India is a developing country, and in our rush to expand, we are leaving behind only buildings with few natural resources for future generations. How great it would be if we switch to eco-friendly building materials and sustainable housing for a green future?
Unfortunately not all are conscious of the future but some are. You’ll be amazed by how creatively Suhasini Ayer and her team are working on this eco-friendly project – “HumanScapes” and making an affordable and nature-friendly life for the people of Auroville, Puducherry.
Dreams Made of Eco Friendly Material
Suhasini Ayer and her team are going to amaze you with the idea of sustainable living and your concept of an environment-friendly home will be changed forever.
Ayer, an Urban Planner and Auroville designer consultant, with “R Ulganathan” and “Ramya Kumari” are using different planning and techniques to make sustainable buildings for a better and livable tomorrow. As per Architect Ramya – “HumanScapes” has been using science, ancient techniques and smart planning in the construction of environmentally friendly buildings.
Humanscape is an applied research & demonstration project of the Sustainable and Integrated Urban Living Project, focusing to curb the current global energy and climate change crisis. This will enable construction jobs in substituting the use of high embodied energy materials using eco friendly materials and technology that reduce carbon footprints.
HumanScapes Of Auroville
Let’s talk about how actually this incredible concept of “HumanScapes” works, Soil Erosion is one major issue due to the rapid construction and wrong utilization of resources. Also, monsoon water damages soil a lot which many people do not understand how. To avoid soil erosion due to monsoons while collecting rainwater that is coming off the roof, the team adopted a chain system that was used by the ancient people of Auroville. Rather than placing water pipes on the terrace, chains are used to bring rainwater off the roof, this simply prevents soil erosion, and the creation of stone piles on the ground maintains the flow of water.
Bye Bye Heat
“HumanScapes” is built in a zone where heat and moisture are a significant problem, this causes sweat and carries the urge of using a fan and Air Conditioner, using electrical appliances, to reduce the usage of electricity, Suhasini and her team decided to beat heat and sweat by using traditional and nature-friendly way. For better ventilation in the building, they have placed the windows of the apartment parallelly. Proper ventilation in the building prevents humidity. Heat is still one noteworthy issue to worry about.
Urban planner Sudha Ayer talked about how she and her team managed to beat the heat with eco-friendly materials. They observed when and where the sunlight falls on the building and instantly discussed what possibly could be the solution to it.
The team decided to use a sustainable product, which must be heat resistant. “Red soil” is used to build the wall. 24 cm thick wall of eco-friendly materials, the soil prevents heat coming from the sun, by the time heat enters even 4-5cm inside the wall, The sun will soon turn in a new direction. Thoughtful planning of the architecture team is successful in giving the people of Auroville a sustainable and futuristic life. Not only construction but the architecture team works on the interior as well.
Walls have been made of Red Soil but what about the ceiling? Instead of using concrete, the structure of Walt’s has been used, this substituted the use of plaster, steel, and cement in between beams.
The first layer of the curvy structure is made up of reusable construction goods that are basically leftover from construction sights, like broken cement or brick pieces etc. The second layer includes 3rd class ceramic tiles on the terrace and limestones on the wall to decarbonize this sustainable building, all these materials end up in garbage usually but with a utility for them the team has made a pocket-friendly and sustainable solution of construction.
R Ulganathan shared how he and his team used to collect every reusable good he could find in local shops, he also shares it was never easy to find such products and he kept going back and forth every 2 weeks to collect reusable goods. To make this site livable for the people of Auroville, we chose nuclear families and old couples to share the space.
Sustainability Is The New Caring
“Geeta Selvam” who’s a resident, expressed how beautifully she shares this space with others. The building has a common area for household stuff such as washing clothes, cooking, and even a space to separate garbage. All this sharing makes lesser use of electricity and helps to cut the expenses of residents. As this is a sustainable project, reusing sewage water for plantations is another respectable thing the residents do. To use bare electricity, solar panels are placed on the roof. Per person, 45-kilo Watt electricity has been used, which is 30% lesser than a middle-class household.
By now you might be wondering “is this possible in our neighbourhood as well?” Well, we’ve got the answer for you, this could possibly be done but for this, the team will have to study the atmospheric conditions of your area and what eco-friendly material would be appropriate for the construction. You can content them and become a part of smart, sensible and sustainable life. Suhasini and her team are hoping that one day this concept will make a big difference if universities and colleges will be constructed by this concept of sustainable development.
Feature Image – Youtube & Suhasini
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