Project Guides: Dr. Anil Kumar Sharma, Department of Civil Engineering and Mr. Harish Mohan, AMMACHI Labs
International Partner: Nicole Little, University at Buffalo, U.S.
Amrita Partner: Pradhipa L., Thiviya S.K., and Ashwathy G. Krishnan, Department of Civil Engineering
Village: Dewgain, Jharkhand
Project Duration: 1 month
Identified Challenge & Aim:
Rural communities have always been known for their deep connection to their surrounding environment. Their use of natural resources to build earthen homes is a testament to this age-old tradition. However, with changing climatic conditions and ambivalent weather patterns village residents were unable to keep up with the continuous cost of maintenance and switched to subsidized concrete government housing. Concrete houses, however, are hot in the summer and cold in the winter presents a different set of challenges to village residents. To address these various challenges, the student team, guided by Dr. Anil Sharma and Mr. Harish Mohan, proposed to utilize rammed earth technology.
The team first studied current house construction methods in the village and interviewed village residents about their attitudes and perceptions towards rural housing. They subsequently collected several soil samples to determine the best combination of soil and the best site to later build a model house. The team conducted several tests on site to understand the correct mix of soil, lime, and sand and made several block moulds to show villagers. The team combined traditional knowledge of house construction with modern masonry and proposed an innovative design for a model house that is strong, safe, and economically viable.