On the outskirts of Bengaluru in Kaggalipura lies an 8,000 sq ft sustainable property ‘Breathe’, which infuses modern architecture with ancient principles of design.

The project was designed by architects Deepa Suriyaprakash and Guruprasanna C, who hail from Chennai and Mysuru, respectively.

It was the dream home of Ramki and Swarna, a couple who prides themselves on conserving wildlife and the environment through their many passion projects.

The home is a treat to the eyes, with a lush garden that houses brinjals, bananas, hibiscus, lemon grass, rosemary, button roses, etc.

The outer facade has a natural brick finish owing to the CSEB (Compressed Stabilised Earth Blocks), a sustainable alternative to concrete. CSEB also makes the structure resistant to mold growth and discourages the growth of pests.

In addition, the blocks are soundproof, biodegradable, and release no toxic chemicals during manufacturing.

The foundation of the home is made using rammed earth beds with random rubble masonry that was unearthed from the site’s belly.

The inner courtyard is enclosed on top by ferroconcrete fins, which are a slimmer version of concrete and do not involve the usage of excessive steel and cement.

The flooring was done by creating a gradient of Athangudi tiles, while the furnishings and decor have been centred around the principle of upcycling.

“Upcycled wood from Kaggalipura market has been used in the staircase and window frames, while reused tiles have been installed in the bathroom,” says Guru.

A swale and retention pond on site collects rainwater, and a 1,000-litre tank on the terrace sends it to a pump, from where the water is used for plants.

The water from the bath and basins go to a standalone greywater system, and from there, to the flush system, where it meets the septic tank. 300 litres of water are recycled through this.

Additionally, the home is powered by 7kW solar panels that meet all the energy requirements, and excess energy is sent back to the grid.