Greener pastures

Greener pastures

Laurie Baker, an eminent architect and a pioneer of sustainable architecture, had once rightly said, "I have my own principles, which I am unwilling to abandon. I dislike falsehood and deceit. A building should be truthful."

In the fast-paced city life, over-polluted roads and stressful situations, one would always like to relax a bit. But where are those relaxing spaces in the concrete jungle that we live in?

Eco-friendly houses are becoming a trend these days as people are realising the need for greener living spaces. They no more need those false ceilings or vitrified tiles; instead, they are preferring breathable interiors.

"I always wanted to construct a home like this," said Thriveni, an artist. "I had seen such vernacular houses, which are also eco-friendly, in my village in Chikkaballapur and in my husband's native place as well. Since my brother himself was a civil engineer, he had constructed almost five to eight houses in a similar fashion. Right from the beginning, I was sure I wanted to construct such a house. This was always in the back of my mind."

"I never thought about the cost when my husband and I decided to build a house like this. Though the outer structure may be cost-effective, the prices of flooring and interiors might shoot up a bit. However, in the long term, it has zero maintenance. Even the maintenance cost for flooring is almost nil."

"It is a totally different feel when you enter eco-friendly homes. These days, the look of hotels and homes are almost the same. It was not just a dwelling place I wanted but a real home. There is breathable air in such houses," adds Thriveni

Ravi MN, a civil engineer, also has much to talk about eco-friendly homes. "From the past 20 years people have become knowledgeable and there has been a demand for such houses. I would have constructed about 20-25 houses in this style. Most of these houses are constructed in the load-bearing system, where we do not use columns or pillared construction," he says.

"This is done to economise the cost and withhold sustainability. When we construct such houses, we do not go in for multi-storey buildings. This also saves cost as you save heavily on plastering and other costs that would be incurred," adds Ravi.

Adds Radha Madhusudhan, a professor of community medicine, too, has an eco-friendly house.

"I had always loved the green spaces in old Bengaluru because I grew up there. I wanted to have the same environment recreated now, which is why I opted for an eco-friendly house. Apart from that, there are health benefits also," she says.

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