Austrian bricks behemoth Wienerberger AG’s Indian arm Wienerberger India is expanding production capacity of clay blocks for walls. The company has also introduced bricks for facades and clay roof tiles in the domestic market. It offers wall solutions under its Porotherm Smart Bricks brand in the country.
“We entered the Indian market in 2009 and set up our 30-acre production facility in Kunigal located 70 kilometres from Bengaluru, with an investment of Rs 250 crore. Over the years, we have received a tremendous response in the market. This is prompting us to augment our brick production from six lakh bricks per day to eight and a half lakh bricks per day,” the company’s managing director Monnanda Appaiah told SH.
Porotherm is a large format, clay hollow block available in two categories – non-load bearing (for infill/partition walls) and load-bearing (for G+1 construction without RCC). The former includes Porotherm HP (horizontally perforated), Porotherm HP G (grinded), and Porotherm Thermobrick; and the latter includes Porothrm VP (vertically perforated). All blocks come in four, six and eight-inch lengths, besides half bricks. The company also provides end bricks for wall endings and junctions, door and window jambs as well as T and L junctions as a value add.
Elaborating about Porotherm Smart Bricks’ sustainability and design edge over conventional materials, Appaiah said, “Walls made with our Porotherm Smart Bricks provide the house owner comfortable living in all seasons. The perforated design of the brick ensures excellent thermal insulation that keeps indoors cool at all times. The best thing about the blocks is that they are made entirely of clay, making Porotherm a natural walling material, rated by the Green Building Council of India. The large size of the blocks boosts savings in mortar consumption since one Porotherm eight-inch block is equivalent in area to nine small bricks.”
Another “spectacular” feature of Porotherm is the precision in design, Appaiah added. “The blocks are dimensionally tolerant, making Porotherm a one-of-a-kind wall solution in the market. They are also 60% lighter in weight than other conventional blocks, thus aiding in faster construction. Apart from all these, the blocks have the lowest water absorption, and as a result, there is no possibility of superficial or shrinkage cracks on plaster.”
Informing about the company’s recent foray into the roof and façade markets, Appaiah stated that Wienerberger would feed the domestic market by importing products from its European manufacturing units. “I think we will import roof and façade products into India for the next four to five years, and then we may set up a local production unit.”
Wienerberger AG offers clay roof tiles under the Koramic and Tondach brands. Its façade solutions include Aspect ventilated clay facade tiles and Argemax composite panels.
On distribution and promotion, Appaiah added, “We have authorised dealers in Bengaluru, Mysuru, Coorg, Pondicherry, Trichy, Madurai, Tirupur, Kozhikode, Hyderabad, Nagpur, Kochi and many other locations. We work closely with architects and consultants, who specify our products for wall and roof applications and façades. In fact, we organise nearly 250 educational meets for them during the year. Going forward, we will be tapping into digital marketing to promote our products to a wider audience.”