Choosing environmentally friendly options is becoming a new fashion, especially among city dwellers. Architect Laurie Baker has pioneered cost-effective architecture and designs with a green philosophy. Now, more and more people are starting to search for eco-friendly building techniques. Here comes the role of mud houses. Sustainable technology is gaining more and more popularity among potential homeowners.
Many famous architects encourage sustainable building options using locally sourced materials such as clay and bamboo. Ji Shankar, architect and founder of Habitat Technology Group, says he has already completed thousands of mud house projects. He says, “We encourage clay because of its sustainability factor. However, there are many sustainability criteria such as cost efficiency, resource efficiency, energy efficiency, environmental sensitivity, and climate adaptability. This is why we aim to popularize clay as a The raw material for building houses.
According to him, about 80 per cent of homes in India are built using clay and other biomass waste materials like bamboo. “Although we used to build houses with burnt bricks, we realized a few years ago that it was destroying the environment. Burned bricks are not sensitive to the environment, especially because of the process of making them. So we moved on to mud,”
However, it reminds us that clay also comes with some drawbacks. “With all its additional advantages, mud has some drawbacks. Some moisture and termite attack.” Shankar’s private residence – Siddhartha – is an architectural marvel built of mud. Built with an equivalent design, it is a perfect example of a house perfectly in sync with nature. His other great projects include a model For a house made of treated mud and bamboo.It is located on a one-cent plot of land in the Police Guesthouse Complex of Thiruvananthapuram.
The building has a living room, bedroom, kitchen and bathroom on the first floor and another bedroom on the second floor. While the third floor consists of a terrace space that can easily be converted into a room.
Clay bricks were used to construct the structure, and recycled clay tiles and treated bamboo were used for plastering the walls. Shankar prefers to call it “Earth” rather than mud buildings. Architects highlight that people who have a slight orientation toward nature conservation are more willing to explore eco-friendly options while building their dream homes.
PB Sajan, a student of Laurie Baker and co-director of COSTFORD (Centre for Science and Technology for Rural Development) says: “We have already completed over 50 mud houses and also houses using bamboo. Clay is a wonderful material that is free from pollution compared to cement. No additional resources are needed during the construction of mud houses.” Clay extracted from the house complex itself can be used in construction. In places where there are chances of flooding, the foundation of the house is made using recycled bricks. The clay can also be recycled and is therefore environmentally friendly.”
The concept is to reduce energy consumption
One of the amazing models in the clay they made is the Kanthari Institute building in Vellayani, completed in 2008. “The building is designed using recycled mud and bricks. There are termite control channels that help keep termites out. Even the stairs are made of recycled bricks, clay and bamboo. The house of Minister of Public Education V. Sivankoti has also been built in mud.It is located on an area of 3,000 square feet on the bank of Vellayani Lake in Thiruvananthapuram, he says.
Why build a mud house?
Malleability makes clay an ideal building material
Low labor and construction cost
Provides better insulation than steel and concrete structures
Maintenance cost is lower
Good fire resistance