Growing up in the Western Ghats, Mangal Shetty (59) and his wife Ambika developed a shared passion for nature.

As an entrepreneur in Bengaluru, he was constantly in the thick of city life and wanted to explore an eco-friendly lifestyle.

And it was during this journey in 2007 that he came across a place in coastal Karnataka nestled in the Aghanashini estuary.

Today, his dream home stands on the land and is a sustainable plot.

“What drew me to this spot was the Aghanashini estuary,” he says, adding that the area is laden with mangroves and abundant in biodiversity.

The land attracts several species of mangroves, fishes, bivalves, oysters, crabs, birds, insects and animals.

While the thick and dense vegetation impressed Mangal immediately, it also posed a problem during construction.

However, Mangal’s brief to the architect was such that no trees were cut down during the construction. In fact, the home was built in a way that it integrated the trees within it.

Trees rise through the decks of the home with the roof built around them in a way to accommodate them.

“Our bath place has a coconut tree in the middle as we did not want to cut down any trees. The water we bathe in feeds the tree,” says Mangal.

Cane, bamboo and stone are the hero materials used for construction and furnishings.

Recycled acacia wood from the fallen branches and trees in the area is used for the flooring, employing only a small fraction of cement for the construction.

Laterite stones have been laid in the washrooms while terracotta has been infused into the dining space. The rafters and roofing have been made with recycled coconut tree wood.

The home’s energy needs are fulfilled by the 4KVA solar panels.

“The canopy of trees means it is cool in summers and comfortable during winters. In fact, the home is 2 degrees Celsius cooler than other homes on the coast,” says Mangal.

The 10-acre plot of land is also home to a number of plantations and trees — such as coconuts, turmeric, cashew nuts, papayas, lemon grass, and more.