Down to Earth - - LIFESTYLE -

It usu­ally re­quires a huge amount of wood and labour to make shut­ter­ing. Con­ven­tional shut­ter­ing typ­i­cally costs 20 to 30 per cent of a con­crete slab. But vil­lage ma­sons have de­vel­oped the art of mak­ing con­crete slabs and col­umns us­ing min­i­mal wood or no wood. This dras­ti­cally re­duces the cost and en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pact of a build­ing. One such ex­am­ple is houses in the Sun­dar­bans. These are made with a bam­boo frame and pre­fab­ri­cated con­crete col­umns and are plas­tered with mud. Small work­shops in the area man­u­fac­ture pre­fab­ri­cated col­umns and a va­ri­ety of other ready-to-use con­crete struc­tural com­po­nents of stan­dard sizes and with a clean fin­ish. They are cast hor­i­zon­tally in polythene sheets and mud, which helps main­tain a con­sis­tent con­crete cover and achieve an ex­cel­lent cur­ing. They are an ef­fi­cient, cli­mate-re­silient and ter­mite-proof re­sponse to the scarcity of trees ma­ture enough for mak­ing wooden col­umns


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