HUBBALLI: For Hubballi-based architect Jitendra Nayak, it has become routine to give a guided tour of his house — Puneet — whenever anyone visits it for the first time. Jitendra who believes in “be light on earth” has been living in an eco-friendly house which could be the perfect example for budget green homes. Jitendra, who wanted to break the stereotype, proved that green homes can be built much cheaper than the regular cement structures. If you go by his plans, you can cut down the construction cost by a whopping 40%.
It’s been eight years since Jitendra, his wife Asha who is an interior designer, and their son Mudit, have been living in the house which has zero maintenance. The house now stands as a model of an eco-friendly low-cost home and soon to be featured in a property expo in Bengaluru.
How did he do it? According to Jitendra, most of the money spent on house construction is gobbled by cement and iron rods. “We have totally avoided these two things while constructing our house. We did not cement the brick walls, thus directly reducing the heat generation within the house. On any given day, the interior temperature is a minimum 2 degrees lesser than outside temperature. We have created mechanical ventilation, something like a wind funnel, by giving ways for the air to enter and circulate. Large windows sometimes block the wind, but smaller ones take more volume of air inside,” Jitendra explains.
Most of the wood used is either recycled or purchased in seconds. The large wooden blocks which come along with the imported heavy machinery have taken the shape of seats in this house. The glass, grills and plywood used in the house are all recycled.
The walls in the house are replaced by wooden partitions. Instead of centring, the house is built using prefab structure which requires minimum cement and water for preparation. The walls are not drilled for the wiring. The wiring network and lights neatly hide behind thin wooden pieces which also give a different look when the lights are turned on. This is not all. The house also has a swimming pool of 23X7 feet and is been the best recreation place for the family and friends.
“The house is built in L shape which creates a shadow on the building when the sun rises. We have covered one portion of the wall facing the sun with bamboo clumps which further help cool the house,” he adds.
Several houses and resorts are adopting Jitendra’s ideas for building low-cost green structures. According to Jitendra, the expenditure must be cut down as the trend shows houses built just 20 years ago are now being rebuilt or being converted into apartments.
“We are not going to live for 100 years in one house. So why spend huge money on the building? You will end up paying the bank loans throughout your life. Instead we can adopt ideas which can cut down the construction costs. There is no point in sitting inside a centrally air-conditioned house and tweet saying ‘save earth’,” he says.
Asha says, “The visitors are awed by the design. We have had famous authors and travel writers visiting our home for documentation and ideas. More people should come forward to create simple and eco-friendly homes.”