Nearly a decade ago, Bengaluru-based Manju Nath saw a beautiful house which looked 100 years old. He vividly remembers that the house was surrounded by trees, made with red bricks, and had large windows.

From that day, he envisioned his dream house to be of similar design and made with eco-friendly and sustainable materials.

Fast forward to many years of patience and hard work, and he now lives in a house made of stones and bricks that runs entirely on solar power, while storing thousands of litres of rainwater.

Additionally, the family also recycles household waste and uses it as fodder for his sprawling food garden.

The house has no air conditioning as Manju has used the concept of cross ventilation at different levels of his house.

“Due to the use of bricks and cross ventilation, the temperature inside the house is always 2 to 3 degrees lower than the temperature outside. Thanks to our passive cooling techniques, the temperature inside rarely crosses 28℃,” he says.

For lighting, the house has been designed with large windows that allow natural light to flood in, saving them money on the electricity bill.

He has also installed solar panels on the roof to further save electricity. “We have recovered the installation costs which were Rs 9,00,000. Though solar installation may seem like a huge investment, it will guarantee concrete returns,” says Manju.

The surplus electricity produced is sold to the electricity board, earning them Rs 70,000 annually.

Manju Nath also uses rainwater harvesting. “Our rainwater harvesting structure can store around 4,50,000 litres per year, of which we consume 2,00,000 litres. The rest recharges the groundwater tables,” he adds.