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The Indian Army’s 2 Engineer Regiment of the Chinar Corps has collaborated with R+D Studio to develop a revolutionary pilot outpost for harsh high-altitude environments. Located near Razdan Pass in Jammu & Kashmir’s northern sector at 14,000 feet, this project aims to significantly improve the living and operational conditions for soldiers stationed at such extreme locations.

Traditional outposts often rely on sandbags for construction, insulation, and security. Taking inspiration from this approach, R+D Studio designed a solution specifically tailored for these challenging environments. They developed 13″ x 9″ x 6″ Silica Composite Hollow Blocks (SCHBs). These patented blocks are a sustainable marvel, constructed entirely from 100% recycled materials like foundry dust and single-use/multi-use plastic waste, eliminating the need for natural resources.

The SCHBs address a critical logistical challenge faced by the military in remote areas – the “Last Mile” problem. Delivering building materials to these inaccessible locations often requires transportation by mules or porters. The lightweight nature of SCHBs, weighing only 7.5Kg per block, significantly simplifies transportation and construction.

Despite their light weight, SCHBs are incredibly strong. This proprietary composite material boasts three times the load-bearing capacity of conventional clay bricks, Autoclaved Clay Concrete (ACC), and Concrete Masonry Units (CMU Blocks). The interlocking design allows for quick and easy assembly using just a hammer, eliminating the need for complex tools or techniques.

The outpost design incorporates 1800 SCHBs, forming a three-layered structure that tapers from a thick base to a thinner upper section. This design maximizes stability and provides exceptional insulation. The roof is specifically engineered to withstand heavy snowfall of up to 25 feet.

The innovative design prioritizes soldier comfort. The compacted earth filling within the SCHB walls regulates the internal temperature, creating a comfortable living space despite the harsh external environment. Additionally, a specialized Infra-Red Heating System (IRHS) ensures warmth during the bitter winter nights, where temperatures can plummet to -20 degrees Celsius.

The SCHBs offer superior protection against enemy fire. The compacted earth filling creates a formidable barrier, safeguarding soldiers within the outpost. Furthermore, these eco-friendly blocks can be disassembled and reused for future constructions at the end of their service life, minimizing waste.