SIMPLE AND ECO-FRIENDLY CONSTRUCTION
Getting inspirations from the last few posts about sustainable Mud adobe and ancient mud structures, it’s interesting to search for such sustainable constructions happening around us. There are many such examples of motivation that literally making “Mud-Adobe” feasible in the current century.
1. Eco-Friendly House by Mr. Rahul Vijay Deshpande – Kolhapur, Maharashtra, India
The house designed by Mr. Rahul Deshpande (Eco Spiritualist and Rural Reconstructor) is an excellent example of eco-friendly construction. It is located in Kolhapur, Maharashtra. It is a double-storey house made with Mud as mortar and as a plaster.
The house is in tune with nature by adopting following techniques –
- Mud flooring
- Mud roof tiles
- Mud refrigerator to keep veggies fresh
- Rain water harvesting system
- Recycled organic waste used as Biogas
- Reuse of materials from demolished buildings
- Reduced construction cost upto 50%
The house is so well ventilated that there is no requirement of fans. They have saved 31000 of cement and 4500 kg’s of steel in house construction. Watch the video and get inspired.
2. Sustainable mud house BY a Kerala couple
This mud house called “Nanavu“, located in Kerala is another example of sustainable construction which is made of earth and other natural materials. The house belongs to Hari and Asha, a couple that follows Gandhian philosophy and an eco-friendly lifestyle. ‘Nanavu’ was built on 960 square feet, with mud walls encompassing a spacious bedroom, living room, kitchen, hall and an office room. The house is built under the guidance of Architect Vinod who had experience in working with Laurie Baker, A pioneer in cost-effective energy-efficient architecture and designs.
Their eco-friendly house includes-
- Use of local materials – mud, old and dysfunctional coconut trees for making doors and window frame
- Terracotta tiles in flooring and roofing
- Different coloured ochres as paints
- Mud walls
- Solar plant of 5Kwp along with Biogas to serve their energy requirements
- Use of an earthen container for preserving food
- Toilet linked biogas plant
- All organic waste including faecal waste in Nanavu is converted into biogas, which is used for cooking.
- Their own natural food forest. The couple follows a farming method that is very similar to zero budget natural farming.
Everything… even the practical stepwise procedure for mud house construction is explained elaborately in the video by the Kerala couple Hari and Asha. Go watch it. It’s so comforting to see how humans can survive peacefully in the arms of mother nature without causing any recognizable harm to our mother Earth.
3. KODAIKANAL Mud house MADE OUT OF TRASH
The house belongs to Priyashri Mani and Nishita Vasanth, an enthusiast from an early age having a keen interest in making something productive. They made this possible without consulting an engineer or a builder, but just local masonry and other community residents. It is a mud roundhouse with a thatched roof and wooden poles.
The eco-friendly features of the house include-
- Use of Recyclable material, Mud and Cow dung
- Plastering with cow dung and/or lime plaster
- Use of handmade “Athangudi” tiles (traditional tiles from Athangudi in Tamil Nadu)
- Use of old beer bottles to get colored translucent light
- Tyres as window frames and steps
- Coconut mats and wooden poles for the gazebo.
They followed the Earth-bag procedure, which is eco-friendly and economical. This method involves the collection of old cement sacks made of polypropylene, a non-biodegradable plastic and filling them with mud. Then, they are arranged one on top of the other and plastered with mud or clay to hold up the entire structure.
4. Chitra Vishwanath’s Sans Souci in Bengaluru
The eco-friendly approach included-
- A thermally balanced basement
- No plaster or paint in the house.
- Naturally insulated enough to be cool in summers and warm in winters.
- The roof is designed to capture rainwater.
- Solar energy is used for cooking and water heating.
- Rice, millets, and other vegetables are grown on rooftop with recycled wastewater from washing machine.
- Greywater, which comes from kitchen sinks is recycled and used for landscaping purposes.
5. Arulville Bungalow
Acclaimed as “An Ode to Indigenous Architecture”, Arulville is a perfect place where luxury meets nature. It is a holistic site for relaxation, rejuvenation, family celebrations, and much more.
Here are its eco-freindly features-
- Extensive use of exposed and Acchikkal (half-brick) brickworks which are left unplastered.
- Implementation of cooler-roof technique (locally known as Madras Terrace).
- Mud dug up from the site has been used extensively to build walls as well as foundations, applying the rammed-earth technique.
- Stone Flooring with Oxide, Terracotta & Shahabad stone
- Thermal insulation within the structure is incredible, especially during the hot and humid climate of coastal Tamilnadu.
- Unique Filler Slabs, Pot Arches, Reclaimed Wood pillars, Reusable Concrete Rafters etc.
- Water bodies were created in areas where the soil was dug out for building rammed earth walls.
- Water purification involves the conventional use of pebble, charcoal, sand, and blue metal jelly.
- Wastewater is also recycled.
- Man-made waterbodies keep the entire campus cool all through the day.
- Electric power consumption has been reduced by the optimal use of natural lighting and air circulation for ventilation.
Arulville is a classic sync between human, nature and the built environment consisting of a cottage, a courtyard, a bungalow/villa, a kitchen/dining block, a three-storey water tank and a few man-made water bodies. It shows a bright side of human-nature relationship, where one do not overpower the other but grow together in a symbiotic relationship.
The government is taking several initiatives these days to incorporate Earth as a building and renovation material. The time involved in the construction and the cost is more or less dependent on the materials and techniques of construction. But, the bottom line is THIS IS THE TIME. Yes, this is the correct time to draw or inclination towards sustainable ways of living. It is easy,, may be bit strange but the correct way of subsistence. Let’s inculcate within the eco-friendly manner of living right from the moment. Start slow but be consistent…… Soon we can achieve a perfect sync of our souls with the Mother Nature.
What are your thoughts on Mud-housing? Comment and share your thoughts with me. Stay home and stay safe.
Links: https://obsidianspace.in/2021/03/22/10-reasons-to-choose-mud-housing/ , https://obsidianspace.in/2021/03/03/bhunga-the-mud-house-from-gujarat/ , https://obsidianspace.in/2021/03/16/top-10-ancient-mud-heritage-marvels/