Innovation & Evaluation of Roofing component in Hot & Dry Climate – A case of Bhuj-Kutch

Ar. Veerendranath Satrasala

Ar. Veerendranath Satrasala

Post Graduate Thesis
Tejas Kotak, Hunnarshala Foundation for Building Technology & Innovations
Prof. Urvi Desai, CEPT University Ahmedabad

Owing to a large quantum of construction undertaken, the construction industry consumes an enormous amount of energy, annually. A portion of this can be attributed to materials used for construction right from extraction to their application. In terms of a building’s operational energy, the right building envelope design can go a long way in reducing the consumption. Walls, roofs and openings are the three primary components of the envelope that contribute towards heat gain from the external environment. Roofs are the component of a building, which are in maximum contact with sun, thus end up becoming the biggest source of heat gain during the day and heat loss during the night which affects the ambient temperature to a great extent. By and large, in order to achieve thermal comfort indoors, maximum energy is consumed after occupation, thus varying the occupational energy. An appropriate choice of material can help improve the structure’s thermal performance particularly in Hot & Dry climate while quantifying heat gain. To this end, there is a need to bridge the gap between the techniques from traditional vernacular systems to the present context with conventional techniques through innovations. A few vernacular and conventional materials were identified, innovated and have been evaluated based on their materials’ properties for relative thermal performance and surface temperatures for social, ecological and economical sustainability. This is done on-site, wherein at one time eight modules were executed keeping the roofing components variable and the wall, module’s size, size of opening and materials are maintained constant, to produce results that are then compared to the conventional practice. Further, all the eight modules were analysed for their relative thermal performance.
Keywords: Thermal performance, Building component-Roof, Building material, Innovation, Monitoring.


To Innovate and analyse thermal performance of roof component in hot and dry climate– A case of Bhuj- Kutch


1.2 Objectives
– To develop a roofing component with locally available material.
– To identify and explore the potential of the material as a roofing component for thermal performance in an economical way.
– To monitor thermal performance of selected configurations of the roofing components on-site.
– Comparative Analysis of thermal performance of roofing components.


1.3 Methodology
– Identification of materials used in selected region.
– Understanding properties of different materials selected for the study.
– Finalising materials for testing based on the above conclusions drawn from the comparative chart.
– Exploring methods to make roofing component for economically weaker sections.
– To evaluate the properties of selected material as a roofing component with its limitations, strengths and weaknesses.
– As per the above conclusion, the testing unit will be designed.
– On-site execution of the designed module for further study for thermal evaluation.
– Continuous monitoring of individual modules in regular intervals.
– Thermal performance analysis and conclusions.


1.4 Scope & limitations
– Scope of the study is limited to flat roof exposed to the sun in hot & dry climate.
– Thermal performance is being considered for the roof only; thermal comfort is not in the scope.
– Thermal performance is measured by on-site monitoring only.
– Study is conducted in summer months only.


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Innovation of systems
– To bridge the gap between the traditional knowledge with the present conventional architecture with limitations of materials & craftsmanship, considering ecological, economical and social sustainability.
– Based on the material inventory, Innovation & exploration is done in the fields of:

Development of Mud Rolls (With Lime, Surkhi & Fly-ash)
Sr. no Proportion by volume Density gm/cm3
Clay Soil Lime Slurry Surkhi Fly-ash
1 0 2.5 0 0 0.413
2 0 2 1 0 0.544
3 0 1 2 0 0.599
4 0 1 0 2 0.541
5 4 0.5 1 0 0.592
6 Clay Soil 0 0 0 0.720


Paper Tubes for Load Testing
length (cm) Inner dia (cm) Outer dia (cm) Guage (cm)
 91.5 7.75 8.7 0.475
 centre to centre 76.5

24-27] Project_Ar Veerendranath Satrasala.qxp

Displacement Readings CSEB Block (9.6 each) Weight
28.1 0 0
28 4 38.4
27.8 8 76.8
27.7 12 115.2
27.7 16 153.6
27.5 20 192
26 42 403.2
28 4 38.4
Displacement 2.1


Thatch Panel Alternatives for Testing
Sample Block proportion (in litre)
Clay Slurry Lime Slurry Saw Dust Surkhi Fly-ash Wheat Rice Straw Water
1 4.5 5.75 5.75
2 4.5 5.75 5.75
3 2.5 5
4 3  3 5.75 5.75  2.5
5 1.5  3 5.75 5.75  4
6 1.5 1.5 5.75 5.75  2.5
7 1.5 3 5.75 5.75  4

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Modules Max Int. roof surface temp Time lag (in hrs) Temp. reduction of surface (in deg cel)
Mud Roll with Ferrocrete  38.7 4 15.3
Paper Tube with Ferrocrete  37.1 2 16.1
Lime Roll with Country tiles  37 6 12.8
Mud Roll with Country tiles  36.7 6 13
paper Tube with Country tiles  35.7 4 13.9
Concrete  46.4 2 3.4
Tin sheet  50 0 -0.8
Clay panel with Country tiles  39.4 6 7.6


Relative thermal performance Relative External roof Surface Temp. Relative internal roof surface temp
Research started with an aim to develop roofing component which would determine high thermal performance as well as cost effectiveness in the case of hot and dry climate in Bhuj. The experiments were carried out with roofing materials: Mud roll, Clay panel and Paper tubes. Although Clay panels containing flyash with lime and flyash with surkhi did not respond positively in terms of strength for its insufficient binding, the rest other materials demonstrated a positive inclination towards the aim.In the process of material development, reduction in the density of mud roll is achieved by 50% as compared to the standard sample of mud roll. Thermal performance analysis reveals that the newly developed modules exhibit similar thermal performance as that of the standard sample of mud roll. The combination of waste material like paper tube with clay tiles and ferrocrete have equal scope for the development as a roofing component.All the modules developed with alternative materials under this study testify to better thermal performance as compared to tin sheet and RCC. In the case of Ferrocrete-Mud rolls and Ferrocrete-Paper tubes, though the external layer is same for both, there is a difference in their thermal performances. When compared, the external surface temperature of Ferrocrete-Paper tubes rise faster, yet, drops down quicker than ferrocrete- Mud rolls. Paper tube- CT, Lime roll-CT, Mud roll- CT, and Clay panel- CT are the four roofing components which show minimum internal surface temperature levels as compared to other modules at the time when external ambient temperature is maximum.In comparison with the above four modules, Paper tube- CT has its internal surface temperature lower during the morning and evening time when the external ambient temperature starts falling. This depicts, Paper tube- CT performs relatively better as compared to the other options under evaluation. Although cost is considered same across all the modules, the configuration is found to be more economically viable over others.Positive results in the development of roofing component demonstrate that there is a scope for an integrated research of the material from a point of material innovation and thermal performance with economic viability.

Future Scope of Research
Roofing modules showing positive results in the development process can be taken forward for further refinement in terms of improving material composition and improved thermal performance.

Merely for a study purpose standard samples of alternative materials were used for the analysis of thermal performance. Individual variants of the Mud Rolls, Clay straw panels and Paper tube panels can be similarly analyzed and developed further.
Papertubes posses greater potential as a structural member and exhibit high thermal performance. It can be taken forward to a greater extent as it is one of the major wastages found in many packaging industries; they are easily available.

In addition, Papertubes could be tested for thermal performance by introducing double layer with varying diameters and varying gauge thickness.

About the Author
Ar. Veerendranath Satrasala upon completing his B.Arch from BVB College of Engineering and Technology went about to pursue Master’s Degree in Sustainable Architecture from CEPT University, Ahmedabad and parallely studied MBA in Construction Management from IIBM Meerut.

He is a proprietor of Espeevee Architects and Interior Designers, Raichur, established in 2014 and singlehandedly manages different scales of this domain right from residences, offices and commercial complexes, hospitality and institutions, temple complexes and alternative technologies towards a healthy ecosystem.

He strongly believes in integrated design and works towards sustainable sensitive architecture via, his forte, holistic design approach. His focus relies on exploring sustainable practices, in a deeper and wider context, in different hierarchies of this domain.

His involvement in conservation projects and competitions has strengthened his principles over a long period in architecture discipline. He holds high regards to Hunnarshala Foundation, their community and artisans, at Bhuj-Kutch for having taught the strength in simplicity as also shaping his belief in ecologically sensitive work culture.

A few of his noted works are Meliorated Adil Shahi Monument at Aliyabad, Bijapur; Temple Conservation and Redevelopment at Yedur and a Nomination Dossier of Badami, Aihole and Pattadkal for UNESCO under the guidance of Ar. Gitanjali Rao. He has received many accolades for his innovative building technology with the use of rice straw bales, paper tube panels, wheat straws; a few to mention.

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