Build a Smart Home

A Striking Home that Balances Traditions and Sustainability

Mr. Sanath Ramakrishna’s stunning ancestral home in Coimbatore was created not just with traditional flair, but also keeping in mind sustainability. In addition to using Porotherm Smart Bricks for the walls, this project also uses other eco-friendly materials. Here is an in-depth look at the influences and the processes behind this undertaking.

Lisburn The origin and thought process behind this design

We wanted an extremely traditional “Close to Nature”, http://www-comic.com/?m=20120812 Nalukettu Tharavad Illam, which is an aristocratic ancestral house of Kerala Architecture with a central Courtyard surrounded by rooms on four sides, that is fully compliant with Vaastu, Tachchu and Manaiyadi Shasthras – primarily home design principles for families. For the terrace, we created a Koothambalam (a theatre with a closed hall) adding to the aesthetics of the overall structure. Elements of Nalukettu that have been included in the structure are:

  1. Padippura – a structure with a gate forming part of compound wall for the house with a tiled roof on top
  2. Poomukham – prime portico with a slope tiled roof with pillars and open sides
  3. Oonjal in Poomukham – a swing that is anchored to the ceiling using brass link chains with bottom being a wooden plank
  4. Chuttu verandah – a sit out around the house through an open passage
  5. Mugappu – a decorative top of the sloping portion in front as well as the middle portion of the sides
  6. Thoomanam – decorates edge of the roof where the tiling ends
  7. Charupadi – benches with carved decorative resting
  8. Teak doors with extremely intricate theme-based hand carvings for every room
  9. Monolithic hand carved elephants at entrance and sculptures in the centre courtyard, roof-top and pooja room
Creating an eco-friendly project

Apart from using Porotherm Clay Bricks for walls, we have also taken various other steps to ensure that the house is eco-friendly. These include:

  1. Gypsum plastering
  2. Surki for floor and roof
  3. Red oxide flooring for the whole house
  4. Brick cladding on exterior walls for heat insulation
  5. Double layer roof tiles
  6. High ceiling closed terrace with monkey-top opening
  7. Open to sky centre courtyard
  8. Higher ceiling for air circulation
  9. Lots of cross ventilation with openings on four sides
  10. Fully Solar Powered
  11. Rain water harvesting using Gutter system with 40′ deep percolation pit to rejuvenate nearby public borewell
  12. Use of natural stones like Kota, Jaisalmer, Terracotta etc.
  13. Large landscape area for greenery
  14. Closed sit-out using double layer clay tiles right around the house etc.

The house therefore provides for healthy living and follows the Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR) Guidelines on Ventilation of Residential Buildings for SARS-CoV-2 Virus – Version 2.0 (January 2022)

Green building and sustainability: Always a part of Indian Tradition

The Indian traditional way of living consisted mainly of self-sustaining houses and colonies with everyone living close to nature, having a strong social responsibility for the neighbourhood and future generations. Green buildings are in a way going back to the roots of Indian tradition which significantly enhances the quality of life, both for the present and future generations. The feedback from people who have visited / stayed in our house only confirms this statement.

Relationship with Wienerberger India and its impact on green building solutions

My relationship with Wienerberger dates back to 2006 when I interacted with Ingo Hofmaier, the then Managing Director & Director Commercial in connection with setting up India operations. In the last 16 years, Wienerberger has come a long way in making its mark as a green building solutions provider.

The experience of using Wienerberger India’s products and services

Wienerberger’s Corporate team and its local distributor in Coimbatore namely Shri Shanmugam were extremely aligned to our thoughts and needs. They provided excellent support during the whole process of construction, without the need for consulting with an architect. A very smooth and pleasurable experience. I can also confirm that concerns, if any, about the strength of Porotherm, being hollow Clay Bricks are completely unfounded. Porotherm Bricks together with other measures that we have taken, ensure that the house is eco-friendly. It also provides excellent thermal insulation, where the temperature inside the house drops to provide a very blissfully comfortable living without the use of a fan even during afternoons.

Curated by editor at  Wienerberger India

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