Coming into use in the early 20th century, structural terracotta originated in the Mediterranean and became increasingly popular in parts of India.
Hourdi blocks are made from natural clay that is baked in a kiln to create a hard, hollow component of the roof. The method of laying consists of placing the hollow blocks between prefabricated beams to form the slabs. The Hourdi Block is lighter in weight, speeds up the construction process and eliminates the need for shuttering as compared to the conventional Reinforced Cement Concrete system. It provides greater insulation at a relatively lesser cost.