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A house that busts misconceptions of strength

by Wednesday , October 17 2018 12:13

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Building houses in minimalist styles to reduce the cost of construction is very common. However, it indeed is unique and laudable to conceive a house, which requires moderate amount of construction materials, with the intention to conserve nature and environment.

The 2700 sq ft house in Mayyanadu near Kollam reflects a family’s commitment to preserve nature for posterity. More than an expensive and luxurious house, they required a comfortable dwelling with modern facilities. The house was designed in such a way that the use of concrete is reduced to the minimum. Besides, they were determined to conserve resources like water, gravel and sand. The house, built in the minimalist style, is aesthetically appealing as well.

Eminent architects say that people generally have a misconception that the strength and durability of a house would be improved if more concrete is used in the construction. The elegant house named ‘Pranavam’ is a family’s attempt to break away from such stereotypes and also spread the strong message of environmental conservation. The construction of this single storied house was completed within a budget of Rs 55 lakh.

Unique roof

Architect AS Dili who designed the house calls it a ‘dominant roof’ home. The roof built in a unique design and style is in fact the most striking feature of the exteriors of this house. It resembles the roof of those houses built in the traditional architectural style. Steel truss was fixed and cement boards were attached to make the roof. Shingles are paved on the roof to make it more stylish. The heavy rains or the blazing sun of our tropical climate wouldn’t harm the luster or quality of the roof. It can even regulate the temperature inside the house as well. The shingles which are paved on the roof have a warranty of up to 30 years.

Extra 2000 sqft

One of the most amazing features about installing a light weight ‘dominant roof’ is that it leaves an extra 2000 sqft area vacant between the concrete terrace and the roof. The family uses this as a multi functional space where they have set up the laundry area, installed a water tank and even arranged a table tennis board for the kids. This area is suitable to host parties or get together events as well. Enough ventilation facilities are arranged here which lets in lots of sunshine and fresh air. Since the cement board and shingles wouldn’t get heated up as quickly as concrete, the temperature would always be pleasant here. One can climb to this space through the stairway built between the foyer and the formal living area.

The combination of the steel frames and teak wood planks add to the chic look of the stair way.

Light and air

The house has been designed by adopting the unique features of the traditional architectural style and modifying it as per the requirements of the family. In the traditional houses small windows were built to prevent the blazing hot sun from increasing the temperature inside the house. However, a modern technique has been used here where lots of natural light reaches the interiors without rising the temperature. The sunlight which enters through the ventilation on the truss roof falls on the terrace and the specially designed false ceiling which reflects it. This light then enters the house through the huge windows on the wall near the stairway.

Minimum concrete

The design of the house does justice to the family’s vow to reduce the usage of concrete. One of the most amazing facts is that the house was built by using minimal amount of concrete without actually compromising on the size or facilities of the house. Minimalism is reflected on the slab, column, beam and parapet which have been built only where they are absolutely required. The ceilings above the car porch, sit-out, the verandah behind the house and the deck space beside the dining area are not plastered. Besides, there aren’t many walls inside the house which separate areas and this makes the house look more spacious. These factors contributed to considerably save on the sand, cement and water required for the plastering. False ceiling paved with glass wool sheets are done at the areas where the ceilings are not cement plastered. The glass wool sheets help to regulate the temperature inside the house.

Owners Aravind Ramachandran and Arya vouches that there aren’t any security threats just because the roof of the house isn’t plastered using concrete.

Project Facts

Location – Mayyanad, Kollam

Area – 2700 SFT

Owner – Aravind Ramachandran

Architect – Dr Dili AS

Professor and Head

Department of Architecture

TKM College of Engineering, Kollam

Mob – 9447303875

Email –

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