Tara Nirman Kendra (TNK)

TARA Nirman Kendra (TNK) is a building centre promoted by Development Alternatives and co-sponsored by Housing and Urban Development Corporation (HUDCO). The major objectives are to propagate and disseminate the various cost effective and appropriate technologies to the masses through training, production and sale of building materials and components and making available trained workforce for construction of cost effective buildings.

TARA Nirman Kendra and PEOPLE ...

* Applied Research and development of building technologies

Field research in appropriate building technologies.

Field testing of innovative design ideas prior to implementation

* Training in appropriate technologies

Training of artisans, professionals, students and people related to building trade in appropriate building technologies.

* Production research and laboratories

Design of production methods and specifications related to building products and their raw materials.

* Construction and project management

Execution and management of construction projects in appropriate technologies and in-house projects.

* Production of building elements

Commercial production of Compressed Earth Blocks, Ferrocement Roofing Systems and Micro Concrete Roofing Tiles.

* Architectural Design

Design practices integrating climate responsiveness, energy efficiency, economy and optimum utilisation of available material and human resources.


Selection and Upgradation of Technologies in Rural Areas.

* Reconstruction in disaster hit areas

In association with other relief organisations TNK undertakes reconstruction activities.

TARA Nirman Kendra and TSB ...

* TNK provides field testing facilities for construction technologies being developed, promoted or evaluated by TSB.

* TNK provides feedback to TSB for further development of construction technologies, by implementing commercial projects.

TNK - Our Name is in Mud

Use of mud inspite of proven and durable building material since long, is restricted to the poorer communities only. It is the oldest building material to be used by man. In the river sites of the Mesopotamian, Egyptic, Chinese and the Indus valley civilizations, readily available alluvial soil was used to make the first mud brick dwellings. Jericho, history's earliest city, had houses built in raw earth. Harappa and Mohenjo Daro saw the use of adobe walls faced with oven baked bricks. In the Americas too, there are ancient examples of earth being used as a building material. The Mexican city of Tenochtitlan had structures built of earth walls faced with lime rendering. With the advent of industrial revolution, new construction technologies spread, and earth construction skills were lost or relegated to the vernacular builder. Impetus was given to earth architecture in the post World War II years due to economic and energy saving concerns.

To create awareness about its useful, durable, comfortable qualities among middle class and affluent groups, Tara Nirman Kendra is taking a step forward. With manual compaction using simple press like BALRAM and scientifically backed technology inputs like stabilisation, durable 3-4 storey load bearing structures can easily be built in mud. The bricks used in mud buildings are called Compressed Earth Blocks - CEB.

Advantages of CEB

* Low cost in comparison with burnt clay bricks.

* Low energy consumption because it is sun dried.

* Comparable in strength with burnt clay bricks

* Aesthetic in nature

* Labour intensive

* Utilises local resources, materials and labour

* Can be made with compact, transportable and low cost manual press BALRAM - costing Rs.14000/- only

* Stabilisation with cement / lime increases resistance to erosion


* 1000 - 1200 blocks/ day produced by team of 5 labourers.

* Blocks cured for 2-3 weeks, then air dried for 1 week.

* Manually operated machine like BALRAM is adequate for production of high density stabilised soil blocks.

Technical Details

* Size of CEB is 230 X 108 X 76 mm, same as that of burnt clay bricks. 230 X 230 X 76 mm size also possible.

* Ideal soil for stabilised CEB is red sandy loam.

Unsuitable soils for CEB are

* Acidic soils with pH < 7 .

* Soils with high gravel or silt percentage.

* Soils containing more than 0.5% organic matter.

Suitability of soil for CEB

* Acceptable range of particle size gradation

............................................( in % )

coarse gravel ...............................0

fine gravel ..............................0-10

coarse sand ...........................20-35

fine sand ................................20-30

silt ..........................................15-30

clay ........................................10-30

Stabilisation - wih 4-7% cement

Stabiliser is added to CEB during its production to prevent softening of blocks on absorption of moisture. The possible stabilisers are cement, lime or both. Cement is recommended for red sandy loams, low clayey soils. If clay content is very low, the lime remains free. It can be remedied by replacing 15-40% of cement (by weight) with a pozzolanic materials like fly ash, rice husk etc.If clay content is high than lime cement combination may be used or sand may be added to the soil to reduce the clay content.

Other Details

* Dry compressive strength - 50-70 kg/sqcm

* Wet compressive strength - 30-40 kg/sqcm (aftger 48 hrs) against recommended 20 kg/sqcm as per IS code adequate for 2/3 storey house.

* Water absorption 10-14% only, against allowance of 20% as per IS code for CEB.

Economy in use of CEB

i) CEB masonry leads to about 15-20% saving in cost when compared with conventional masonry because

ii) Only 400-425 CEBs are needed/cum of masonry against 500/cum of burnt clay brick masonry.

iii) Mud mortar is used in CEB masonry against cement sand mortar in conventional masonry.

Building in CEB

Tara Nirman Kendra has built many modern buildings in CEB - Indira Gandhi National Centre for Arts at Delhi; workshop building of Sushant School of Architecture at Gurgaon; hospital building at Bodhgaya, construction project for Rural Development and Self Employment Institute at Nelamangala; Bangalore district , Institutional building for the Dharmadhikari of The Temple Trust of Dharmasthala, 50 IAY houses at Azadpura in Bundelkhand.The world Headquarter building of TNK's parent organisation, Development Alternatives is also built entirely in CEB. All these buildings are standing testimony to the strength and virtuosity of the technology.

For more info contact:

Mukesh Jain

TARA Nirman Kendra, Village Sultanpur, Mehrauli Gurgaon Road, New Delhi - 110 030


Tara Nirman Kendra

- launches a new product

Attention! Engineers, Construction Professionals and Quantity Surveyors
Here is what you have been looking for!
The Estimation Worksheet for Civil Works - First Edition
Cost Rs. 1500/- only*

How to Customise this New Release for Your own Use

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Salient features

For Details, Contact:

Mukesh Jain

Civil Engineer (Projects), Phones (011) 680-1521,5826,4482

Email: tara@sdalt.ernet.in

Tara Nirman Kendra, Village Sultanpur, Mehrauli-Gurgaon Road, New Delhi - 110 030


Development Alternatives' other branches

Environment Systems Branch

Institutional Systems Branch

Contact us at : B-32, TARA Crescent, Qutab Institutional Area, New Delhi, India-110016
Tel: 91+11+685-1158, 696-7938, 66-5370, Fax: 91+11+686-6031