Consider Mud House Construction for your Home

9100

Authors – Swetha Ananthula & Vikhyanth Reddy

Constructing a house of our own is dream for an Indian family. However, when we plan to build a home, many of us are disappointed by the lack of variety in design and construction. Almost all urban houses are concrete box apartments or individual villas with the same concrete material. Are there ways to make your dream house unique, comfortable, eco-friendly and affordable? For a change, you could consider building a mud house!

The moment we think of construction, the first thing that comes to our mind is cement concrete, which is the most used building material in the world. With such massive usage of concrete, its bad qualities are overshadowed by its good qualities. Considering this, many are moving towards more energy efficient, affordable and artistic way of building such as mud-based construction mainly due to the rising heat from climate change and avoid the perilous environmental effects of concrete.

A mud house is a building construction that makes use of soil excavated from the land where the house is built. This soil is enhanced by natural additives that are locally available like rice husk, paddy straw, etc. The soil is tempered by thoroughly breaking up, watering and kneading and moulded into compressed stabilized earth blocks, which are reusable and have high heat resisting capacity, thus slowing down the rate of temperature changes in the ambient air.

Material costs of earth-based construction is only a fraction of the cost of a concrete house along with other conventional materials. However, labour is a major cost for a mud house construction, but the bright side is labour intensiveness. Unlike fired bricks, the physical structure of sun-dried bricks does not change during the drying process. Without its white protective layer, a wet brick simply becomes mud. Therefore, there would not be the problem of landfill contamination after demolition of mud structures.

We found a few inspiring mud houses in India coupled with other green ideas employed in their construction, which makes them energy efficient:

Chitra Vishwanath’s Sans Souci in Bengaluru

To call ‘Sans Souci’, Chitra Vishwanath’s aesthetically beautiful and well executed architectural adobe just a mud house wouldn’t suffice. With mud as a basic material in construction Chitra Vishwanath, a renowned architect and environmentalist has designed and built many structures. Located in Vidyaranyapura, Bengaluru, this is an open house to study various ecological ideas used in it. The design of this house contains a thermally balanced basement, which provides the entire earthwork required for compressed earth blocks to build the home. The inside of house has no plaster or paint. There is no need for fans or air conditioning, since earth-based houses are naturally insulated enough to be cool in summers and warm in winters.

Chitra Vishwanath’s house has made efficient usage of all natural resources available on site. The roof is designed to capture rainwater and solar energy for cooking and water heating. Rice, millets and vegetables are grown on rooftop with recycled wastewater from washing machine and nutrients are provided to these plants from an Ecosan toilet. Grey water, which comes from kitchen sinks is recycled and used for landscaping purposes.

Kodaikanal Mud House

Residing in the tiny town of Shenbaganur, 6km from Kodaikanal, Priyashri Mani and Nishita Vasanth were quite enthusiastic from an early age to use their efforts for something productive. So they built a beautiful little mud roundhouse with a thatched roof and wooden poles crisscrossed on the inside for support. They made this possible without consulting an engineer or a builder, but just local masonry and other community residents.

They believe that materials like mud and cow dung are a lot easier to handle, giving the owners the opportunity to be a part of the construction of their own homes. The materials used by them in the construction are mostly recyclable. To construct the walls, which withstand adverse weather conditions, and to enhance load-bearing capacity, they followed the Earth-bag procedure, which is eco-friendly and economical. This method involves collection of old cement sacks made of polypropylene, a non-biodegradable plastic and filling them with mud. Then, they are arranged one on top of the other and plastered with mud or clay to hold up the entire structure.

The little stairway in their roundhouse that divides the living area into two levels is aesthetically tiled with handmade ‘Athangudi’ tiles. To get some colored translucent light in bathrooms, they used beer bottles. The shower area has a large window with a picture postcard view. The window frames are unusual and round in shape since tyres were used. They have added steps made out of tyres on the outside, and a simple gazebo made from coconut mats and wooden poles. Priyashri Mani and Nishita Vasanth are still making additions to make their Kodaikanal mud house look more beautiful and comfortable.

Arulville Bungalow

Arulville is an example for resource-positive architecture that manages its own resources and lives within those resources and does not rely on electricity and heating ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC). It bears witness to a perfect sync between man, nature and the built environment consisting of a cottage, a courtyard, a bungalow/villa, a kitchen/dining block, a three-storey water tank and a few man-made water bodies.

The building welcomes with an arched brick roof, with dismantable precast concrete rafters rhythmically patterned and a cooler-roof technique (locally known as Madras Terrace). Another interesting system of roofing at Arulville is the combination of T-beams, with coir-fiber sandwiched between clay tiles and Kadappa stones. Thermal insulation within the structure is incredible, especially during the hot and humid climate of coastal Tamilnadu.

Mud, dug up from the site has been used extensively to build walls as well as foundations, applying the rammed-earth technique. Locally sourced clay bricks and quarter bricks used for walls are left unplastered. Clay bricks do not fade, erode or dent overtime and termites don’t eat them. Water bodies were created in areas where the soil was dug out for building rammed earth walls. Even the original curing tank became a lotus pond, after the construction.

The use of earthy red-oxide flooring in the Arulville bungalow keeps it cooler to the touch even in mid-summer and provides longevity and joint-free finish. The use of filler slabs, with small clay pans employed as fillers, effectively reduced the use of concrete. Natural filtration ponds were created using charcoal, pebbles and sand to filter impurities in the water being bumped up to the overhead tank, as well as to recycle the waste water.

70 COMMENTS

    • Hi Shivam,
      Thanks for your interest in our website and providing information. but we do not allow companies to post details in comments. so please list your company in our green directory where we allow complete details to be posted freely

  1. I am truly interested in the last design of mud house. I am particularly interested in doing something that is different from the conventional. Please how do I get this design and someone to construct this building for me. Thanks.

  2. The mud house looks really cool and with the type of decoration it has, I can surely say it is better than any other house construction. Very impressive writing

  3. I need to build a mud house like arulville. But im in Pakistan. Can anyone advise? How to fulfil this dream?

    • Hi Nadeem,
      unfortunately we being in India, cannot help you with your needs! all i can say is please study how the traditional house buildings were built with mud earlier in Pakistan

  4. Hi
    I want to build a mud house in Andhrapradesh. Can I get anyone who is able to build and how much does it cost ?

  5. hello,

    i am navi thakur from palampur himachal pradesh.
    i have huge land and want to made mud homestay in low budget.
    Could you plese help me in this.

  6. Can you please send the details of Chitra Vishwanath’s Sans Souci house I really like the concept of eco friendly houses. Please contact me as soon as possible.

  7. I would like to construct mud house in my farm near Nagpur ( Maharashtra ) . Please advise who can design and construct.

  8. I wish to make some low budget Mud Cottages in my village land in Kumaon (Uttarakhand) approx 60 kms from Ramnagar in hills.

  9. HI, it was my dream to live in eco-friendly, mud house. I would like to construct mud house at our farm near Tumkur, Karnataka. We would like to construct around 1200 sq. ft.

    I prefer to have eco- friendly, low cost,contemporary mud house cool mud house. If any architect or builder meet my requirement, kindly contact me.

    Parimala BJ

    • Hi Parimala,
      Thanks for your interest in the construction of Mud House. We shall get in touch with you through mail

  10. Hello sir, I am from nagpur, Maharashtra, interested in building mud house… Can it possible to build three storey building??? Let me know….

    • Hi Jyoti, Yes, it is possible to build a three storey building by using wood or iron RCC beams

  11. Hi all, anybody in and around Hyderabad planning to construct house with natural materials(Mud, bamboo and wood) please,please join me in your project.

  12. Hi I’m SOM, looking contractor to build mud house in Visakhaptnam. Please contact any leads. total site is 530 Sq.yards

    • Hi Somanadhan,
      Thanks for your interest in the construction of Mud House. We shall get in touch with you through mail

  13. I need to build the walls of my house with mud and lime in a village 6 km from Sathnur on the outskirts of Bangalore. All materials are on site. Foundation is done. Would you be able to help with providing reliable people to build these walls without any cement whatsoever?

  14. Hi my name is suji I am in trichy Tamil Nadu. I want to built a mud house in my land. If any builders near me plz contact

    • Hi Sujina,
      Thanks for your interest in construction of Mud House. We shall get in touch with you through mail

  15. Will you take up building a mud house in Palamaner (neighbouring Kolar district) in Andhra Pradesh ?

    If yes, please revert back

  16. Thanks for information
    Very nice article
    Can you give me an idea of cost of building a mud house in Goa North Goa
    Four bedroom kitchen dining drawing common very simple work no design or ornamentation no wood work
    Just simple house for living
    Thanks

  17. Hey,

    there are so many Nature Enthusiasts i find here who all want to build natural buildings. I would like to know how many of you have been able to make your dream come true. I too am a dreamer like you all. I request the concerned to contact me at [email protected].

    Thanks

  18. Hi all,

    I’m interested to know the techniques and want to study how the mud houses in India are built. Could you please guide me. I want to design my own house and take help from experts to build it.

    Any info will be of great help.

    • Thank you Jithendra for your interest in Mud house construction . Please check your mail for further details .

  19. Sir, I’m nithya from erode in tamil nadu .we are farmers.we are very much interested in mud block house in the farm.can you construct in low cost and the house should be big ?

  20. Sir, I am from coimbatore.
    I want to build a house with eco friendly materials used traditionally. What is the construction cost per square feet?

  21. Is it possible to build mud house using black cotton soil. What would be the cost per sft.

  22. We are located in JABALPUR MP. We are interested in building a mud house on our farm land. The proposed construction is of 1500-2000 sr ft. We want to make the place eco friendly. Can you suggest and help.
    Thanks. Nawal

  23. Greetings from mubina halim
    Congrats to the soldiers of my earth
    I need a mud house in ringing village, netrang ,Gujarat. On a farm field.
    My problem is a have no idea where to start. One of the reason is that as soon as I say that I need a mud house people start nodding their head in disapproval.
    Where do I start?

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here