Over 25 million families in India do not have a home.
One of Indias major tasks is to provide a home to all these people. By using energy
intensive materials like burnt brick, concrete and steel we will add to the vast energy
crisis and deplete precious natural resources.
Low cost mud architecture can pay a major
role here. Says well known Kerala based earth architect Laurie Baker,
"Mud is the material for the 21st century. It has been tried and tested for over the
years. If only we apply our 20th century know-how and techniques to our age-old mud, we
can solve this housing need without adding to our energy problem."
Surprisingly, nearly half of the
worlds population still lives in buildings where mud has been used as a major
Hasan Fathys book Architecture
for the Poor, first published in 1969, was the first serious attempt to focus
on mud architecture. Today Fathy is an inspiration for many earth architects the world
India desperately needs such inspired
architects. Will you be the one?
TO BE AN ECO-DESIGNER?
Mainstream architecture is yet to fully
appreciate what green architecture means. If you are keen to pursue this as a career
option then be ready to teach yourself all that there is to learn in this field. A younger
more eco-conscious generation of self-motivated architects is beginning to influence the
profession.In India there are few courses exclusively teaching sustainable architecture,
but environmental construction and engineering as a topic is beginning to filter into
In India or abroad, you can design your
very own rewarding career in sustainable architecture. Build your own future.
Some useful websites:
What is the
hidden energy of your home or school building?
It takes a lot of energy to build a
house. The most obvious energy comes from the builder, the carpenter and the other trades
people who construct the building. But there is also a great deal of 'hidden' energy that
was used to make and transport the building materials to the site. The energy that is
consumed by all of these processes is called 'embodied energy'. It offers a general guide
to the amount of pollution involved in its manufacture. Typically, low energy material are
Now try and investigate what materials
have been used to build your home or school.
1.Try and find out
from where did this material come from. Source the original place where it was mined and
extracted from. Get information about the present situation about that region/place.
Building contractors will be able to help you.
2. Plot the distance travelled for each of the material
stone, sand, cement, wood, steel to reach your city and finally your home/school.
3. Calculate the
total carbon emissions of transporting this material.
4. Quantify the
total embodied energy of your building.
5. Discuss how you
could have used more eco-friendly materials. What alternative materials are locally
There are useful tools available on the
internet to help you calculate embodied energy and carbon emissions.