How We Constructed A Low-Price Sustainable Dwelling With out Reducing a Single Tree

“Preserving the previous to counterpoint the longer term and stay the current is our philosophy,” says Laya Joshua, a social employee and naturopathy professional from Ranni in Pathanamthitta district, Kerala. 

And it’s the identical philosophy that displays within the Joshua household’s residence, constructed virtually 10 years in the past.

They are saying they wished a home that’s near nature and nearer to their hearts. At the moment, the two,700 square-foot home, situated amid lush inexperienced environment, appears precisely like they wished it to — in Laya’s phrases, “easy and rooted in nature”.

Laya says that as an environmental employee and naturopathy practitioner for over 30 years, she was very specific about making the home as eco-friendly as doable. “We wished to construct a home with out slicing or harming any bushes,” she tells The Higher India.

A front view of Laya Joshua's eco-friendly house in Ranni.
A entrance view of Laya Joshua’s eco-friendly home in Ranni.

What makes the two-storey sustainable home much more distinctive is the supplies utilized in its development. The home is usually product of boulders, forest stones and roof tiles. The wooden used is usually previous or repurposed wooden from demolished homes. All these supplies had been procured inside a 15 km radius of the location, she says. 

Looking out for the suitable architect

Although Laya and her husband Joshua Philip had been particular about constructing a sustainable residence, she says that one of many challenges was to seek out an architect who would perceive their calls for.

“We had been fortunate to have met Mr Joseph Mathew, the architect of our home. He was very useful and supportive whereas making our dream a actuality,” says Laya.

Laya Joshua and Joshua Philip's family
Laya Joshua and Joshua Philip’s household

Joseph Mathew, an artist-turned-designer, says, “Laya and Joshua gave me the liberty to make use of my creativeness and concepts to inculcate eco-friendly parts as a lot as doable. It was one among my early initiatives and our pursuits matched nicely.” Joseph has been constructing sustainable and cost-effective buildings for the previous 14 years.

Partitions constructed of boulders, forest stones and roof tiles

The home was constructed fully inside eight, from the start of its development in 2013.

Although stone masonry isn’t unusual, this home stands out for the truth that many of the stones used within the development are massive boulders, forest stones and rocks that had been principally discovered within the land surrounding the location.

“Our Ranni area is thought for the presence of huge stones and boulders and it’s just about a part of the geography right here. Apart from, I’ve a behavior of not throwing out any issues straight away. So, I preserved these stones of various sizes from our compound and farmland, hoping they might turn out to be useful sooner or later,” Layla says.

Utilization of boulders and forest stones on the wall in addition to beneath pillars

Simply as she had hoped, the stones turned out to be helpful when Joseph used them to construct the home partitions. Even the picket pillars within the hall have been raised over massive boulders. “Round 20% of the home has been constructed utilizing these stones,” says Joseph.

They’ve additionally used roof tiles to construct the partitions of the home. In reality, the highest flooring has been principally constructed utilizing stacked roof tiles glued collectively utilizing cement.

“I take advantage of this technique in most of my eco-friendly constructions. I supply the previous roof tiles from demolished homes and from locations the place they now not serve any objective. The roof tiles are stronger and extra sustainable than common burnt pink bricks. Partitions product of roof tiles are thicker, present insulation, and, on the similar time, preserve the home cooler,” he explains, including that round 50% of the home was constructed utilizing roof tiles.

A wall made of roof tiles in the courtyard.
A wall product of roof tiles within the courtyard.

“The remaining was constructed utilizing cement bricks as the development demanded it,” he provides.

Joseph says although there was cement concerned within the development, they had been capable of scale back the utilization to round 30 per cent. “We’ve got additionally used the filler slab method on the ceiling of the primary flooring, the place we used roof tiles in between the concrete, thereby lowering the concrete quantity and offering higher thermal insulation,” he explains.

The home isn’t plastered on the surface and has uncovered stone partitions and roof-tile partitions. “Solely the interiors have been plastered. Additionally, we’ve got simply polished the outside of the roof-tile partitions,” he factors out.

Reusing and repurposing wooden

One other spotlight of the home is the sustainable utilization of wooden, which was all sourced both from their ancestral home or from previous demolished homes.

“We haven’t purchased any new furnishings, we reused and repurposed previous and damaged furnishings from our ancestral residence. We also have a teapoy in our corridor which was repurposed from a cradle from my husband’s childhood,” says Laya.

A view of the living space and the teapoy made from cradle.
A view of the residing area and the teapoy constructed from an previous cradle.

The picket pillars bordering the grand hall, which Laya says is her favorite spot in the entire home, had been additionally procured from an previous home.

“Each time we’d go to an previous home or a palace, we’d take inspiration from there. There’s a small vertical window known as kili-vaathil going through the hall, from the place folks inside the home can view the entrance yard. It was impressed from conventional Kerala homes. Once we conveyed it to Joseph, he included that after procuring it from an previous demolished home,” she elaborates.

A view of the kili vaathil from the corridor.
A view of the kili vaathil from the hall.

The home includes a hall, a front room, an open kitchen, a eating area, a courtyard and two bedrooms with connected bogs on the bottom flooring. The second flooring has two bedrooms with a typical lavatory.

“We don’t really want air con right here, principally due to the inexperienced cover surrounding our home and the utilization of pure supplies like stones and roof tiles,” says Laya.

A view of the kitchen and bedroom.
A view of the kitchen and bed room.

The flooring has been completed utilizing conventional terracotta tiles in most components of the home apart from the hall, which was completed utilizing oxide. This was later changed with tiles.

“We needed to spend round Rs 20 lakh together with the interiors which is relatively low-budget,” she says. 

“The general price of constructing a home of this measurement utilizing typical strategies would have been at the least 25 per cent extra over 10 years in the past,” says Joseph.

For extra info, you possibly can contact Joseph Mathew at +916282387075.

Edited by Divya Sethu

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