India’s Rich Construction Heritage
India’s Constuction has an extremely rich heritage. Festivals are a time of celebration as well as remembrance. Independence Day is arguably the most important festival for our country and on this day we celebrate our achievements and remember our heroes and our heritage. The fact that the red fort is the place where we and our leaders celebrate independence day shows the importance of construction heritage.
India is known around the world for its diverse culture and contribution. When each heritage structure is considered, a common element that appears to be distinct is its construction approach and structural stability, which has ensured its survival even in the face of natural disasters, man-made disasters, and carelessness. Each structure, regardless of its architectural type or style, has its own uniqueness and specialty.
Traditional architecture has flourished over generations as a result of the local climate, topography, culture, and context. It makes use of locally available natural materials and indigenous construction techniques. As a result, it is sustainable, cost-effective, and has a strong aesthetic character. Using our rich historic architecture to design dwellings would make them environmentally friendly and give them a particular cultural identity. This promotes and contributes to our country’s rich cultural heritage.
INDIA’S INDIGENOUS CONSTRUCTION LOCAL AND NATURAL MATERIALS:
The elements of traditional architecture can be easily reinterpreted and incorporated into the modern form of construction of new homes. Traditional architecture makes use of locally sourced natural materials because they are more readily available, less expensive, and better suited to the climate. They also have a very low carbon footprint due to their low transportation costs. These materials also blend in well with the surrounding natural environment.
Stone, bricks, mud, wood, lime, and thatch were the most commonly utilized materials, depending on what was available in each region.
Stone has been used to construct walls, roofs, and floors in homes since the beginning of time. Stone is sturdy and long-lasting, and it comes in a variety of beautiful colors, grains, and textures. It is preferable to use locally available stone, such as slate in Himachal Pradesh, sandstone in Rajasthan, cuddapah in Andhra Pradesh, or laterite in Kerala.
Buildings have been made out of mud and bricks from the dawn of mankind. Mud is one of the most environmentally friendly building materials accessible. Sun-dried bricks are also included in this category. Burned bricks have been popular since the Indus valley culture because of their enhanced strength and impermeability. For ages, brick buildings and constructions have stood as a testament to their durability.
While bricks are still extensively employed in construction, mud construction has become outdated. The use of mud in contemporary buildings is being revived by several architects and organizations.
Before the invention of cement, structures were made of lime. Lime mortar and plaster can reduce cement usage without sacrificing strength. Instead of using synthetic paints, that emit dangerous VOCs, limewash is a healthy and organic alternative for painting (volatile organic compounds).
Bamboo has traditionally been used to construct traditional dwellings in India’s north-eastern states. The houses in flood-prone locations were built on stilts. Because bamboo is light, it is ideal for this region, which is prone to earthquakes. Bamboo has a lot of potential because it is a fast-growing grass with incredible strength and elasticity.
Wood was once primarily utilized for doors and windows, and in some areas, for the framework of buildings. However, in today’s homes, we must limit our use of wood because it leads to deforestation. As a result, if possible, reuse or purchase FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified wood to ensure that it was harvested responsibly.