Fly ash is a residual product of coal-fired thermal power plants. It is considered a pollutant and its disposal is a major issue. So, any use for the fly ash is highly welcome.
Bricks made by fly ash not only consume the material but also have many advantages over conventional bricks. To manufacture bricks, fly ash is mixed with sand or rock dust, cement (or lime and gypsum) in a roller mill with some additives. Bricks are formed in a hydraulic press and are cured and air-dried over days.
According to Wikipedia, the fly ash bricks have several advantages.
It reduces dead load on structures due to lightweight (2.6 kg, dimension: 230 mm X 110 mm X 70 mm
The same number of bricks will cover more area than clay bricks
High fire Insulation
Due to high strength, practically no breakage during transport and use.
Due to the uniform size of bricks mortar required for joints and plaster reduces almost by 50%
Due to lower water penetration seepage of water through bricks is considerably reduced.
The Victoria Town Hall was constructed in 1890 with contributions from philanthropists. It is one of the many iconic buildings designed by Robert Chisholm and built by Namberumal Chetty. Though it is prominently sited between Ripon Building and Central Station, very few people know about this structure.
It was intended to be a town hall for meeting and staging plays etc. Many prominent personalities like Swami Vivekananda, Gopal Krishna Gokhale, Sardar Vallabhai Patel etc.have addressed the public here.
Leading Tamil dramatists like, Sankardoss Swamigal, Pammal Sambanda Mudaliar etc. have performed in the hall. It was also used by SVS Sabha for their performances. In the early days, some films were also screened here.
Over the years it fell into disuse and got entangled in legal battles. There were many threats to its very existence.
Now that the Metro work is completed, there is an attempt to restore the historic hall. Hope it will be open to the public soon to remind the Chennaites of their past.