These days, it is normal to see people reclaiming farmlands in Kuttanad and building houses. But we are going to tell you the story of an innovative house – one that was built in a farmland without destroying the eco-system. And that is not all – once you get bored of this house, you can dismantle it completely.
Kuttanad is a marshy area. And the house had to be constructed in a field, which was used for inter cropping paddy and fish.
The water in the farm was completely drained off and piling done. Since it was a farmland, a raft foundation (a thick concrete slab reinforced with steel) was put in. And on this sixteen pillars were put up. These pillars were made by carving out the insides of a coconut tree and filling it with concrete and metal rods.
On these pillars, a mild steel frame was fixed. Jackwood planks were screwed in to this frame. The flooring which comes over this frame is made of coconut wood and was polished later. The coconut wood was treated to borax - boric acid mixture before use. This reduces the chance of the wood degenerating
Ready made walls
Since the house was built on a marshy land, the floor and the walls had to be lightweight. Instead of bricks, the walls were made of ready made cement boards. These cement sheets are less than half inch in width -two such sheets were screwed into the wooden floor at a gap of four inches between. This gap acts as an insulator. These walls were later painted. These walls are further strengthened by the pipes from the floor.
An outer frame of GE square pipes were fixed on top of the walls. The ceiling was made of jackwood and coconut wood. And on top of this a fibre glass sheet was laid - this also acts as a insulator.
The house has a sit-out, living, dining, open kitchen, two bedrooms and an office room. The windows open out to the beautiful fields which are used for farming and fish farming. The window frames are made of UPVC and the doors are made of engineered wood.
The huge bay windows in the bedroom act as a reading space and also a place from where you can have a view of the fields. There are sliding windows in the house from where you can cast a line and fish. Pearlspot (karimeen) and snakehead murrel (Varaal) are the fish that is grown here.
The highlight of this house is that it can be dismantled and set up in a different place. The only thing that cannot be removed are the foundation pillars. Could this be the answer to building houses without destroying the farmlands? We wonder.
At a glance
This 1600sq ft house is at Valiyanad, near Kidangara. The house was made on top of pillars without destroying the fields. Coconut wood for flooringCement board for walls. You can dismantle everything and rebuild