This Bengaluru Mud House is Equipped with Solar Power and Rainwater Harvesting Systems
While the world is running towards high-class, elegant houses with modern features, this Bengaluru couple has built an environmentally-friendly, solar-powered mud house that is also equipped with a rainwater harvesting system. The proud owners of this sustainable dwelling are Reva and Ranjan Malik, who wished to reduce their carbon footprint and lessen the impact of their lifestyle choices on the environment.
To fulfill their wishes, the Maliks decided to connect to the earth and adapt to minimal and green living. The house of their dreams was designed and built by Mahijaa, a design consultancy firm, which has been promoting the use of stabilised mud and other eco-friendly construction materials and technologies for home construction. By recycling and using locally-sourced material, the firm reduced the overall construction cost of the house by 15 percent.
The couple exemplifies a sustainable and green lifestyle. The solar-powered house is built from stablised mud and recyclable material. It runs on solar energy for sustenance purposes, such as cooking food and charging their electronic devices. Moreover, it has an underground rainwater harvesting system, which can store up to 10,000 litres of water.
The Maliks grow nearly 40 varieties of organic vegetables and fruits in the backyard of the house, and water the plants with recycled greywater stored in a separate tank. They prepare their meals in a solar cooker; while the amount of sunlight and weather conditions determine the menu.
The house has plenty of cross ventilation and receives ample sunlight through the giant windows. The couple keeps their phones and laptops to recharge under the sun as the power is generated from the solar panels positioned on the roof.
Reva, who runs a consulting firm with Ranjan, said,
Having lived the majority of our lives in an urban setup, we really wanted to connect with nature. In 2018, we were bombarded with news of water scarcity and lake frothing. This bothered us, and so we decided to build an eco-friendly house on our plot the same year. Our aim is simple — to have a minimalist lifestyle and reduce our carbon footprint. We were fortunate enough to come across Mahija, a firm that also considers soil and mud to be sacred. They understood our ethos and built us our dream home.
Spread over 770 square feet, the house is fundamentally simple, has a unique single-roof sitting on a mud-concrete trench foundation. Consisting of a single space, the house is divided into a kitchen, living room, and a mezzanine which acts as a study and bed. Other parts of the house, like the roof, flooring, and staircase, have been made using traditional, sustainable material.
The flooring has terracotta tiles, which due to their porous structure, keep the floor cool in the summers and warm in the winters. Pinewood and bamboo have been used to construct the staircase, deck, and railings.
The flat roof has been made using rammed earth, while the Mangalorean tiles are placed at a slope of 30 degrees to limit the heat. Besides, it diverts the rainwater to the sump on the ground floor. A pipe is used to connect the roof and the sump. The copper filters allow the water to seep in and accumulate the waste at a place from which it can be removed manually.
This lifestyle has brought Reva and Ranjan closer to nature. They have begun home-composting and growing their own food. From tomatoes and spinach to papaya, pumpkins, and bottle gourds. The couple has also realized that with the modern conveniences, human life has forgotten the value of basic amenities such as water, which has been wasted so recklessly that the world is now facing water scarcity. After adapting to their new lifestyle, the Maliks have switched to electric vehicles as well.
Such examples of green architecture are truly appreciable and inspiring. Instead of running toward the modern facilities of the modern world, we all should take a step back and connect with the mother earth.
Via: The Better India