• UM Centre of Innovation and Enterprise
  • umcie@um.edu.my
  • 03-7967 7351

Problem Statement

Raising material costs for Class C contractors in building low cost houses.

Class C contractors in villages are facing raising costs to build low cost houses. The material costs particularly cement and hollow slabs make up 40% of the construction costs.

The raising cost issue has been the use and transportation of raw materials far from the site of construction. The house to be build will use cement and hollow slabs of materials manufactured far the site of construction. These added more costs to the use of materials to build the house.

Solution Statement

Integrated solution to produce low cost cement and hollow slabs

4 Products:

  1. eco-light-Crete/ecoLcrete

  2. lightweight non-structural building block

  3. low-cost hollow block (cast on-site/ precast

  4. low carbon/ eco hollow block (precast)

The solution is to integrate UM patented know-how with existing abundance of biomass materials at the villages and special mix of cement at smaller amount to transport to construction site. Contractor Class C can lower the cost of construction when the Contractor makes the hollow slab at site of construction using. This will less the cost of transporting hollow slabs from manufacturers to distributors of hollow slabs.

The Contractor will further lower the cost per unit of hollow block when he mixes the special product with available biomass such as shredded palm oil clinker and other biomass materials to make the hollow slabs and cement at the construction site. These biomass are easily available at these villages and remote areas. In our estimation Contractor Class C can save up to 30% construction cost in building low cost houses.


Assoc. Prof. Dr. Ubagaram
Johnson Alengaram

Department of Civil Engineering,
Faculty of Engineering, UM

URL CV UM Experts:

Academic Qualification:

  • PhD (Structural Engineering), UNIVERSITY OF MALAYA (UM)

  • M.Eng.,(Structural Engineering), BHARATHIAR UNIVERSITY, INDIA

  • B.Eng., (Civil Engineering), MADRAS UNIVERSITY, INDIA

Area of Expertise:

Materials And Structural Engineering (Concrete Materials, Lightweight Concrete, Structural Behaviour, Sustainable Materials, Geopolymer Concrete, Thermal Insulating Characteristics, Impact And Blast Resistant Concrete, Nano Materials)

Last Update: 12/03/2022