“Instead of burning straw, live with it.” Engineer Rola Kamal, who works as an assistant lecturer in the Department of Architecture at the Faculty of Fine Arts, Mansoura University, decided to combine her studies in the Architecture Department with her interest in environmental issues by studying a master’s degree in Engineering, Technology and Environmental Management.
The burning of rice straw
“Rola” began to scrutinize the details around it, and because the Egyptian countryside has a special identity that distinguishes it from anywhere else, he reaped the main interest of the study, by searching for safe environmental solutions to deal with rice straw instead of burning it and exposing the environment to a great deal of pollution.
Engineer Rola told Al-Youm Al-Sabaa that during one of her visits to a rural area, she found that the problem of burning rice straw still exists, and she asked herself: “Why do farmers burn rice straw despite the existence of laws that prohibit them?” Hence, she decided to focus her study on this problem from the perspective of environmental architecture.
Rola explains that she started her studies in 2017, saying: “I decided to go to the Egyptian countryside to learn about the problem from its roots. There were some questions in my mind: Do you think burning rice straw is useful in fertilizing the land? Farmers of rice straw are pushed to burn it, especially in the presence of a law that prohibits it because of its negative impact on the environment?” And I have already started interviewing farmers who are already working in agriculture.”
And she added, “Some of them were lying for fear of falling under the law, while others answered, ‘We don’t want to lose, even if the cars were not carried and carried the rice straw plates, we would lose a lot because we want to start the next plantation,'” This was the beginning of the crystallization of the problem in the mind of the young engineer who I found that the harsh vocabulary of life forces them to resort to negative methods such as burning in order not to incur heavy losses, so they resorted to the worst option, and caused major environmental problems..
Rola thought about reformulating the negative factors and turning them into positives as part of the solution. She found the possibility of converting rice straw into the so-called thermal insulation panels that enter the building and consider it one of the safe building materials on the environment.
Rola reveals that she researched the matter and found that the United States of America has studies and simulation programs on the matter, but with what suits their weather, which is completely different from the Egyptian weather, stressing that these panels are very useful as they provide less heat in the summer and warmth in the winter.
She pointed out that the panels were compared to concrete materials that are not considered environmentally friendly, and it was found that they are less expensive in addition to being environmentally friendly and do not cause any damage, unlike concrete, which is high in price, and has carbon emissions by 40%, as well as panels are better than clay. Because its thermal coefficient is greater than that of clay.
concrete houses in the countryside
Engineer Rola asserts that the use of panels will reduce electricity consumption throughout the year, because they provide a mild climate in homes. Noting that it appealed in its recommendations to industrialists and businessmen to prepare these boards, just like wood, and prepare them for use.
Expected rural houses according to their perception
At the end of 2020, Rola obtained a master’s degree for her thesis “Using bio-thermal insulation board materials in the design of the Egyptian rural house.” Exporting it to Mediterranean countries, pointing out that this idea is in line with Egypt’s goals for sustainable development 2030, as well as the president’s initiative to develop the Egyptian countryside.