EPS Panel and its relevancy for Bangladesh.
The population of Bangladesh has a large number residing in the rural areas. The majority of house stock belonging to this group consists of building material like, mud, hay straws, jute sheets, bamboos and corrugated sheets. The basic reason for using these as building material is, its low purchasing price, although these material have less stability and no water resistance, still it’s used by the rural population as its readily available and they are used to its construction method.
EPS Panels, cost is higher than the locally used material but, when compared to its life span and maintenance, it would be cheaper with added advantages of insulation and water proof properties.
Corrugated sheets impose health hazards and that rust in water; EPS Panels are eco-friendly and does not get rusted with time.
The move towards making EPS Panels for low –income group is challenging in two aspects. First, the initial cost will be higher, for the dwellers who seek to remodel or extend their existing houses. Secondly, the U-channels, bolts, hinges and nuts would require a new set of iron monger. To, make EPS Panels popular in this regard, the product must be launched through a network of locals, who are convinced about the benefits of the Sandwich Panel.
The panels should be sold in installments matching with the regular repair works that the rural people are accustomed to; as it gets popular they will be encouraged to save money for direct purchase. In the formal housing, the bank has home loans, in the similar manner; the Grameen Bank can take up loan programmed for material and installation. This idea is already in use, in most of the illegal squatter population. The local dalal/middle man always provide a number of building material , that comprise of bamboo, jute sheets, and corrugated sheets. They charge minimum at the time of delivery but as they live nearby, they collect the amount and also get a vote bank during election period. There are people who can take up the job of locally manufacturing the U-channels etc for the joining of the panels. Chittagong port gets lots of scrap ship material, that can be directed to make the joiners.
Reuse and recycle all that iron and polystyrene for the EPS panel factory for the production and construction at site. Today, all over the world there is a demand for optimizing resources, this idea can be replicated at local level without much effort, just links should be formed and demand would encourage supply, for a better tomorrow.
Once the EPS Panels are used what are the benefits for the rural population.
- Clean and finished surface, that instantly gives a good space quality.
- The insulation of the material helps to keep it cool during summer and retain heat in winter seasons.
- During monsoon, the houses can be designed as floating house anchored to a stable post/ column so that it gets elevated with the flood water, posing less risk for the inmates.
- In addition to the people, their cattle and the poultry can also be saved with this kind of floating system.
- The embankments can be created along the vast fields for not getting inundated during flood/heavy down pour.
- The EPS panel material does not settle nor degenerate, thus making them maintenance free for a life time of 20 years.
- The coated steel surfaces have a variety of colors that could be a new design look for the villagers. The painted surface can be designed for each house in a unique way.
- Architects and builders can both join in to support and earn a living through various design layouts with the panel modules.
In addition to rural population it can be used by the urban users.
- Factories partition and external cover can be instantly assembled and used without much time delays.
- Due to light weight, the over all load would be lesser and easier to carry and install.
- The Public use places, such as hotels, restaurants, offices, car show rooms, garages and convention centers, all can use this panel system for erecting the structure and using it without any maintenance.
- The armed forces can use it for knock down mobile houses and their camps all over Bangladesh, with one third costs as compared to brick and concrete structures.
- The Annual fair, festivals that are part of culture and trade, can use Panels for building their stalls.
- The Parking areas, bus stops, ticket booths, guard rooms, police stations and street markets that requires light material open cover, all can use these EPS Panels for better and safe use.
Bangladesh is a country that has a huge part of its dilapidated structures that we see in urban and rural built environment. EPS Panels with steel coated smooth surface for walls and groove for roof makes it an ideal material to get a healthier environment with short time and less cost. The assembly is simple and doesn’t need any expert craftsman, just a layout with basic grade beam having the u-Shaped channel makes the slide in possible and the corner post with double U-Shaped channel holds the two right angled panels secured in place with additional fastening with the base. The roof panels also can be slide in and secured with the walls using the same double U-channels welded together.
It is like a life size Lego structure, easy to install and dismantle. This gives the possibility of extension making the structure flexible, for future needs.The amount of income that goes into repair works, and for medicines due to various water borne diseases can be diverted for education or farming needs, as per each family’s priority. Saving is earning, so let us be innovative in our thinking , making social impact with EPS sandwich panel in house improvement..something like..home 🙂