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Using Traditional Material for Sustainable Interior Design

 Dr Archana Verma


Modern building construction practices have been exorbitantly expensive and also a load on the environment. Because of this, there has been a lot of interest in the traditional Indian architectural designs to cut down on the building costs and also to make them sustainable and using less energy for heating and cooling.

The stone trellis work in the historical buildings have been known to keep the building cool and also provide sunlight and ventilation. Similarly, terracotta tiles, climbing vines and open ceiling courtyards have provided the sunlight, cooling interiors and air in traditional homes. Nowadays, architects are bringing back these design strategies to cut down on costs and make the building use less energy and keep the temperature lower in the age of climate change. 

One such architect is Manoj Patel in Gujarat, who uses some of the famed tradition trellis works of Gujarat along with the modern housing styles. Some of the strategies he uses are terracotta tiles, plantations in the niches of terracotta doors, wooden trellis works etc. These design strategies keep the buildings cool in summer, use less electricity for cooling, provide natural light and air and a green ambiance.
Overall, the finished effect is pleasing to the eyes, soothing to the body because of regulated temperature control and aesthetically beautiful. If to these techniques the modern solar technology are added to cut the electricity usage further, the cost of energy usage would be minimal. Besides, energy saving lights such as LED lights from Philips which have sensors to switch off the lights automatically when there's no one in the room can be combined.

Another design strategy has been developed by the Studio Lotus in Delhi. They build an open atrium like structure to allow light in the apartment style buildings. Many buildings in Delhi lack natural lighting. This design strategy is a much required motif which must be adopted.

Besides, the government should make it mandatory to install solar panels on every roof and LED lighting in streets and houses. With these strategies, buildings can be made more sustainable, costs can be cut and energy usage can be reduced.