Hailing from Annamangalam, a small and quaint inside village within the Perambalur district of Tamil Nadu, A Jegatheesan recollects how the development of homes in his village has remodeled through the years.
The civil engineer notes that the outdated homes, which have been as soon as constructed utilizing mud, at the moment are being changed with concrete buildings because of the standard perception that concrete is stronger than mud.
This remark didn’t strike him till he was approached by somebody in his village to demolish their mud home to construct a concrete one. “Although I’ve been setting up concrete homes, this explicit incident made me replicate upon the transformation of the village homes. The village was as soon as filled with mud houses. At present, virtually 90 per cent of those conventional houses have vanished. That’s why I considered constructing a mud home by myself to protect it as a logo of our custom and to show that they’re as robust as a concrete constructing,” Jegatheesan tells The Higher India.
Moreover, he wished a home that was near nature. “I used to be decided that I didn’t need to minimize a single tree whereas setting up my home. Additionally, to make it as sustainable as potential, I targeted on reinforcing the idea of reuse by sourcing waste/used wooden and metals,” says the 31-year-old who constructed a 1000 sqft home utilizing unfired mud bricks manufactured from pink soil and mortar manufactured from the identical by decreasing the utilization of cement as much as 50 per cent.
So in 2021, after ending a three-month course, Jegatheesan began constructing his dream dwelling that he now calls ‘Thaimann Veedu (which implies mom earth in Tamil)’.
The development was accomplished inside a yr and value him round Rs 20 lakh.
In 2020, whereas Jegatheesan was nonetheless within the strategy planning stage, he recollects that he was a bit uncertain about tips on how to go about it as he wished his home to be as distinctive as potential. “I wished to construct a multi-storeyed mud home, as single-storeyed ones have been frequent. So, as a primary step, I talked to a number of individuals who owned mud homes to know the professionals and cons. After itemizing them, I realised that there are extra professionals than cons to mud homes, however persons are unaware of it,” he says.
His subsequent transfer was to be taught progressive strategies to construct the mud home and due to this fact he enrolled himself on the Auroville Earth Institute in Puducherry, which promotes and teaches earth-based applied sciences which can be price and power environment friendly. “That’s the place I discovered about making Compressed Stabilised Earth Blocks (CSEB) or unfired bricks and Arch Vault Dome (AVD). I spent round a yr as a volunteer on the institute and learnt that, in contrast to the conventional burnt bricks, these mud bricks are unfired and are made utilizing pink soil accessible within the website, inside a 30-metre radius,” he explains.
Jegatheesan says that there’s usually a false impression that unfired bricks are usually not long-lasting and they’d dissolve after they are available in contact with water. “However that isn’t the case. These bricks are made utilizing a mix of pink soil and a small quantity of cement. They’re blended and stamped out mechanically, after which saved for at the very least three weeks, alternating between daylight and shade earlier than they’re used for building,” he says, including that these bricks are robust, environment friendly, and extremely sustainable as they minimize the necessity for burning firewood in kilns.
The 1000 sqft home has been constructed on a stone basis and adopted the load-bearing method through which the hundreds are transferred to the inspiration by way of partitions. Moreover the unfired mud bricks have been laid utilizing a mortar produced from the identical materials as an alternative of utilizing cement within the typical methodology.
“The very best factor about utilizing unfired mud blocks and mortar is that the partitions develop into breathable. They hold the home cooler in summer season and hotter in winter. So, we don’t have ACs at dwelling neither do we want followers more often than not,” says Jegatheesan including that
One other distinctive and sustainable method he adopted was to construct vaulted, arched, and dome-shaped roofs. This helped him in decreasing the quantity of cement and metallic used often within the building of roofs. “We used round 10,000 unfired bricks as an alternative of cement or metallic rods and the roofs are even stronger than a concrete roof,” he explains, including that the areas between the domes and arches of the bottom ground roofs have been full of particles and have been flattened for levelling the primary ground.
“We have now used oxide flooring all through the home together with the kitchen and toilet,” he says including, “We haven’t cement plastered the home aside from sure areas like toilet partitions and the kitchen, that are susceptible to moisture danger. After plastering with cement we topped these areas with oxide. We additionally painted a lightweight coat of whitewash for the interiors to make them look brighter aside from that we’ve left the partitions as it’s”
Speaking about lighting, Jegatheesan says that he has constructed his home in such a manner that there’s pure gentle inside the home all through the day. “I additionally constructed a courtyard form of an area which allows ample daylight,” he says, including that with much less utilization of lights, followers and no ACs they’ve been in a position to save lots of lots in present payments.
“We get round Rs 20 or Rs 30 as electrical energy payments as soon as in two months. With the Tamil Nadu authorities’s subsidy, the primary 100 models are free and we barely exceed that restrict,” he provides.
Repurposing and recycling wooden & metallic
One other spotlight of Jegatheesan’s home is that not a single tree was minimize to construct the home. Due to this fact, he sourced outdated and waste wooden from demolished homes and repurposed them for higher use. “All of the window frames, doorways, and so forth. are all from an outdated demolished home. I’ve additionally used waste wooden from completely different locations to construct the staircase to the primary ground,” he factors out.
“I’ve used chain sprocket of two-wheelers to make the terrace railings, window grills, and a small gate in entrance of the principle door. For that I collected over 1,000 of them from scrap outlets and workshops,” he provides.
Jegatheesan says it was difficult to coach the labourers to work round unconventional strategies. “It was labour intensive and therefore time-consuming. One other problem was to persuade my household who have been uncertain about constructing a mud home as an alternative of a concrete one.”
The bottom ground of the home contains a porch, a residing house, a kitchen, and a bed room with an hooked up toilet. In the meantime, the primary ground has a bed room, a cupboard space, and a small room.
“I constructed a platform by way of Ferrocement, which is a building methodology utilizing wire meshes and cement mortar to position the mattress. It’s like an inbuilt furnishings changing the same old wood mattress cot,” he says, including that his favorite a part of the home is the kitchen.
A rainwater harvesting system can be in place with a capability of 20,000 litres.
Jegatheesan says, “I wouldn’t say that it was a low-budget building. However I’m glad and glad that I might fulfil my goal of constructing this home — to show that mud homes are stronger and extra sustainable than typical concrete homes.”
Edited by Yoshita Rao