Growing our own food is as important as building our own home. This is the article of First Series of Thannal Natural Building Grove.
As part of Laurie Baker’s Birth Centenary Exhibition, Thannal have attempted to reach common man through portraying different dimensions in which we try to spread awareness about Natural Buildings. Go through this brief compilation of the journey of Thannal
An example to show us how building a natural home is simple, easy and economical, especially when people come together and work as one unit.
Flowing Palm Leaf Lean-To roof
Rain started in Tiruvannamalai, so we started our roof work to protect our Cob walls. Below is the video of doing our Palm roof
We took our center point for the main wooden pole away from the structure to get more height for shade as well as for having a loft near top most area of the center wooden pole.
We are lucky enough to get this 18 feet height wood from nearby village. Tied rope at the top most point in different direction to see the pitch of the roof as you see in the above photo. Roof pitch was not enough so we attached bamboos to add height for the main pole.
Main 22 feet bamboo poles act as the main rafter to hold the weight of other bamboos and palm leaf cover on top
Top view from the main wooden pole showing the shape of the foundation and the bamboo columns to hold the main rafters. So the lover part of the roof started taking its shape naturally.
Marking on Earth using natural colours for cob foundation
We really want to Re use old casuarina poles and bamboos (poor man’s timber). Casuarinas will get harder when it gets old. Most of the materials were ready on site. We collected different stones in different size and shape from nearby land for a Rock game.
We started with common living room as first phase for our cob homes. Two natural colours were used for the grid as well as for the curved wall of cob foundation. For the basic grid points we used red mud and for curves we used lime powder.
This grid pattern really helped for marking curved walls. Cob walls can be attached for future expansion, so we kept two tales on both ends. After digging the foundation we kept PVC pipe for the casuarina poles and pour cement inside, so that the poles wouldn’t get damaged.
For foundation mortar we thought of using cob and lime. Here we mixed lime and red mud in 1:10 ratio and kept it side by side. We are planning to keep it for minimum 4 days and drill small holes and pour water on top of the piles.
Mean time climate in Tiruvannamalai, Tamil Nadu is changing. There are chances for rains and we had heavy rains in other part of India this year. So we called our bamboo worker friend for help and going to start roof work to prevent our Cob walls.