Civil Engineering
Ammachi labs
School of Engineering

Thematic Area : Waste Management & Infrastructure

Project Title: Design of Interlocking Plastic Bricks for Toilet Construction

Project Guides: Mr. Harish Mohan, AMMACHI Labs, and Dr. Anil Kumar Sharma, Department of Civil Engineering

International Partner : Lauriane Masson, EPFL, Switzerland

Amrita Partners : Sreevalsa Kolathayarline, Monish, Ashwathi G. Krishnan, and S. K. Thiviya, Department of Civil Engineering

Village: Sadivel, Tamil Nadu

Project Duration : 4 months

The women's group in Sadviel that builds toilets

Identified Challenge & Aim :

Through Amrita's women empowerment initiatives, rural women are trained to build their own toilets, thereby addressing the urgent need for sanitation infrastructure in rural communities.

However, women do face some challenges while constructing toilets such as the acquisition of construction materials (which can be expensive) and the overall time required to build the toilets.

Therefore, this project investigates sustainably alternative methods to aid women in toilet construction by utilizing plastic waste, instead of traditional materials such as stone and cement, to create easy to use bricks.

Lauriane Masson helps to construct a toilet

Women delineate the toilet shape with strings and powder

Women learning how to position the P trap

The Study/Innovation :

Students studied the current toilet construction process undergone by women in the village and documented the main difficulties they faced. With input from the village women and guidance from Mr. Harish Mohan and Dr. Anil Sharma, students brainstormed about alternative methods and materials that can be used to expedite the toilet construction process.

Design of the doubli cross bricks(made on SolidWok)

After several brainstorming sessions, students came up with an idea to turn shredded plastic waste into durable bricks for construction.

Students first tested different types of plastics and fillers to see which combinations would be most suitable and, subsequently, studied different shapes the plastic bricks could take.

In the final step, students came up with several possible designs and found the double cross design to be the most conducive to the women’s requirements.

*NOTE: This work is patent pending


H. T. Mohan, L. Masson, S. Kolathayarlin, A.K. Sharma, A.G. Krishnan, S.K. Thivya, and R. Mohan, "Transforming urban waste into construction blocks for a sanitation infrastructure: A step towards addressing rural open defecation," 2017 IEEE Global Humanitarian Technology Conference (GHTC), San Jose, CA, 2017, pp. 1-9.

Addresses Sustainable Development Goals :

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