TraditionalÂ architecture is the most widespread form of building in India since many years, constructed through traditional building methods by local builders without using the services of a professional architect. Due to western influence, architects are slowly forgetting traditional architecture methods that are based on indian climatic conditions.Â In India, building materialsÂ comprise different categories â€“ from mud-plastered to reed-thatched to timber-framed â€“ in accordance with the availability of local material. Some houses are built to withstand earthquakes, while others can be rebuilt quickly if washed away by heavy monsoon rains.
In areas where there are limitations of building material, natural materials such as mud, grass, bamboo, thatch or sticks are used, instead of transporting materials from far-flung place which is a blot on sustainability practices,Â Â for semi-permanent structures which require constant maintenance and replacement. The advantages of such architecture are the construction materials are cheap and easily available and relatively little labor is required.
As the needs and resources of the people change, vernacular architecture evolve to include more durable materials such as stones, clay tiles, metals etc. Though they are more expensive to build, they are very durable structures.
Climate has a major influence
Climate has a major influence onÂ traditional architecture in India. High thermal mass or significant amounts of insulation characterize buildings in cold climates. Lighter materials are used to construct buildings in warm climates and designed for sufficient cross-ventilation through openings in the fabric of the building. In areas which have high levels of rainfall, flat roofs are avoided, even in areas with flatÂ roofs, water harvesting techniques are bein implemented.Â
Instead of imitating western architecture that doesn’t suit in Indian climatic conditions, if we focus on implementing traditional indian architecture practices, we can step forward towards sustainability in construction practices.