Alwin’s dream-dwelling at the beautiful countryside of Chirakkal in Thrissur, Kerala, is a perfect eco-friendly structure that could be easily emulated. The aim had been to build a simple yet elegant house without hurting the surrounding nature. Besides, the spectacular abode stands out for promoting the lofty ideals of reuse and recycling. Noted architect Santilal of Costford who has designed countless eco-friendly homes across the state is credited for designing this house too.
The elevation features an elegant traditional architectural style. Meanwhile, roofing tiles have been paved on the GI truss roof. A layer of bamboo ceiling is done beneath this. Interestingly, the wooden pillars in the balcony that add a classy charm to the elevation are more than two centuries old. These were purchased from antique shops that sell parts of old ancestral homes.
Designed in 2800 sqft, this amazing abode has a sit-out, living and dining areas, courtyard, kitchen with a work area, two bedrooms and a bathroom on the ground floor. Meanwhile, the upper floor has a living space, a bedroom, a multi-utility space and an open terrace too.
The inner courtyard has been designed to welcome cool breeze, pleasant sunshine and rain showers into the house. Interestingly, the rainwater gets collected right in the middle of the courtyard, keeping the interiors and the floor dry at all times.
Eco-friendly construction materials have been mostly used in this house. Treated bamboo is used in the ceiling, partitions and also as the hand railings of the staircase.
The walls have been painted and plastered using a unique mixture of mud and lime. A part of the ceiling has been done in the filler slab technology. All these features ensure a cool and enjoyable atmosphere inside the house even during the noon time when the sun is harsh.
The owner is a self-confessed admirer of the iconic Athamkudi tiles. The traditional tiles specially brought from Karaikudi have been used for flooring inside the house. Interestingly, these tiles would get shinier with time. Taking advantage of the high ceiling, a mezzanine floor too has been added where the study area is arranged.
It is indeed an incredible feat that the construction of this fabulous abode, including the structure and furnishing, was completed on a reasonable budget of Rs 38 lakh. It would at least cost Rs 60 lakh to build a concrete house of 2800 sqft, especially with the current soar in the prices of the building materials.
The waste disposal facility at the house is worth mentioning. Instead of a regular septic tank, a gas tank has been used here. The kitchen and bathroom waste would break down in this tank to form biogas. Interestingly, the well was built by the owner and his kids. The family feels pride when people visit their dream abode to see their house and understand the advantages of building an eco-friendly house.
Among the various factors that helped in keeping a tab on the expenses, building the walls using laterite stones played a pivotal role. As the walls are mud plastered, they don a natural earthy shade and did not require painting. Most of the materials like timber, windows and doors were purchased from shops that sold old items. Old roofing tiles were washed before reusing here.
Location – Chirakkal, Thrissur
Plot – 15 cents
Area – 2800 SFT
Owner – Alwin
Designer – Santilal
Costford, Triprayar Centre, Thrissur
Ph – 9495667290
Year of completion - 2022