Indian student on a crusade to make construction environmentally friendly

With a growing economy, construction companies are on the rise in India. Contrastingly, nearly 14.5 million tonnes of construction material goes to waste every year. What if you could use this waste material to provide low cost housing solutions for the lower income residents of the country? Rohit Sadaphal’s innovation has turned this environmentalist fantasy into a reality. 

Rohit Sadaphal

“Made in India- Ecocrete project is a sustainable solution to construction waste management by converting scrap materials from construction sites and turning them into structural construction staples for low cost housing in urban and rural areas. While it addresses to the need of quality housing solutions for the under privileged sections of India, it also helps in reducing the carbon footprint by re-using materials that would have otherwise been scrapped.” Rohit explains. “We have started implementing the project at some of the identified mega construction projects in residential buildings sector in Mumbai.”

‘Made in India Construction Staples from Waste’ won Rohit the Grand Jury Award at Innovation Jockeys 2013. 

In today’s scenario Rohit says, companies can no longer afford to ignore their environmental responsibilities. “Companies are increasingly measuring their business activities, as it is questioned by customers, investors, activists and regulators. Efficient use of resources is gaining competitive advantage with the help of clean development mechanism and ratings for carbon emissions.”

His innovation could help reduce the massive carbon footprint of the construction industry that accounts for 6.8% of the carbon emissions at the global level.

The 24 year old who hails from a small town in Aurangabad district, Maharashtra is currently pursuing his Master of Technology in Urban Development and Management at the TERI University, New Delhi with core focus on sustainability and inclusive growth. He worked at Larsen and Toubro Construction Division as a Senior Planning Engineer in Mumbai for 2 years before joining TERI University.

A passionate environmentalist he says he is continuously inspired by these words of scientist and former President of India APJ Abdul Kalam, “I will work and work for removing the problems faced by planet earth in the areas of water, energy, habitat, waste management and environment through the application of science and technology.”

He is currently working on the design of a ‘governance model for regulating the haphazard growth of cities.’ Rohit is also developing ‘further solutions of reutilizing construction waste in the form of resource.’ 

“To be an innovator,” he says in an effort to explain his approach to innovation, “one needs to identify a problem that has the potential to be converted into an opportunity.” 

Crediting his family and teachers for equipping him with the knowledge and skills to be able to convert his ideas into a reality, Rohit quotes another one of his idols Steve Jobs, to emphasize the importance of innovation in achieving his goals. 

“Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.”  And Rohit intends to be a leader. 

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