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Bangalore: A growing hub for eco-friendly homes

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on 7 days ago

A lot is said about sustainability these days. It has been a buzzing topic making rounds in every circle and every profession, especially architecture. There is a significant increase in the environmental consciousness. Deliberate decisions are made, to try and incorporate principles of sustainability into the design, at least to some extent. Apart from functionality, there is something really appealing about an eco-friendly home, as a calming presence is felt within. In India, Bengaluru was one of the first cities to accept the idea of eco-friendly homes. Studies point to a total of 39 green buildings in this Silicon Valley of India. So let’s take a look at some of the best sustainable models thriving in India's 'garden city'!

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Laughing Waters (pic1-pic3)

Not only is the name of the house amusing, so is the thought that lies behind it. Built by a water conservationist and a community gardener, they have pooled their combined expertise, resulting in a home that utilises water very efficiently, to grow 90% of their vegetables in their very own backyard. They use rainwater harvesting to store water in underground storage tanks. Grey water is recycled to irrigate their kitchen gardens. They manage to save 15000 litres of water by these means, and reuse almost all of it. The majorly depend on solar energy for their energy requirements except for microwave and water pump.

Hombelaku (pic4-pic5)

This beautiful home for a family of three follows a holistic approach to sustainable living. From following green construction to green energy, they do it all. They even have an organic garden to grow their own vegetables! The house is built using an eco-friendly alternate to bricks; clay and mud blocks. They are left exposed, instead of using paint or plaster to avoid use of lead. Basic tiles have been used for flooring like Kota and clay tiles. The design of the house incorporates a massive skylight that lets in a good amount of sunlight in the interiors. They don’t need to use artificial lighting till 6pm. Solar water heaters and solar lanterns are used to reduce dependence on electricity. They also have an effective rainwater system that takes care of the water requirements. Regarding waste, they have a simple policy, “If you can’t manage the garbage then don’t create it.” Waste water is recycled and utilised in washing cars, clothes etc. Waste is segregated and compost is used for their kitchen garden. These policies not only reduce the carbon footprint, but the cost of the house too. There is a total of 15 percent saving when compared to a conventional house.

Hosamane (pic6-pic7)

Another classic example of sustainability, Hosamane house was designed by architect Satyaprakash from Varanasi. The house has been designed for saving resources, right from its inception. Built from locally available materials, it has several openings to bring in ample of sunlight. The house depends on solar energy for its electricity needs and rainwater harvesting for its water requirements. Waste is also regulated carefully and utilised for several purposes. Grey Water is recycled for gardening and flushing purposes, wet waste is used as manure while dry waste is sold off. In addition, around 100 varieties of plants have been grown in the house.

Chockalingam Muthiah’s House (pic8-pic10)

Chockalingam Muthiah’s house has been built by a businessman, who believes in the simple philosophy of consuming what can only be generated or preserved. With this beautiful thought as a guiding system, the house used mud blocks and minimal amount of cement. The design is climatically responsive, with good ventilation and natural light flooding in. It extensively uses solar power for electricity and rainwater harvesting to revitalise a nearby open well that provides water for up to 10 months of the year. The waste is managed well, grey water is recycled for flushing and gardening while solid waste is fed as manure for biogas.

Kachra Mane

Kachra mane literally translates into Trash home in Kannada. What makes this house unique is the primary thought that guides the design, which is reusing and recycling as much as possible. The house that has been designed by the architectural firm Maya Prexis, and the interiors by Vismaya Interiors, has been constructed out of demolished houses, scrap wood and second hand products. Reusing the surplus pinewood packing cases with a different spin, they have designed the different elements of the house like windows, staircase, kitchen cupboards and book shelves. Even the structural system of the house has been reused from the existing building. Built with just half of what a conventional house would cost, they save money and resources further by integrating solar power system, rainwater harvesting and grey water recycling.

Sanjay and Pratibha Singh’s House

Designed for two artists who wanted to live close to nature, the house is a green haven. Located 13 kilometres away from the hustle bustle of the city of Bangalore, the house is surrounded by lush sprawling greenery. Built using, mud bricks, the house is cool in summer and warm in winter. Designed with French windows and skylights, there is an abundance of light and ventilation within the house. Rain water harvesting ensures a steady supply of 5 months for the organic gardens. A natural filter is used to recycle waste water from the kitchen and used in gardening. Wet waste is used as compost for the garden.

These models demonstrate that with little effort, something so marvellous can be built. A wholesome approach to sustainability, we see how each of these examples take care of its building materials, water consumption, energy requirements and climate response. It is heart-warming to see the progress in this field in our country. Hopefully, in near future, we will see more cities follow suit and become more green and eco-friendly.

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