‘Hair brick’ - A student's innovation to make low-cost houses
Thrissur: Shifana M. P., a class 7 student from Malappuram, has introduced a novel concept in her project presented in the State Children’s Science Congress at Peechi. The little scientist has found that building bricks can be made using hair, soil and cement at a comparatively lower cost. Shifana is a student of Tirur Government VHS School for Girls.
She happened to think about making low-cost bricks, when one of her friend lost her house and found it rather too expensive to rebuild one. Thus, Shifana and some of her friends started researching on how to build a house at an affordable rate.
They had read in a magazine about making bricks with coconut husk. The girls experimented by making a brick using 1 kg soil, 50 gram of coconut husk and 10 gram of cement. Later they replaced coconut husk with concrete to reduce expense. The little scientists did not stop there, but continued experimenting with other materials. Finally, their search reached the barber shop.
The children collected hair from barber shops and added 50 grams of hair in the mixture to make bricks. They poured the mixture to the mold and let it dry for two weeks under sun. Thus the ‘hair brick’ was born. The cost of making one brick was calculated to be Rs 7.8. Also they tested the strength of the hair brick at Tirur Polytechnic College and confirmed that it can be used for construction. The positive result of their experiment inspired the teachers to present it as a project in the State Children’s Science Congress.