Natural buildings based on the Indigenous Techniques of India are needed, Rupali Naik, Partner and Chief Designer, A Design Studio
We live in times when sustainability is the magic keyword that is needed across all arenas of life. The generations to come are at a real risk of leading polluted and unhealthy lifestyles, to which we are greatly contributing through our actions and choices. It truly is in our hands to ensure that we are able to give a good life to our children, the future generations. Right from the use of plastic to the use of water and the disposal of wastes, we need to have a keen eye on everything to make sure that the level of pollution is kept under check and a healthy environment is created around us. However, there is one factor that should be seriously pondered upon to create a healthy living, the way in which our habitats are created.
Natural buildings and sustainable construction is the need of the hour. Taking green building seriously can go a long way in ensuring a healthy life for the future. It also means we would be able to save or utilize our natural resources in a more effective manner. The climatic changes are something that can also be controlled with the help of sustainable buildings. One of the most important factors of natural building is the use of indigenous materials and building techniques. India has always been known for its highly developed and advanced architectural efficiencies. There are ancient buildings in India that have lasted through the ages and still figure on the world lists of architectural and construction wonders. Understandably, it is highly possible for modern architecture in India to adapt to the indigenous methods of building and construction and make sure that the best natural buildings are created.
What are Natural buildings?
In order to be able to understand the true need of natural buildings, it is important to understand what kinds of buildings can be categorized under natural. A basic meaning of buildings that are natural is any construction that is built with a conscious effort to minimize harm to nature or any building that is made with the motive to conserve natural resources. A majority of consumers and industrial organizations do not give a second thought before leaving a strong carbon footprint. However, it is time to wake up and take notice of the environmental destruction that we are creating before reaching a point of no return. When we choose to create living and work spaces that are beneficial to the environment, we are actually doing a huge favor to ourselves as well as our future generations. An understanding of natural buildings helps in realizing how important it is to create more such buildings.
There are a lot of factors that can contribute towards the making of natural or green buildings. One of the most important factors is to make use of the natural elements such as air, water and plants. Buildings that have excellent ventilation, efficient water harvesting methods in application or greenery all around can be deemed as naturally sustainable buildings. These are only the basics of creating natural buildings. Apart from the basic methods, it is also important to make sure that steps like waste management are also incorporated at the time of the planning of a building. A natural building is effectively built only when the environment is kept in consideration right from the word go. All efforts, plans and initiatives in the making of a natural building should be only in the favor of sustainable construction. The use of indigenous techniques goes a long way in the making of a sustainable building.
Use of indigenous techniques:
The use of indigenous techniques plays a crucial role in the making of natural buildings. Indigenous techniques of building and construction are the techniques that are natural to the area of construction. Right from the use of materials to the building techniques, all the factors that define indigenous methods should be local to the region in which the building is constructed. Since India is a country that has always been ahead in the world of building and construction, it is not difficult to find, learn about and apply indigenous techniques of natural building. There are a number of indigenous techniques of construction that are worth noting:
- Use of ventilation: The use of natural ventilation in the form of windows and other large openings is seen in ancient buildings of India such as in several famous royal palaces. Wind is one of the most freely available and usable source that helps in creating comfortable habitats. The use of ventilation is therefore, one of the most effective techniques of indigenous construction in temperate regions such as in India.
- Natural building materials: While it may not always be practical, the use of stone, clay and sand has been a part of ancient buildings of India in a large way. In the modern times, even though it may not be possible to create entire buildings out of such materials, it is still possible to make use of them to reinforce environment sustainability.
- Water harvesting: Water harvesting is something that has taken center stage in the building and construction industry in the recent times. More and more construction experts and architects are taking steps to arrest rain water in an effective manner to be able to provide users of the building with an opportunity to make use of the resource. India is a country that is abundantly blessed with rains in most parts of the country, which is why rain water harvesting can prove to be one of the most effective methods of indigenous construction for natural buildings.
Apart from these, there are lots of other indigenous methods of construction that can be put to fruitful use in the making of natural buildings. However, in order to be able to put the methods to use, it is essential to realize why the methods are needed in the creation of natural buildings.
Why use indigenous techniques in natural building construction?
There are a lot of reasons why the use of indigenous techniques in building construction are important. One of the biggest reasons for the use of the techniques is that they help in creating a sustainable environment. The adverse impact of construction on nature can be greatly controlled with the help of indigenous techniques; this is especially true to our country because India has had a history of excellence in natural building construction. The use of indigenous techniques also help in making sure that buildings are environmentally as well as economically sustainable. When you do not have to import equipment, material or know-how from outside the country, you can end up saving a lot of money. Along with money, a lot of time also gets saved in the making of natural buildings through indigenous techniques because of the easy and quick accessibility of resources.
It can therefore be concluded that while the need of the hour is to create more and more natural buildings, it is important to do so with the use of indigenous techniques of construction. The use of local methods of construction goes a long way in helping the construction, environment as well as the economy of the country.