• Home Home

IT professionals shun vacation resorts in busy cities, opting to build their own hideaways in nature: 'All we wanted was a traditional calm weekend home'

Homes that blend traditional materials and modern techniques are popping up all over the globe.

Homes that blend traditional materials and modern techniques are popping up all over the globe.

Photo Credit: Yash R. Jain, RAIN Studio of Design

When four IT professionals from Chennai, India, set out to build a weekend hideaway for themselves and their families, they weren't thinking about energy efficiency or reducing pollution. But it quickly became apparent that the "Karai" home in Kuvathur was an opportunity to try out sustainable principles in harmony with nature, The Better India reports.

Shaji Ravi and his friends — Sanjeev Britto, Prabhakar Munuswamy, and Madhavan GG — chose RAIN Studio of Design to design and build a weekend home for the four families. Ravi had previously worked with RAIN Studio on his home "Mathilummoottil."

"Coming from an IT background with a busy life in the urban jungle, all we wanted was a traditional calm weekend home with meaning that connects with nature," Ravi told The Better India. "We did not have any sustainable ideas in mind."

Ravi and his friends hoped to build a traditional nalukettu house — a rectangular building with a central courtyard — on their 21,600 square-foot property in the coastal village of Kuvathur. But RAIN Studio did them one better.

"Regular visits to the location, accompanied by informal conversations with the client, played a pivotal role in shaping our creative journey," said Vamsi Krishna M, one of the principal architects of RAIN Studio, when speaking to The Better India about the project. "On our initial visits, we got a sense of the climate of the region. The weather is harsh and humid for most of the year. And so, opting for breathable materials in construction is the best choice."

Vasmi and his team used many reclaimed materials for the project, including traditional tile and doors and windows removed from older buildings.

Another material that featured heavily was packed earth blocks, made from the infertile soil dug up from the building site. The team replaced it with healthy soil from the nearby village and planted a lush forest around the house to screen it from view.

The finished building is designed to be 70% open to the sunlight and sea breeze, making use of these natural features to regulate the temperature and keep it comfortable and well-lit. This means very low energy usage for the building. Meanwhile, the sloped roof funnels rainwater into a collection system for the household to use.

Homes that blendtraditionalmaterials and moderntechniques are popping up all over the globe. Their energy efficiency and clever design can save owners money on energy and water bills while reducing the home's total pollution to protect the planet — a win for everyone.

Join our free newsletter for easy tips to save more, waste less, and help yourself while helping the planet.

Cool Divider