Ragesh T, a teacher by profession, built a sustainable traditional home in Emmad village on the border of Thrissur district in Kerala.

“Our idea was simple,” he says, “giving zero importance to luxury and artificiality. Located in a calm area, we wanted to preserve the ambience of our plot.”

So, with the help of an architectural company Costford in Thriprayar, Kerala, he built his dream home with red oxide floors, reused roof tiles and an eco-friendly plaster mix.

Ragesh used an eco-friendly mix of mud, jaggery, lime and myrobalan (haritaki) to plaster the interiors of the house. It also helped him cut down the cost of construction.

Shantilal, the architect of the house, says, “I used old roof tiles above a waterproofed bamboo sheet to avoid possible leakage issues in future. All the doors, windows and furniture were made using recycled wood.”

The rooms have huge windows to allow as much natural light to enter the house as possible. The building does not have any air conditioning as the red oxide floors keep the home cool.

The family has also planted numerous trees, such as coconut, mango, jackfruit, neem etc, around the house to keep the house cool during the summers.

Besides a sitting space, living room, dining area, courtyard, kitchen, work area, and two bedrooms, the house also has an inner courtyard that resembles Kerala’s traditional Nalukettu architecture.

The ground floor is designed for reading, enjoying music, and hosting small get-togethers. “This is my favourite space at home. I spend most of my free time here engaging in artistic activities,” says Ragesh.

The house spread across 1,200 square feet, took close to Rs 21 lakh to be completed.