1. Filler slabs In order to render Suresh Veerapan’s house in Thiruppathur climate-responsive, architect Vignesh Sekar installed a filler slab roof instead of normal concrete roofing in the northeast part of the home.

“With terracotta pots installed throughout the concrete framework, the structure acts as a thermal insulator and reduces the room temperature by 6-8 degrees Celsius as compared to the outside,” explains Vignesh.

2. Compressed Stabilised Earth Bricks Pradeep Krishnamurthy’s house in Bengaluru is made with over 15,000 CSEBs. These bricks are made from red mud, sand, stone dust, gravel, lime dust and some proportion of cement.

“The bricks naturally breathe and moderate the temperature and energies inside the house,” he says, adding that the same material was used to make mortars for plastering the wall.

3. A terracotta envelope Mirai, The House of Arches in Bhilwara designed by architect Sanjay Puri has a curvilinear punctuated envelope that is made out of terracotta and surrounds the house.

“This envelope keeps the entire house cool in the hot summer months with temperatures in excess of 40 degrees Celsius for eight months of the year,” he confirms.

4. Rat Trap masonry method ‘The Pirouette House’ in Thiruvananthapuram designed by Vinu Daniel uses a unique technique to help the home keep cool in summer.

Kiln-fired bricks are placed vertically rather than horizontally, creating cavities in the walls. These cavities act as thermal insulators, providing warmth in winter and cool air in summer.

5. Wall gaps Mumbai-based architects Seema Puri and Zarir Mullan worked on a project in Mathura that keeps cool even in harsh summers. The reason: a 50 mm air gap prevailing between two layers of a brick wall.

“The air gap provides very effective heat insulation so that the room temperature remains more or less constant even with the drastic rise or drop in mercury. It thus creates a microclimate within the room throughout the seasons,” explains Seema.