Puneet – A sustainable, low-cost house built from scrap

It has become repetitive for Hubballi-based architect Jitendra Nayak to give a steered tour of his house — Puneet — whenever anyone visits it for the first time. Jitendra who trusts in “be light on the earth” has been living in an eco-friendly house which could be the faultless example for cheap green homes. Jitendra, desires to break the typecast, demonstrated that green homes can be built much inexpensive than the steady cement structures. If you go by his plans, you can cut down the construction cost by a gigantic 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 eco-friendly low-cost home. 

How did he do it? 

As per Jitendra, most of the money expended on house construction is bolted by cement and iron rods. “While constructing our house, we have totally avoided these two things. It reduces the heat generation within the house since we did not cement the brick walls. On any given day, the interior temperature is a minimum of 2 degrees lesser than the outside temperature. We have formed powered airing, something like a wind funnel, by giving ways for the air to enter and mingle. Large windows sometimes obstruct the wind, but smaller ones take more volume of air inside,” Jitendra describes.

The wood used by Jitendra is either recycled or purchased. The bulky wooden blocks which come along with the trade-in hefty machinery have taken the form of seats in this house. The glass, grills, and plywood used in the house are all castoff. 

The walls in the house are changed into wooden dividers. The house is built using prefab construction instead of centering which needs minimum cement and water for preparation. The walls are not punctured for the wiring. When the lights are turned on, they will be indifferent look because the wiring network and lights neatly hide behind thin wooden pieces. Apart from that, the house also has a swimming pool of 23X7 feet.

The house generates a shadow on the building when the sun rises since it is built-in L shape. We have enclosed one portion of the wall facing the sun with bamboo clumps which further help cool the house,” he adds.

Jitendra’s ideas for building low-cost green structures are implemented by several houses and resorts. According to Jitendra, the expenses must be cut down as the trend shows houses built just 20 years ago are now being reconstructed or being transformed into apartments.

“We are not going to live for 100 years in one house. So why apply vast money to the building? You will surely end up disbursing the bank loans throughout your life. In its place, we can adopt ideas that can cut down construction costs. There is no point in sitting inside a centrally air-conditioned house and a tweet saying ‘save the earth’,” he says.

Asha says, “The guests are overwhelmed by the plan. We have had well-known authors and travel writers visiting our home for documentation and ideas. More people should come forward to make simple and eco-friendly homes.”

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