Building Construction Methods in Sri Lanka

Build your own house. To western eyes the building style in Sri Lanka is like stepping back in time. You will see along the road side a number of boutique brick making stalls. They have the raw materials piles in heaps in their yards.

Building Construction Methods in Sri Lanka

Hand made bricks - Building Construction Methods in Sri Lanka

Some items like the clay they have dug straight out of a local hillside. They add binding agents and gravel with water and knead into a workable brick clay which they then ram into brick moulds. The moulded brick is then placed on the floor or a plastic sheet. The clay is released from the mould and the new brick is left to dry in the sun.

The Sri Lankan bricks are just a solid rectangle. Non of them have a 'frog' built into their design. This is the hollow along the top face of a brick that gets filled with cement and makes a stronger wall. This simple advance in brick design has not crossed over to Sri Lanka yet. These simple sort of bricks were last made in the UK during Tudor England. Finished dried bricks are then stacked in piles and offered for sale to passing customers. Some of these makeshift brick yards also produce thermal grey breeze blocks by the same process.

Sri Lankan Bricks

There are no frogs in these hand made bricks

It seems that many families build their own homes. This takes many years. They start with the foundation and then build one room. As time goes on and they have more money they buy or make more bricks. This enables them to build bigger foundations and construct more rooms. Once the ground floor is finished they start to build upwards. Houses can take 20 years to finish. You will not see metal scaffolding poles in Sri Lanka.

Wood is used. For structural column work most Sri Lankans build a wooden mould out of planks around metal reinforcing poles. They then add concrete. When that is dry and they have enough columns they then start to build the ceiling in the same way. All the wooden shuttering moulds are held up in the air by wooden post as you can see in the bottom photograph before being filled with concrete. Home made sun dried bricks are used to build the walls.


Shuttering is used to make a mould for a reinforced concrete lintal and wood is used for scaffolding in Sri Lanka

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