With more than 170 participating countries, the Energy Globe Award is a prestigious international environmental prize. The award recognizes initiatives that conserve resources and energy or utilize renewable or emission-free sources nationally, regionally and globally.
In 2016, the University of Moratuwa was awarded the National Energy Globe Award for Sri Lanka for their innovation of using mud concrete blocks for construction. UN-Habitat Sri Lanka partnered with the University of Moratuwa in this initiative by field testing mud concrete blocks for wall construction in their post conflict infrastructure reconstruction programme. Mud concrete blocks were successfully field tested and used for walls in community infrastructure facilities in Batticaloa district in Sri Lanka’s Eastern Province. This initiative was funded by the Government of Japan.
However, with increasing concerns on environment sustainability, curtailing the emission of Carbon Dioxide to the environment has become a major challenge. Mud concrete blocks is a product that can replace high cement consuming products. It blends the ancient earth based technology with new scientific developments to meet the requirements on strength and durability of modern construction.Mud-based construction was a popular method in ancient times, used extensively for wall construction, particularly in developing countries. Subsequently, when new technologies were introduced following the industrial revolution, these earth-based techniques became less popular despite their environmental benefits. Cement concrete became one of the most popular construction materials, particularly due to its strength and durability.
This year’s National Winner of the Energy Globe Award in Sri Lanka was awarded to the Moratuwa University for Mud Concrete Blocks, developed by a research team headed by Dr. Rangika Halwatura, of the Department of Civil Engineering and Arct. Lakmini Ranasinghe. UN Habitat is pleased to have partnered with the University of Moratuwa in this innovative initiative.