While I study sustainable architecture and aspire to reduce the impact of the building industry, there are families who have chosen sustainability as a way of life.
Built in 2004, the house belongs to a wonderful classmate from my undergraduate programme. What a legacy to live up to.
The bricks used for building the house are made from soil available at the site and baked through a ‘solid mud block’ process. The bricks have been made by mixing soil and stone dust and then drying it naturally under the sun for a month, saving completely on energy required to burn the bricks and transport them.
The walls are weight bearing and only 2 concrete pillars have been erected to support a long-span beam inside.
The roofs have been made partly out of cement concrete and partly out of terracotta sandwich tiles. Air is sandwiched between the two tiles and reduces heat radiation, keeping the home naturally cool.
The central part of the house and parts of the dining area has double height and a skylight. The ventilators around the skylight draw the air from inside the house, thus providing natural ventilation. This also keeps the temperature of the house cooler by three to four degrees.
Due to the relative cool temperature in the house, the need for air-conditioners has not been felt and use of fans is minimal, thus saving electricity. “We wanted our house to be cozy and that is what we kept in mind when we asked Chitra Vishwanath of Biome to design the house for us,” says Hegde.