Shrashtant Patara, Technology Systems Branch, Development Alternatives, New Delhi.
The Sustainable Building Materials Project was introduced to develop effective mass marketing strategies including entrepreneurship models and viable product mixes to promote cost effective and environment friendly building materials in India. Studies indicate that investment costs in housing can be effectively reduced by 20-30%.
The project has successfully developed new clean and green as well as energy efficient technologies for construction materials. Some of the technologies used under this project have been adapted to local conditions. The project has also developed mass marketing strategies to disseminate technologies so developed on a large scale. The technology also reduces extent of environment degradation and natural resource depletion caused by conventional building technologies. The project has been innovative in that it has used the rural market mechanism to promote the use of efficient technologies. Small enterprises have been created and local entrepreneurs became agents and disseminators of the new technology.
Individuals New employment opportunities have emerged and improved shelter is now available for housing.The economy The project has made improved energy efficient technologies for producing construction material available and accessible to local markets. The large-scale use of these technologies could potentially have a positive impact on the economy. Over 400 local entrepreneurs have so far been identified and are using the technology to produce environment friendly building material. The environment The environment benefits from the use of these technologies because of reduced pollution caused by conventional methods of preparing construction material. There is also a reduced stress on local resources because production is decentralized and not concentrated in one place. The new technologies results in reduced carbon emissions as compared to conventional technologies used for producing building material. The vertical shaft brick kiln, for example, has brought down emission levels by 50% - a major reduction in emission.
The project has influenced the acceptance and acceleration of broad use of clean construction technologies through its partners. Clean technologies emerging from this project have been replicated through partners? projects. This has facilitated dissemination of technologies on a larger scale. Project partners:
NGOs ? The new technologies are adapted to local conditions and NGOs can use these technologies to provide services to communities through the market and small entrepreneurs on a sustainable basis. The project has also made available clean technologies, which can be selected by choice and has increased the menu of choices. It has also increased people?s awareness of benefits of the new technologies and also effectively demonstrated their use in the field.
Project impact Individuals Entrepreneurs profits have increased 10 fold through adoption of the new technology. On average each entrepreneur who has taken up Micro Concrete Roofing Technology (MCR) has received a monthly profit of Rs.3500 to Rs.7000 compared to a profit of Rs.700 earlier; Entrepreneurs using Vertical Shaft Brick Kiln (VSBK) technology are receiving monthly profit of Rs.5000 against a profit of Rs.500/-, which they were receiving earlier; The economy The economy has benefited from these technologies because they use local manpower and resources and are also more affordable. The environment- Studies on impact of these technologies indicate that for each house constructed the amount of energy saved through use of Vertical Shaft Brick Kiln (VSBK) technology is 50%; 30-50% of energy is saved through use of the MCR technology.
The ecological advantages of the project ? Widespread use of these technologies will reduce emission of green house gases and exploitation of local resources.
The technologies developed in this project have been linked to other projects and also plugged into government multinational schemes. This has leveraged their use in other areas and facilitated wider dissemination.