks (SMB)
  3. Cement Stabilised Mud Block (CSMB)
  4. Interlocking Cement Stabilised Mud Block (ICSMB)
  5. Stone Concrete Block (SCB)
  6. Timber/Bamboo Mat Wall (Ikra Walling)

iii) Roofs

  • Locally Available Materials –
  1. Thatch (Reed/Straw)
  2. Clay Tiles (Mangalore / Pan / Spanish)
  3. Stone (Slate)
  4. Wood (Shingles)
  5. Bamboo
  • Upgradation of traditional materials-
  1. Stone Patti Roofing
  2. Pyramidal Brick Roof
  3. Extruded Structural Clay Unit
  • Innovative BMs –
  1. Ferro-cement Roofing
  2. Plastered Bamboo
  3. Bamboo Mat Corrugated Sheet
  4. Coconut Fibre And Wooden Chips Roofing Sheets
  5. Cement Bonded Fibre Roofing Sheets
  6. Micro Concrete Roofing Tile
  7. Pre-fabricated Roof Panels / Trusses

iv) Floors

  • Locally Available Materials
  1. Mud
  2. Brick
  3. Stone
  4. Timber
  5. Bamboo
  • Innovative BMs
  1. Bamboo boards
  2. Bamboo Reinforced Plaster Composite
  • Upgradation of traditional technologies –
  1. Red / Black oxide
  2. Cement Concrete
  3. Terrazzo or Mosaic
  4. Jack arch
  5. Bamboo mats
  6. Broken Brick

v) Opening Supports

  • Arches
  1. Flat Arch
  2. Corbel Arch
  3. Semi-circular Arch
  4. Segmental Arch
  5. Pointed Arch
  • Cost-effective Lintels
  1. Brick & RCC lintel

vi) Doors & Windows

  • Frameless Doors
  • Frameless Windows
  • Precast RCC Doors & Windows / Frames
  • Brick Jalis
  • Bamboo
  • Wooden Planks

Overall, cost-effective materials are important in many industries, as they allow for the production of high-quality products at a lower cost, making them accessible to a wider range of customers.

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