This Student-Built House In Kohlapur Is Entirely Sustainable

Sustainable House In India
Sustainable House In India

As the years pass and we begin to accept our new roles in the jaded adult world the knee jerk reaction to every misfortune is to angrily shake our fists and ‘BLAME THE MILLENIALS’. Yet when it comes to the ever-growing threat to the environment, the blame lies solely with the older generation. The people ones who farmed, fished and mined unchecked because no one ever imagined a day when these resources would actually run out. But that day has come and now the people fighting on the front lines to ensure a sustainable future are all young minds innovating towards a common goal.

One such example of their dedication lies in the hills of Ganeshwadi, Kolhapur. A farmhouse perched atop a hill next to a lake could pass as any old house but upon closer inspection it reveals its true secrets. The house, designed by final year students of the Kolhapur Institute of Technology’s (KIT) Environment Department is built entirely of re-purposed waste materials. The 300 foot eco house is constructed mainly out of plastic bottles, fly ash bricks and beer bottles and cost about 1.5 lakhs, a good 60 per cent less than a brick and mortar house of the same size.

The five B.E students Umang Shah, Mohsin Jamadar, Pratik Patil, Dinesh Humane and Shantanu Patil started this project to demonstrate the many advantages of sustainable architecture over conventional methods. Not only are their methods cost effective – 1 mortar brick costs six rupees while it’s only one rupee for a plastic bottle – but as it turns out the combination of compressed bottles and white matter actually proved slightly stronger than brick and mortar. For extra stability in the framework they added wooden logs and Manglorian tiles scavenged from demolition sites

The house is also designed for optimum natural ventilation, “We have studied the sun light pattern and air direction of the location.” Said Mohsin Jamadar, “The roof placement is also done to allow sunlight enter the house.” The house fulfils most of the criteria of green rating systems GRIHA and LEED, with rain water harvesting, seven day compost pit and a settling tank for grey water they will no doubt fulfill their green quota. To ensure every stage of the process was sustainable they attempted to collect all their construction material from within an 8 kilometre radius and thus save on fuel and reduce damage to the surrounding area from vehicles.

This project proved without a doubt that the idea of sustainable architecture being more expensive is a fallacy. It’s an achievable goal for anyone who’s ready to commit to a green lifestyle, as their project guide and Professer Amar Katkar said “This is a very good project and much needed as it fulfills all the environment friendly concept of 5 R’s which are reuse, recycle, reduce, reclaim and recover.” Hopefully their efforts will open the discussion around sustainable living and convince more people to invest in the future of the planet.