Er. Milind Kulkarni, MD, MKCE, Mumbai
An engineer in Satara, Maharashtra, has come up with a new research on building Ferrocement precast houses in a day using readymade walls and slabs, and nut bolts. These eco-friendly, economical, and earthquake resistant Zatpat houses are a solution for mass housing and for immediate rehabilitation of displaced people during an emergency. Er. Milind Kulkarni, MD, MKCE, Mumbai, shares details of Ferrocement Technology and its benefits as a low-cost, eco-friendly building technique.

In both traditional and modern constructions, natural resources are used directly and indirectly, which leads to their depletion as they are not renewable. The cost to benefit ratio, or the price we pay, or are going to pay, in the future for development, is much skewed and highly dangerous. Cement, steel, tiles, aluminum, paints, and other materials used in the interiors consume a large amount of energy during manufacturing. This high embodied energy has a huge negative impact on these materials, without which, we cannot construct anything.

In such a scenario Ferrocement Technology-based construction comes as a breath of fresh air and gives hope and respite from the onslaught of the rampant depletion of natural resources.

Ferrocement is a very green initiative for constructing sustainable structures. Calculations done on live examples have proven that the technology enables lower carbon footprint and leads to green credit ratings. Firstly, it does not have aggregates and bricks as ingredients. Secondly, it has weld and chicken meshes as the main reinforcement, which requires lesser energy to manufacture. Cements containing high fly ash content, or GGBS, can also be used. The tor steel usage is extremely limited and used as skeletal steel, which offsets the need for formwork and precious timber, and the structural steel used for formwork of modern RCC structures is majorly eliminated. Most importantly, as the thickness of the Ferrocement is very low, consumption of cement, sand, (even manufactured sand can be used) gets reduced.

Ferrocement House in NoidaFerrocement House in Noida

Today, with the advent of Geopolymers in construction, it is possible to have Ferro Geopolymer-based construction. It has the greatest advantage of replacing cement and sand by 100%.

Fly Ash, which is an environmental burden, and a challenge for safe disposal, can be used and activated using simple chemicals and made to behave like cement. It only requires sunlight (which is abundant in this country for almost 9 months of the year), and a temperature of about 30 to 35*C for curing, and most importantly, it completely eliminates the need for water (the most precious thing on this earth today). In fact, Ferro-geopolymers could be the game changer technology of the future.

The behavior of Ferrocement as a 2-phase, homogenous composite as against concrete (which acts as a heterogeneous composite) makes Ferrocement far more superior than RCC. Its ability to take both tensile and compressive stresses almost equally with very low crack widths, resistance to shrinkage, drying and cracking, makes it a technology of choice for structural designers.

Further, with the reduced self-weight, foundations can be smaller and kept on weaker soils having medium to poor bearing strength. The earthquake loads get considerably reduced, though wind loads could be a matter that needs to be addressed; however, it can be resolved by adding eco-friendly and cost-effective dead weights.

Eco-friendly & Magical Technology
Ferrocement is a combination of cement, sand, weld mesh and chicken mesh pressed and filled with mortar. Skeletal steel in the form of 6mm/8mm bars are used for getting the form and shape to eliminate use of formwork.

“A little change in the type and pattern of the reinforcement, the use of fine wire meshes instead of large diameter bars, and press filling mortar either by hand, machines, or pre-casting, makes it a wonder material!”. This is how Dr. (Prof) Divekar explained it after living with it in body, mind, and soul for over 40 years, having designed and constructed a large number of such structures.

Ferrocement House in Satara MaharashtraFerrocement House in Satara Maharashtra

Ferrocement House
Normally, while constructing, we use bricks, steel, metal, stone, timber etc, and sheets for roofing. But now we need to reduce the quantity or eliminate these materials. But how do we build a house without them?

Chicken mesh a hexagonal wire woven GI mesh. It is flexible and is stretched while fixing it to the skeletal steel. Weld mesh is a square grid of small diameter bars that are pre-welded in a factory and is more rigid. The skeletal steel is a skeleton of 6/8mm mm diameter steel bar, welded to the required shape and size. The weld mesh is fixed to it and the chicken mesh stretched on both sides of the skeleton steel.

Ferrocement House in Satara Maharashtra

In the second part, a thick cement mortar is prepared. It is a mix of 1 part cement and 2 parts of fine sand and a small quantity of water. This thick mortar is press filled in the chicken-mesh layers, after which the finishing and levelling is done using a plate trowel for aesthetics. Pressing makes it stiff. There is no wastage. After some days it appears like a wooden plank, very slim, and very tough. Curing is required - just like concrete.

The application of this technology in the construction industry is enormous and wide ranging from very small to large structures - both cast in situ and precast. Ferrocement can be used for making security cabins, compound walls, small buildings, domes, pyramids, water tanks, treatment plants, repairs, waterproofing, permanent forms, check dams, silos, roads, pathways, pontoons, blast fences, and a lot more.

Low cost precast ZATPAT house
Jayant Murudkar, a 78-year-old engineer from Satara MIDC manufactured a ZATPAT house in a day by assembling ferrocement components like readymade walls and readymade slabs and joined them with the help of nut bolts. The precast ferrocement wall panels are standardized as 3.5 x 2.5 meter and the thickness is 25 mm. The roofing panels are 4 x 0.6 meter in size with the same thickness. The panels are ribbed so they have greater strength even though light in weight.

Inspected by the Ferrocement Society, the Zatpat house is becoming popular in Maharashtra as it can provide immediate shelters to rehabilitate affected families and can be used for mass housing such as for the Prime Minister’s Awas Yojana. The houses can be dismantled and reused anywhere, which makes them eco-friendly. They are not built by using bricks and timber, yet their walls have tremendous strength since they are made from chicken meshes and are earthquake resistant too.

Er Murudkar has set up a factory to produce the ferrocement components and has installed a machine to manufacture panels of 0.6 x 3 meters, weighing about 100 kg only. A precast wall panel of 3.5 X 2.5 meter size weighs 750 kg only. Thickness of 25 mm is available. A 100 mm thick wall panel is manufactured using thermocol as an insulation filler.

Zatpat house is very affordable. If the plan dimensions of the room are 4.5 m by 3.5 m and height is 2.5 m, the cost of the house is only Rs 1,71,000. This includes excavation, foundation concrete, masonary, door and window, one bathroom and one toilet externally attached to the room. The rate is Rs 1010 per sq foot. A detailed video can be viewed on

Versatile & futuristic material
Ferrocement has been in use for the last 30 years across the country. Everybody is aware of it, but many do not know the details of the technology and the cost. It is a simple, straight, and easy to build technique. It is a futuristic material and is an easy solution for many of the problems which concrete even today cannot resolve.

The typical domes of Shikhar on Ramakrishna temple built in Pune are precast thin petals of ferrocement. They are a classic example of the potential of ferrocement when designed and constructed properly. In America, Mexico, England, France, Germany, and Indonesia, the technology is being used extensively. In India, let us understand and adopt this magical innovation, save our natural resources, and be friendly with our environment.
Click Here
To Know More / Contact The Manufacturer
Please fill in your details, we will contact you as soon as possible
Choose Title from the listPlease let us know your name.
Please let us know your Designation.
Invalid Input
Please let us know your email address.
Please let us know your City.
Please let us know your Contact Number.
Please brief your query.
Our other value-added services:

To receive updates through e-mail on Products, New Technologies & Equipment, please select the Product Category(s) you are interested in and click 'Submit'. This will help you save time plus you will get the best price quotations from many manufacturers, which you can then evaluate and negotiate.

Equipment & Machinery
Invalid Input
Building Products
Invalid Input
Invalid Input

Successful Project with Precast Construction

Precast India Infrastructures Pvt. Ltd. (PIIPL) - an initiative of Bhate Raje Construction Company - has emerged as the leading choice for precast production in the construction industry. The company undertakes high Read More ...

Advantages of Precast Concrete Technology in Metro Project (Line-06 Mumbai Metro)

The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) has completely revolutionized the mass transportation scenario in India. It has introduced a world-class Mass Rapid Transport System (MRTS) which is comfortable, air conditioned Read More ...

The Maharashtra Police Housing Project

B.E. Billimoria is building the project the Smart Way using Precast Concrete Technology and Machines from Elematic, and precast construction services of principal contractor IQB. BE Billimoria & Company is one of India Read More ...

Inventaa finds Tekla the Perfect Solution for All Precast Projects

The Bhubaneswar Development Authority (BDA) awarded Inventaa with the construction of a large-scale residential project comprising of 33 Blocks of 5-storey apartment units in the city of Bhubaneswar in Odisha. All 33 blocks Read More ...

Integrated software solutions for production of lattice girder floors

Orion Beton is a Dutch precast concrete plant based in Enschede. By replacing and updating all software-based processes, Orion Beton has taken a major step in the automation of its production process Read More ...

Prefabrication Building Construction: An Indian Perspective

Prefabrication has brought a substantial change in the development of construction industry worldwide over the last few decades. It ensures the strength, economy and environmental performance of the structures and hence is preferred Read More ...

Offsite Construction

From quality assurance to faster completion, Offsite Construction Technology can be a gamechanger in the post-Covid world, says Nejeeb Khan, Country Head, Katerra, India. India has set an ambitious target of providing housing Read More ...

Precast Construction to the Rescue

Precast construction meets the expectation of cost in building structures and has proven to be the most suitable technology for India. It is also the most effective when there is a large volume of construction that Read More ...

Building Better With Concrete

New circulation plant manufactured by Ebawe Anlagentechnik GmbH - a Progress Group company - revolutionizes production process of Huffcutt Concrete Inc. In addition to septic tanks, American company Huffcutt Concrete Inc Read More ...

The Four Dimensions of Industrialized Construction

Industrialized or manufactured construction is a familiar concept. We have been building with components and even whole wall panels for years. However, with a heightened focus on efficiency due to skilled labor shortages Read More ...

Challenges in Design & Construction of 4680m Elevated Viaduct at Pilkhuwa – A Case Study

The 4680m long elevated viaduct at Pilkhuwa is a part of package-3 of Delhi-Meerut Expressway Road project. It is passing through a very congested area with 24x7 heavy traffic and market on its both sides. The main challenges Read More ...

Mumbai Metro Line 2A Use of precast construction in urban infrastructure projects

Md. Adil SHAIKH, Mangesh SAWANT & Ajay TANK, Sr. Design Engineers at Spectrum Techno Consultants present the various aspects of planning, design and construction considered for this project keeping in view its complexity Read More ...

Design Intricacies of Precast Concrete Structures for Multi-Storied Residential Towers

With Precast, we can envision a cost-effective, fast-track, safe and sustainable future for the construction of high-rise structures. Nidhi Gupta & Ahilan R. Design and Engineering team, Starworth Infrastructure & Construction Ltd., Bengaluru Read More ...

Echo Precast - Increased automation in production of prestressed hollow core slabs

With a multi-angle saw (MAS) from Echo Precast Engineering, Belgium, the Franconian building materials manufacturer Dennert is focusing on higher automation in the production of prestressed hollow core slabs Read More ...

Ecofriendly Paver Block

In the past few decades, the rapid process of industrialization and urbanization has increased the generation of waste material at huge rates and landfills are filling up faster than the exploration of new sites. Disposal of industrial Read More ...

DECAST Ltd, one of the largest precast companies in Canada, has invested in a self-stressing casting bed from Tecnocom in Italy

Tecnocom specializes in providing molds and casting beds for the precast industry and is a part of the PROGRESS GROUP of companies; which is a leading precast technology conglomerate worldwide. PROGRESS GROUP is represented Read More ...

Rethinking Repaving

As states continue to look at ways to efficiently repair roads, Indiana is testing a new product in an urban environment. Every commuter has experienced it at some point. Cruising along an interstate when you come to a grinding halt Read More ...

New Building Material & Construction World

New Building Material & Construction World
x (x)
MGS Architecture

Modern Green Structures & Architecture

Modern Green Structures & Architecture

Lifting & Specialized Transport

Lifting & Specialized Transport

Indian Infrastructure & Tenders Week

Indian Infrastructure & Tenders Week
Sign-up for Free Subscription
'India Construction Week'
Weekly e-Newsletter on Construction Industry
Get the latest news, product launches, projects announced / awarded, government policies, investments, and expert views.
Click here to subscribe.