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agriculture

Concrete Vis-à-vis Mud Houses

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Housing has a lot to do with what we feel about global warming as we live in a mud house or a brick house ! We are in a vicious cycle when we live in a brick house! The burnt bricks along with plastered cement, the cemented floor make the house a virtual furnace in the summer months where the temperature goes up ta an average of 40-42 degree centigrade, even to 48.3 degrees ! This makes the pucca or brick-built houses to almost compulsorily go for electric connection to run electric fan to cool themselves ( residents) off from the temperature inside their houses!

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Mud-built thatched house

 

Kerala home construction structure site, home building progress with natural bricks chenkallu and concrete

                         Brick-built House

The temperature inside the brick-built houses has a spiraling effect where the elements of a bricked house like burnt bricks, cement, sands, iron are good conductor of heat. So the brick-built houses are cold in winter and hot in summer months as per their surrounding temperature ! But their mud-built (counterparts) houses are just the opposite and very comfortable as they can stand distinguished from their surrounding temperature! 

The problems with mud houses are that they should be kept away from inundation or surroundings with abundant water for the obvious reason that dry mud walls get softened and diluted with water. To overcome this the mud houses are made on raised grounds with well water drainage condition around them. Apart from this, rat, white ants and snake infestation can well be there. To keep these under control the floors of mud houses are nowadays plastered with sand and cement. The mud walls are also plastered with sand and cement to fight these problems and increase longevity.

Nowadays it is difficult to get expert skilled artisans who are expert/adept in raising mud walls. It requires hard work to collect soil, make mud doughs.

The major advantage of thatched mud houses are that they are low-cost, made out of local easily available resource like mud, paddy straw, bamboo slices and coconut rope (coir-rope).

By T K Mandal

The author is an ardent follower and believer of Nature and Yoga practices. Yoga can work miracles and a Cure-All for all physical and mental diseases, yes , at any age, I assure you !

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