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Chikmagalur Mud Hotel Harvests Rain, Runs on the Sun & Makes Vacations Eco-Friendly

Sunyata Hotel, located in Chikmagalur, Karnataka, is a sustainable structure made of bricks, coconut shells, and pot fillers. Watch how it was built.

Chikmagalur Mud Hotel Harvests Rain, Runs on the Sun & Makes Vacations Eco-Friendly

Located in the beautiful scenic spot of Chikmagalur is a luxurious hotel which is different from usual structures. The guests will find its roof, walls, rooms and facilities unique.

Sunyata hotel, owned by Lokesh Gunjanur, is a sustainable building whose walls are made of bricks and has a roof with coconut shells and pot fillers. Additionally, the hotel has solar panels, rainwater and greywater harvesting systems.

Lokesh purchased barren land in the place he grew up, years ago, as an investment. He has no plan to convert it into anything till 2017 when tourism boomed in the area.

“I wanted my hotel to be unique and in favour of the environment — not only in terms of the way it operated but also in terms of construction. I wanted to use materials that were not harmful to the environment. In the future, even if the building is being demolished, I wanted to ensure that the materials would become one with the earth again,” said Lokesh, who is a software engineer based in Miami, USA.

Design Kacheri, an architecture firm in Bengaluru, is the team behind this sustainable structure which won’t contribute to pollution even if dismantled. The work started by making bricks using the soil collected and levelling the land. The baked bricks were heated under the sun for weeks to begin construction.

Load-bearing structures were used instead of steel rods and cement. Coconut shells and pot fillers in the ceiling add aesthetic value as well as cooling.

There are no air conditioners in the hotel. “Instead of air conditioning, we chose a natural cooling technique. In this system, a large PVC pipe is installed 10 feet under the building. This acts as a coolant pipe for outside air. It works by sucking in air from the environment, and as the air passes through the pipe it cools down, which is then expelled through various outlets into the 11 rooms on the premises,” said Lokesh.

The purified grey water is used for gardening and other purposes. The rainwater harvesting system ensures a steady water supply all through the year.

Watch to know more about this aesthetic and sustainable architectural delight:

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