1. Mud wallsArchitect Biju Bhaskar of Tirvannamalai-based Thannal Hand Sculpted Homes recommends using mud in the structure during construction.
“Mud walls, being porous, can breathe, like our skin. This helps in maintaining comfortable indoor temperature, irrespective of extreme weather conditions outside,” he says.
2. Lime – an integral componentMalaksingh Gill whose projects have included farmhouses, bungalows and residential apartments focuses a lot on lime in the construction.
“Pick any old structure when cement was not available and notice how they still stand the test of time with little or no degradation,” says Gill, adding that this was because lime rendered the construction durable, weather resistant and bio-sensitive.
3. The ‘Steel and Concrete Composite structures’ method“Steel is almost endlessly recyclable. Therefore nothing will go to waste — it will always carry its own value,” says Piyush, an Aurangabad-based architect.
“It is fire-resistant, earthquake resistant and has a lesser impact on the environment when compared to the regular construction material,” he adds.
4. CamouflagingFamed architect Vinu Daniel known for his out-of-the-box sustainable constructions says that people are obsessed with achieving beautiful scenic views from their homes and in the process destroy the nature around them.
“But the houses end up looking like unnatural eyesores in virgin beautiful landscapes,” says Vinu, adding that through the camouflaging concept, buildings can stay hidden and merge seamlessly with the existing topography.
5. Eucalyptus polesThis was a sustainable incorporation in a home built by Bengaluru architect George Ramapuram in Wayanad, Kerala.
Along with giving a rustic feel to the home, eucalyptus poles are durable, pest resistant and also work as great support poles due to their strength.
6. Mangalore tiles and cera stonesBengaluru-based couple Satish and Dharitri Shastry’s sustainable home boasts Mangalore tiles that enhance the aesthetic of the home while being eco-friendly.
Mangalore tiles are water and fire-resistant and last for over 50 years. Cera tiles on the other hand resist daily wear and tear, and can be recycled once the flooring is changed.
7. Cross ventilationSamyuktha S, co-founder of Earth Building, a firm specialising in sustainable architecture, recommends having large windows in the home.
“It is important to have large windows in the direction of the wind, to make sure that the air flows in and out of the house easily. This also helps improve the thermal comfort of the house,” she adds.
8. Planters in the homeArchitect Smriti Iyer shares how important it is to have planters in the home as they will play a role in reducing your electricity bill.
“Not just on the terrace but even having planters outside the opening of windows is a great idea. She says that this absorbs the heat from the breeze and helps humidify the dry air circulating in.”
9. Seismic bandsArchitect Sandeep Bogadhi, the founder of ‘Earthling Ladakh’ has implemented seismic bands in many of his projects, especially the ones that lie in earthquake-prone regions.
These bands help tie the walls and are one of the essential components of earthquake resistance for load-bearing construction. It prevents the distortion or displacement of walls in the event of an earthquake.
10. PlasteringTo avoid chemical paints in the home, PK Sreenivasan’s architectural firm ‘Vasthukam’ came up with the concept of smooth plastering.
“This technique helps to reduce the use of 50 per cent of sand that is needed while plastering the walls. This technique also helps to avoid painting the walls and the unhealthy consequences of breathing toxins,” says the firm’s website.