Build a Natural Home

Build a Natural Home

Build a Natural Home with Thannal

‘Build a Natural Home’ is an initiative by Thannal to build a mud home per present-day needs. We believe shelter for any human can be made on an affordable budget through Natural Buildings without causing much damage to nature.

Using Indigenous techniques of construction will reduce the dependency on manufactured materials as it requires preferably local materials. Such a project initiates the revival of good mud homes in a region currently dominated by cement houses or mud buildings adulterated with cement. It will also make building a good mud home a reality for ordinary people. For your dream to create one for yourself, we could help in the following ways.

Step 1:

Attend any of our Natural Building Workshop so that you will

  • Feel a mud home before you decide to build one.
  • Train yourself, family and friends, so that you could build together.
  • Let your mason learn so that they could build one for you and others.
  • Support Thannal, experience mud and spread the excellent mud home

Case 1.

We are not a construction group; we are an awareness group.

After the workshop, if Thannal is taking up your project.

We do only two or three projects in a year. We will be choosing projects based on the values associated with it, which will portray mud homes as genuinely eco-friendly. Project done by Thannal will be a ‘Gift Culture’ or ‘Barter System’. In exchange for our services, you can contribute to our Natural Building School books, tools or food grains (for our kitchen). You can also sponsor salary to our artisans for a month, which will be a massive help for our experimentation.

These projects will create learning opportunities for everyone who wants to see how and why traditional methods are practical in the present scenario of material shortage and high construction costs.

We will be designing the house, with stage-wise site visits by Founders & Thannalites during the construction. In addition, volunteers who have undergone basic training through our workshop will be available to help with the building—for example, Farmer’s Home in Attappadi and Seed Bank in Dindigul.

Terms & Conditions:

  • Thannal undertakes only two projects a year which are value-based.
  • We only do non-commercial projects in suburbs or villages, not in urban areas.
  • We prefer to serve people who are doing their first home (in need of shelter), not weekend homes or farmhouses.
  • We can also take up the restoration of old mud houses.
  • As there is no contractor involved in our projects right now, the owner himself or someone else appointed by the owner has to take care of labour management, material procurement etc. So we can be part of the project like a designer but not a contractor.
  • Trained Volunteers through our workshop can be made available as per need.

Case 2: Owner’s Build

Suppose Thannal cannot take up your project due to our engagements in other means of spreading awareness, like workshops, working on books or publications or we have already taken up two projects. In that case, we can help you by giving training for an Owner’s Build through workshops.

We promote Owner’s Build as we believe in not building more but make more natural builders. Such homes built by owners, their family, friends, and few workers always cherish a memorable connection with the people residing in the constructed home.

We invite you to be a part of the shelter building process being friends with nature.

The below video is one example of an owner-built 

Natural builder around us video self trained
Play Video about Natural builder around us video self trained

What is an Owner’s Build?

  • The owner will train himself or someone he appoints in all the skills required for making a home so that he can judge and do all the quality tests (after attending our workshop) while in different stages of the project.
  • Building Design as per their own requirements has to be arranged by the owner himself (may get it designed from any designer) but he must ensure all the design requirements specific to mud construction is duly noted and incorporated.
  • The owner himself takes the responsibilities of all building processes including arranging workers, ensuring that the workers are skilled enough for the job and all feasible local materials required for the construction.
  • He/she will be also working, with the help of his family and friends.
  • He/she will also do Planning for construction and avoid any expenses due to delays on site.

We love to support anyone who has already attended either one of the two (I. Natural Building 2 days + any of other natural plasters workshop or II. 10 days Natural building workshop), could expect the following from us

  • Recommendation on the building process, material availability, cost reduction factors by connecting you with natural builders those who have already associated with Thannal.
  • Providing you with learning materials/ references to books, videos, journals and other documentations
  • We can help you find volunteers from our selective groups of workshops.
  • In return we expect you to document and share the building process, material details and costing with us to help others.

Read an article about an Owner’s Build by one of our participants of the workshop at the following link


So, to start building a good mud home, attend one of our upcoming workshops.

Kindly check our Upcoming Projects to know more about the values we seek from a project. Write to us only if you feel your project has comparable essence.

Online Video Course

Natural Building class in Tamil & English

Books & Ebooks

Over 50 +  hands-on training programmes were conducted and 1500+ people trained

This post is also available in: Tamil

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