By Azman Zakaria
Photo by Saleha Haron
SERDANG, Sept 26 - A group of researchers from Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) has successfully developed an innovation called Putra Blok which sees the construction of houses or buildings without the use of columns or beam structures.
In fact, it can be built straightaway using UPM’s very own Industrialized Building System (IBS).
Through Putra Blok innovation which features an Interlocking Load Bearing Block Building System, building a house is made easier, faster and more cost-effective.
The system is developed by a group of researchers from the Housing Research Centre of UPM’s Engineering Faculty, led by Prof Dato’ Ir. Abang Abdullah Abang Ali.
Putra Blok is Malaysia’s IBS first which comes with a Modular Coordination to facilitate designing and construction of three types of blocks, stretcher, corner and half, each with its own characteristics in terms of geometry and function in the wall system.
Prof Dato’ Ir. Abang Abdullah said Putra Blok was derived from the game-shaped structure, “Lego” that came complete with an interlocking system to allow blocks to be installed without any mortal layer (mortarless).
"Each block has its own interlocking that can be found within the block concrete space to ensure sturdier and stronger block listing to withstand the load of the building,” he told a press conference after the exchange of documents of a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) between UPM and Triple A Engineering SdnBhd, the company that produces local building materials, for the commercialization of the innovation through a patented licensing method, here.
At the ceremony, UPM was represented by its Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Datin Paduka Dr. Aini Ideris while Triple A Engineering Sdn Bhd by its Managing Director, Azhar Azwari Annuar.
Prof Dato’ Ir. Abang Abdullah added that the innovation made the construction process to be a lot more easier, faster and of high quality, without the hassle of having to hire skillful or many manual workers.
“Through this innovation, the cost of building a house can be reduced by 20 per cent,” he said, adding that the cost of a unit built under the system is RM35,000, according to design and spaciousness.
He also said that Putra Blok had been applied in the construction of some houses for flood victims in Sungai Durian, Kelantan, and community centers for senior citizens, single mothers and the poor, also in Kelantan.
Prof. Datin Paduka Dr. Aini, meanwhile, expressed her hope that more local companies and their foreign counterparts as well as government agencies could work together with UPM to commercialize its research products.
“UPM boasts over 1,900 intellectual properties with high potential to be ventured into by the industry. Since 1990, UPM has succeeded in transferring 115 of its innovations to the industry through licensing methods and selling of UPM’s intellectual properties with gross sales value of more than RM52 million,” she said. – UPM.