Kolhapur: Amidst the village of Ganeshwadi in Kolhapur, one can see a farmhouse atop a hillock lying next to a lake. Although it looks like any other house in the village, as one observes closely they can see the house is constructed with nothing but plastic bottles, fly ash bricks and beer bottles. This eco friendly house is a project designed and constructed by Final year students of Kolhapur Institute of Technology's (KIT) Environment Department. It is one of the innovative projects towards sustainable housing and green buildings which is not just environment friendly but also cost effective.
Based on green building concepts and using maximum reusable material, the group of five B.E. students namely Umang Shah, Mohsin Jamadar, Pratik Patil, Dinesh Humane and shantanu Patil constructed a 300 square feet eco house with an inbuilt loft. The eco house is constructed in approximately 1,50,000 rupees, costing around 60 percent lower than of construction using cement and mortar bricks. Speaking of the cost effectiveness of the materials used for the construction, Umang Shah, 22, project group member said, "We have used 2000 plastic bottles, 1000 beer bottles for construction of walls and rubber tires for foundation. Generally a mortar brick would cost 8 rupees per brick, but the bottles cost 1 rupee per piece. So per square feet, 6 bricks are required costing 48 rupees,instead we used 9 bottles costing 9 rupees. The strength of both remain same, in fact bottles compressed with white mud and rubble show a little higher strength" He further added that they had used wooden logs and manglorian tiles for framework and roof from demolishing sites to reduce cost of construction as well reuse renewable material.
Not just cost effectiveness, the eco house has been designed to achieve maximum natural ventilation as well. "We have studied the sun light pattern and air direction of the location. Accordingly, windows picked up from demolishing sites have been placed for natural ventilation in both summers as well as winters. The roof placement is also done to allow sunlight enter the house." Said Mohsin Jamadar, 22, part of the group. Currently fulfilling most of the criteria of green rating systems GRIHA and LEED, the eco house is in the final stage of construction where mud and gobar will be used for flooring.
"A seven day compost pit, rain water harvesting, settling tank for grey water are also planned for zero discharge of waste and resource recovery" added Pratik Patil, 21, project group member. To fulfil the green ratings criteria, the group has collected construction material within eight kilometre radius of the site causing minimum damage by transportation and reducing fuel use. The material was btrought in on the hillock by pulleys instead of tractors or dumpers to prevent harm to surrounding plant life.
"This is a very good project and much needed as it fulfills all the environment friendly concept of 5 R's which are reuse, recycle, reduce, reclaim and recover. Generally eco friendly construction are considered costlier than normal methods which is one barrier for people to adopt it, this design balances both cost as well as is environment friendly." Said Amar Katkar, Assistant Professor and Project Guide of the group who has also funded the project. The project is supported and encouraged by the head of department of Environment R A Nikam and Principal of the college Doctor V V Karjinni. design is effective for use of construction of shades, farm houses, row houses in urban areas, shelters in village areas and hill stations. It can also be used in eco sensitive areas to reduce pollution load and provide healthy living to the residents there.