International Green Developers Nepal (IGDN), the sole manufacturer of prefabricated sandwich panels in Nepal known as Gorkha Eco Panel, has doubled its production capacity in response to swelling demand for lightweight construction panels.
IGDN has boosted its production capacity from 500,000 square metres to 1,000,000 square metres annually. According to company officials, the market for their product increased after people started looking for lightweight construction materials to build their homes after the earthquake.
Gorkha Eco Panel can be used in residential homes, schools, hospitals and office complexes for internal and external partition.
“The use of eco panels can bring down the total construction cost by 15 to 20 percent,” said Krishna Duwal, chief executive officer of IGDN. “We have completed the construction of more than 200 schools, health posts, offices and commercial buildings and replaced the damaged walls of high-rise buildings in a very short time.”
According to Duwal, the company started production after the earthquake and has gained a fair market since then. “We have come up with an energy saving, earthquake-resistant, fire and sound proof prefab building product that also provides thermal insulation. The panel is lightweight and provides excellent anti-seismic properties compared to ordinary brick walls and has excellent heat and sound insulation,” Duwal added.
The panels are produced using a composition of non-asbestos calcium silicate board, cement, water, sand and expandable polystyrene (EPS).
IGDN produces three types of prefab panels—sandwich panel, solid hollow panel and solid panel.
Gorkha Eco Wall Panels are used as interior partitions and exterior walls while the main structure is made of ordinary concrete.
According to company engineers, the construction of a building can be completed five times faster with the use of eco panels instead of traditional brick and mortar walls.
“Nepal is an earthquake-prone zone and we must construct structures which are quake-resistant,” said Krishna Bhetwal, an expert in structural engineering, “Using materials which are lightweight and have less volume can reduce the dead load bringing down human and property damage.”
According to Bhetwal, countries like Japan use such eco panels to construct earthquake-resistant buildings and skyscrapers.