A home in Manali crafted with natural materials.

The designs of Biome Environmental Solutions in Bangalore are often built with earth sourced from the site or construction debris, harvest water, treat waste on the site and manage their energy through passive construction and active energy generation. The firm introduced the use of stabilized earth block for construction. Now many architects as well as locals have embraced this method, thereby reducing the use of fired bricks.

Bangalore-based Made in Earth believes that a sustainable approach to creating buildings is no longer an option but a necessity. Instead of seeing the use of local and natural materials, as a limitation to architecture, they look at it as an infinite realm of possibilities. They build with earth and mud using various techniques such as rammed earth, adobes, compressed earth blocks,  and wattle and daub. The studio also uses natural plasters such as clay, lime and stone dust. As the years pass, the last generation of the masons who were traditionally trained in local building practices are retiring; this is why the studio hosts a number of workshops.

Another material they love to work with is bamboo. “It is going to be the material to build with in the near future. It grows fast and within three years you can harvest it to build structures. Bamboo buildings with modern treatments can last a life time (50 years at least if used correctly). So, you have a material which re-grows faster than it can be consumed.”

They use passive ventilation, heating and cooling as far as possible for the particular climate that the project is in, and reduce heating and cooling needs by judicious use of orientation, fenestration, daylight, shading, color and insulation.

“Sustainability is not a formula or a recipe that can be applied universally. It is a phenomenon and a concern that needs to be interpreted and applied appropriately as per the given milieu of the time, place, people and program.”

You can read and see much more at www.indiatoday.in


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