By Halik Azeez
Durra is a whole new type of building material to the Sri Lankan construction market. Sure, it has been in use for some years now and several projects have already been completed using it as the main source, but its parent company, ICC, is just driving up a marketing campaign in search of a wider market.
It doesn’t seem like it would be too hard to get it either. The product appears to be solid. Durra is made out of compressed straw with absolutely no chemical additives. The straw is bought from rural farmers and then it is crushed under factory conditions under extreme heat. At 240 degrees Celsius the straw releases a natural adhesive that helps compress and stick the stuff together.
The technology is Australian and has ancient roots. Many ancient tribes have used tatami construction and straw bale to build walls and roofs and Durra is merely a technologically enhanced natural building material. It has been proven to be extremely resistant to fire and craft paper linings ensure water resistance. It has been used in the construction of many iconic landmarks including the Hilton Hotel in Melbourne. In Sri Lanka it has been used in many different buildings including resorts, hospitals and makeshift construction for government departments.
It is sold by the square foot. But Durra is not planning on selling the raw product to the market as yet and instead plan to sell it as part of a construction package where they would set up, install and finish Durra related construction themselves.
“We want to make sure that customers use Durra the way it is meant to be used. Therefore, for now, we will be doing all the installations and feature additions,” Kamal Munasinghe, Business Promotions Manager for Durra, told The Sunday Leader. “We shall focus now on providing customized construction solutions to households and business and we shall take care of the all the wiring, tiling and other requirements when it comes to Durra.”