Environmentally-Conscious Couple Building Modern Mud House in Pune
These days people are becoming more and more environmentally-conscious as they understand the severity of the threats of changing climate. With responsibility towards the environment, people are opting for green architecture. In the Kothrud area of Pune city, an eco-conscious couple is building a modern mud house.
Anvit Pathak and his wife Neha had a plot and were planning to build a house. When they learned about mud houses that promised breathable walls, low maintenance requirements and the use of natural materials, they decided to explore the possibilities.
While some families build mud houses in secluded places away from the cities, as an escape from the hectic city life, Pathaks wanted a permanent home with all the benefits that mud houses have to offer.
Anujna Nutan Dnyaneshwar, the architect of the mud house, who had previously built three such houses in Maharashtra, explained the pros and cons and the lifestyle the family would need to adopt while living in a mud house.
While the couple acknowledged the compromises they had to make, they were determined to make a change for a better tomorrow.
The living spaces are built with sun-dried adobe bricks that also make up the home’s load-bearing structure. Reinforced concrete (RCC) beams are used to transfer the load of the structure on the walls, which are, made of mud and rice husk. The foundation of the house is solidified with stone and mud, while the roofing is done with timber and bamboo with Mangalore tiles.
It is not a zero-cement construction, but it saves up on a lot of cement or industrial material which is replaced by eco-friendly materials. Supported with a modern design, the mud house can accommodate most urban facilities such as microwave, fridge or a washing machine.
Toilets are built with baked bricks in cement mortar. But the brickwork is done using a different method called ‘Rat Trap Bond’, in which bricks are placed in a vertical position instead of conventional horizontal position to create a cavity within the wall.
The Pathak’s home is a three-bedroom structure laid across two-storeys. Altering or expanding the house is not possible taking into consideration the load-bearing capacity of the material used.
The mud walls are highly insulating in terms of thermal comfort. Spaces inside stay much warmer in winters and much cooler in summers in comparison to the thinner walls. Also, mud houses do not require air-conditioners or fans.
While the use of natural construction material over the conventional cement structures meant lower costs on construction material, the wages for workers were rather high.
The house is on the verge of completion and the couple is very excited to move in their new home. They are aware of the lifestyle and perspective changes that they will undergo but don’t see them as compromises, but opportunities to open themselves up to new possibilities.
Via: The Better India