How A Kerala Based Couple Built An Eco-Friendly Home With Reusable Materials

How A Kerala Based Couple Built An Eco-Friendly Home With Reusable Materials

Conversations around sustainability have seeped into each and every part of our lives, waking up to the hard-hitting reality that the damage being caused is effectively irreversible. People are now taking personal ownership and transforming their own lives with green practices while certain societal structures earlier considered to be insignificant in the conversation of environmental damage are now being reassessed through a new lens.

Joining the rising green wave of revolutionising homes is a Kerala-based couple, popular Malayalam writer Echmukutty and her architect husband R D Padmakumar. Their 1400 square feet house — ‘Geet’, has been consciously built in accordance with nature. A scenic sight for the eyes, the two-storeyed building is built to blend in with its surroundings amid many trees and rocky terrain, with 95% of the structure being built with reusable materials such as wood, bricks, stones, steel rods, mesh, bamboo ply, and glass.

Image Courtesy: The Better India

The couple made sure that the focus was not shifted from curating a sustainable space with regard to any aspect of the construction process. Taking 4.5 years to complete, the house was built with second-hand materials that required time to be procured. The grills are made of rods collected from a dismantled house in Ulloor. Glass from old cars and auto rickshaws are placed in certain areas to enhance the daytime lighting inside the house. A number of other forms of eco-friendly parts have also been utilised, using recycled wood to form a kitchen sink and retaining an empty plot as a rainwater harvesting system.

Furthermore, the construction was completed with lime and mud, completely eliminating the need for any cement. This step exponentially reduced their water consumption as well as in terms of the generation of other forms of waste. In order to maximise space, ventilation and light, the couple barely touched the surrounding natural environment, even keeping the rocks intact. While recycled stones are used in the foundation, the majority of the natural rocks have become a structural part of the house in the form of chairs and shelves in the living room.

The couple has reimagined housing as a sustainable venture, investing time, effort and heart in abundance. Inspired by Laurie Baker, a British-born Indian architect, renowned for his initiatives in cost and energy-efficient architecture, they have taken the movement of sustainable architecture one step forward in the country; inspiring many others to adopt green construction practices.

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