“Built with local and locally available materials” — this phrase came into picture during the eco-construction workshop at Our Sacred Space, West Marredpally. The workshop facilitators were architect Dheeraj who works with vernacular architecture and spreads awareness on traditional vernacular architecture and Ananth Nagarajan who brings his experience of working on natural structures in California and Oregon.
The workshop on ‘natural building’ came alive with many enthusiasts enrolling themselves in this activity. “Natural building involves using environmental-friendly, locally available resources for construction. It is best suited to the local climatic conditions. It is a science that is being rapidly forgotten. There is little left of the natural ecosystems.
The production of cement ravages our landscapes and involves raw materials that emit anthropogenic carbon gases. Instead of using such harmful substances for the construction of buildings, we can be more conscious to use natural building processes with generation’s worth of knowledge and expertise that India has through the centuries,” said Dheeraj.
“Natural building is a harmless way of inhabiting the environment and it deserves some place in the existing world. That’s the main reason why Our Sacred Space has made an effort to make it accessible to the people who can learn the craft and then explore it on their own and maybe even spread their knowledge in their own communities.
This also creates more respect for the traditional way of construction which is viable than any modern day construction. This is our heritage, our science that is fast disappearing and this is our effort to share it with conscious citizens of our twin cities,” says Nayantara Nandakumar, founder of Our Sacred Space. The two-day hands-on intensive workshop aimed to enable the participants to touch and build with raw materials available in and around the site.
The participants got an opportunity to work on the structure which is built with the most locally available materials and in understanding the intricacies that go into making of it. They soaked leaves, pounded seeds, added turmeric and oils as insecticides. They prepared prototype model homes and then the real structure. The workshop was more of celebrating natural materials and the philosophy of do-it yourself.