Jun 2, 2009
Most people suffer the heat in concrete buildings during summer in the coastal area. This gets worse during times of power cut and the so-called load shedding by the electricity department.
This causes many to keep out of the house in an effort to stay cool. However, now there is a solution to this problem.
The idea of using polystyrene in constructing houses will be implemented in Kulai area near Surathkal and promises to provide a pleasant and cool environment in the summer season for the residents.
Captain Karl Neugebauer, the engineer and promoter of Eco-thermo Constructions, is now in Surathkal with his plan.
He intends to provide houses similar to the ones built in this country, but with German technology.
“We call it Expanded Polystyrene Construction (EPSC) but it is commonly known as insulated house”, said Karl explaining about the house.
But he said that thermocol which is the common name for polystyrene, is used in this type of construction. He said that there is no need for bricks in building the walls.
He is using his own patented mould bricks made from polystyrene imported from Germany. Karl has imported the chemical for the polystyrene from Germany and prepared the mould here in the city.
“When I saw the thermocol here, I was not satisfied with its quality. So, I decided to import it from my homeland. Not the thermocol but only the chemical”, he said.
The ongoing project of insulated houses in Surathkal is the fourth such.
Karl said, “When compared to normal houses, it becomes less expensive and stronger than others. The walls built through the thermocol moulds become strong due to the concrete which is poured inside the blocks where it is cured in a resistant temperature”.
The mould is similar to bricks or hollow blocks. But the width of the wall lessens by about four inches while compared to the walls built with cement bricks or others. So, every room in the house becomes spacious.
These houses are heat resistant making it economic for the users of air conditioning devices too.
”The thermocol does not allow heat or air inside, so only the one inch space which is plastered on the thermocol bricks in the wall absorbs the air spit out by air conditioner. So, the AC does not need to cool the whole wall minimizing the use of electric power”, said Karl.
The ceilings of the houses are covered with three inches of thermocol after the common RCC and are then plastered using mesh under Karl’s directions. By covering each wall and the ceiling, the house becomes completely protected against the heat from sunlight.
The mesh-based plastering on the walls is also a unique idea of Karl, and it lasts long without cracking.
Karl will soon finish four houses including one that was completed six months ago. Three others are under construction.
One of these houses belongs to H Devaraj, assistant controller of stores in NMPT, while the others belong to his relatives.
Karl, who is a qualified pilot entered the field of construction field after 29 years of service in this field in Germany, is now in coastal Karnataka.
”Some of my friends are in Manipal and when they come to their homeland Germany they would meet me and invited me here”, he said.
“I am interested in Indian culture and ‘Vaasthu’. Vaastu is something that is scientifically proven and I refer to its guidelines when constructing the houses”, added Karl saying that he visited India in 1980 and studied Vaastu and Yogic science for four years.
”In European countries we have strict norms to follow while constructing a house. These norms are mainly to reduce heat penetration and also to lessen power consumption”, he said.
Karl’s only response was a smile when his efforts in helping the coastal people stay cool were appreciated !
Capt Karl could be contacted at:
Phone: +91 9480265501, +91 9449823923