Sir Arthur Cotton Memorial Prize

The paper reports the development of building components using coconut shell composites. Coconut shells are found to be suitable for use as building materials, being strong, durable, energy-efficient, replenishable, inexpensive and locally available in abundance in places like Kerala. The application of coconut shells in building components is made possible by composite action, wherein coconut shells are confined in a cement mortar matrix. Two viable products, viz., (i) cellular blocks and (ii) sandwich panels have been developed using coconut shell composites. The practical use of these products have been demonstrated in the construction of a vault-shaped "coconut shell house" structure.