Amidst honey-coloured buildings and havelis that dot the landscape of Chittorgarh, Rajasthan, one home seems to be as though a picture from a postcard.

Shreya Srivastava, architect and founder of Studio Shunya, who is behind the construction says she has always focused on a zero-energy building design.

The 5,500 sq ft luxury farmhouse is an ode to this style.

“We wanted a mud home. Thus, we have an RCC (reinforced cement concrete)-framed structure that is 80 percent mud,” says Shreya adding that the walls are built using lime plasters.

“The material helps maintain preferred humidity levels while also purifying the indoor air,” she adds.

All the furnishings have been made on-site using mud, stone, and brick and finished in lime plaster, while some of the pieces have been sourced from Jodhpur havelis, and then refurbished and reused.

Keeping in mind the need to integrate Rajasthan’s culture, the flooring, too, is made of Jaisalmer stone, Udaipur stone, Kadappa stone, and Nimbara stone, which keeps your feet cool.

In the dining area stands an elegant table refurbished and sourced from an old Jodhpur haveli.

Materials such as araish made of slaked lime, brick powder, jute fibre, jaggery, methi water, marble dust, and sand have been used in the construction.

“Due to the porous nature of lime, it lets moisture flow from the interior of the home to the exterior and vice versa, maintaining a comfortable temperature inside the home,” she shares.

Another element of the design that helps keep the home cooler, she says, is the thatched roof. “It also adds the touch of vernacular design to the building.”

To ensure the home is cool in summer, the rooms have high ceilings which allow greater cooling and ambient temperatures.

“The thickness of the mud walls means they have high thermal mass, which helps keep the interiors cool in summers and warm in winters,” she says.

“These earthen walls function as an absorbent mass, store warmth, and reradiate it back into the living space as the mass cools.”

In tune with sustainability, the Jain family has also had six solar panels of 330W each installed on the plot to meet 50 percent of their energy needs.

The home also has a 400 sq ft kitchen garden where the family grows bottle gourd, onion, potato, brinjal, ladyfinger, etc.

The project, which began in October 2020 and was completed in April 2022, has been a dream come true for Shreya who says the idea is to always give back to the earth.