Numerous directives, guidelines and rules have been issued by various government bodies regarding clay bricks, but the situation on the ground is not changing. The government has not outright banned burnt clay bricks, but the urgency of the many directives issued over the years makes it clear that alternatives need to be adopted in place of red clay bricks.
The main reason is that it is financially unviable for the numerous small and medium clay brick kilns to either move to a better clay brick production method or shift to green alternatives such as fly-ash based bricks or blocks. They continue to operate disregarding the directives. Also, the government officials do not monitor these smaller kilns stringently. The bigger kilns move to clay brick production methods that are less polluting and are able to obtain environmental clearances but the numerous smaller kilns continue without any change.
The unorganised clay brick industry employs way too many people. The government cannot outright ban the production of red clay bricks and face a huge labour unrest. On the other hand, due to India’s booming population, growth and demand for housing, demand outstrips the total supply of building materials, including red clay bricks and better technological alternatives such as fly-ash bricks and other fly-ash based building materials such as AAC and CLC blocks. The manufacturing facilities of these modern alternatives are steadily rising but face the stumbling block of irrational demand for red clay bricks from consumers and contractors. Misconceptions and the tendency to hold on to the traditional ways of using the red brick continue creating demand for these polluting clay bricks. Consumers tend to think that if a contractor wants to use grey bricks or blocks they are compromising on quality.
Thus the vicious cycle continues. The shift towards a better and modern brick/block industry will be slow. Change, however slow, is happening. Consumers are becoming more educated about the overall cost benefits of newer technologies such as AAC blocks. Contractors are updating their technical know how and also advising their clients to go for the greener alternatives. The brick kiln workers are demanding better wages and many are moving to organised sectors of employment. The wasteful & low-profit margin brick kilns are going out of business. Foreign companies are enacting strict rules about sourcing of materials in their supply chain and not purchasing from kilns where labour exploitation happens. NGOs and activists, both domestic and foreign, are helping create change in the archaic methods of production. The organised sector of large factories making AAC blocks, CLC blocks & fly-ash bricks is steadily increasing. The government is waking up to the pollution problem, amidst the global climate change crisis, and enacting guidelines and regulations at an increasing frequency. Hopefully, all these changes and forces will converge to cause a tipping point, a paradigm shift, somewhere in the near future, and change the Indian brick industry for good.
What is needed is better communication and education about the facts and ground reality among all related parties. That is what this blog is committed in doing and will continue to do so. Magicrete strives to create a better developed India and we hope to reach the tipping point soon. We want to take India from being a developing country to being a developed country, at least in the construction industry, as soon as possible.
Bricks are usually red, but not for long, in future when you will think of bricks, a range of different shapes and sizes will come to mind – AAC blocks, CLC blocks, fly ash bricks, etc. and you will think of the colour grey, the colour of fly ash.
Red clay bricks get their colour from the iron-oxide in the valuable fertile topsoil which is used to make them. A huge amount of agricultural soil gets wasted and locked-into structures as a result of red clay bricks. Surging housing & construction growth in India has majorly highlighted the problem of red clay bricks like never before.
Red clay bricks are completely banned in some areas like Gurgaon but in the entire country there is no blanket ban as such at the moment, only guidelines and directives such as these MoEF notifications – issued in 2008, issued in 2013. Many producers require Environmental Clearances (ECs) and pollution control board clearance but state governments and national authorities (The Supreme Court, The Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEF), The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and The National Green Tribunal (NGT) among others) are in the process of formulating complete bans. Rules vary across the country but it is clear that everyone wants to reduce and eventually altogether cease the manufacturing of burnt red clay bricks. Using fly-ash for bricks is mandatory in a 100km radius around thermal power plants and for constructing government buildings in some states.
Illegal mining of soil is a huge problem. The unorganised sector doesn’t want to take the hassles of organising and managing the supply of better materials and prefers to “just take the soil from somewhere” and make bricks with it. While the organised sector of AAC and CLC blocks works professionally by managing the raw-materials for production more efficiently. Earlier fly-ash used to be dumped in the forests but now fly-ash brick, AAC block and CLC block makers use the same wasted fly-ash and make better bricks than the burnt red clay bricks which deplete soil and cause massive pollution apart from using a huge amount of energy during production.
Despite the urgent directives, implementation is not done due to ever-increasing demand for construction materials. To be frank, most people don’t care if the environment gets hurt “a little” for their profits. They are wrong, not just ethically but even profits and business wise, as the new improved bricks are cheaper to manufacture as well as build and maintain structures with.
There are already civil court cases such as this related to brick manufacturing. Resistance to change and preference for the “traditional methods” of building are not an excuse for harming the environment. Despite directives and the logic and economics in favour of the alternatives of red clay bricks, it is a pity that the construction sector in fast developing India, which is the 2nd largest manufacturer of bricks in the world after China is, is still clinging onto past traditions despite better new alternatives.
Located in the heart of the sprawling city of Surat in Gujarat, the Rahul Raj Mall is one of the leading retail and entertainment destinations. Developed by RahulRaj Estates Pvt. Ltd., this mall offers 400,000 sq. ft. of retail and 60,000 sq. ft. of Multiplex space.
While, from outside it looks like any other malls, which you can find in various Indian cities witnessing a retail revolution, there’s a lot more than meets the eye. Owing to the use of Magicrete AAC blocks, it is one of the finest examples of cost-effective and environment-friendly construction.
It has a construction area of 200,000 sq. ft. and has three floors. By employing Magicrete AAC blocks, Harsh Constructions, the construction company, was able to reduce the RCC cost by 8-10%. Similarly, mortar and plaster cost was lowered up to 15%, and the construction time was halved.
In addition to the aforementioned tangible benefits, the use of Magicrete AAC brought a host of intangible benefits. These include better wall surface in comparison to brick walls, flexibility to choose from a wide range of AAC blocks sizes, fast completion of work and minimal wastage with larger blocks, etc. No wonder, Mr. Gaurav Patel, Project Engineer says – “Magicrete AAC blocks save up to 15% cost in plaster and up to 10% in mortar of your whole cast of project with their optimum utilization.”
MagicPlast Ready Mix -220 is a polymer-modified premixed cement base plaster, which is suitable for both inner as well as outer walls. Convenient, easy-to-use, stronger and developed to bind better to its substrate, it provides an even surface to ensure faster and efficient tilling. Continue reading Do It Yourself – Make Beautiful Walls with MagicPlast Ready Mix Plaster
Known for their lightweight and unmatched strength, AAC blocks are gradually changing the construction landscape worldwide. Their impeccable heat resistance and sound proofing properties further make them an ideal building material. And, the best thing is it is very easy to join them together and create a wall. This becomes possible with Magicbond – Block Joining Adhesive, which is a factory mixed thin bed mortar made up of cement, graded sand and blended with polymers. Continue reading Do It Yourself – Build Strong Walls With Magicrete AAC Blocks & Magic Bond
Environmental protection is one of the major concerns today. People look for eco-friendly options in almost every field. Even for the building construction, now constructors look for environ friendly and cost effective techniques and one of the options they have got is lightweight concrete blocks. These are much better than normal concrete not just in terms of weight, but also in terms of price and quality. Continue reading Get Benefitted From the Lightweight Concrete Blocks
With the new leadership taking responsibility of country’s economic and social development many new visions and schemes has come into picture. Recent one being ‘Housing for all by 2022’ proposed by Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation. India is looking forward to have a ‘pucca house’ for every citizen by 2022, country’s 75th Independence anniversary year. Continue reading Housing For All – Turning Vision Into Reality Through AAC
India is seeing a rapid growth in hospitality sector since last few years and this growth is likely to increase exponentially in coming years. With government pushing economy through sustainable tourism industry and allowing FDI in hospitality sector there will be no slowing down of demand in coming years. Continue reading AAC in Hotel Construction – A Step Towards Sustainability
With the Indian Government unfolding the ‘Smart Cities’ movement by allocating the budget of Rs. 70 billion, Smart Cities are the new buzz for developing India. The concept seems to be very futuristic but what are these Smart Cities. To start with let us decode the Smart Cities. Continue reading Building Smarter India with Smart Cities
For most of us Green buildings and affordable buildings can never be related to each other or at least these two terms cannot be used for the same building. While the ‘green building’ generally stands for sustainable or environmentally responsible building the term ‘affordable building’ is often used for low-income building or attainable housing. Continue reading Going Green is affordable
Delay in completing construction projects is disadvantageous for everyone. While, builders’ profit margin reduces because of the rise in the prices of construction materials and labor cost, buyers don’t get the possession of premises on time, resulting in inconveniences and monetary losses. The general public also has to undergo a series of Continue reading Safeguarding Against Time And Cost Overruns With AAC Blocks
With increased use of electrical and gas-based appliances in commercial as well as personal premises, the threat of fire is growing gradually despite better technology, enhanced safety awareness and implementation of fire safety laws. Mushrooming of high-rises, large commercial complexes and malls in both big and small cities has further Continue reading Ensuring Better Protection from Fire with AAC Blocks
Life in big, crowded cities is getting tougher with each passing year owing to long working hours, high commute time, traffic jams and pollution. In such a scenario, a good night sleep is a must for every individual for a healthy and productive life. Unfortunately, people in large cities don’t get to enjoy this luxury because of sound pollution. From barking dogs Continue reading Magicrete For A Sound Sleep Every Night
AAC Blocks, Autoclaved Aerated Concrete blocks are undoubtedly a popular and preferred building material world-wide. Invented by a Swedish architect Dr. Johan Axel Eriksson in mid 1920, AAC is now being produced for more than 70 years and is trusted for its significant advantages over other cement construction materials. Continue reading AAC Blocks – A Versatile Building Product