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Hut-to-Hut: Southern India’s Cheap and Environmentally-Friendly Home


Kumta-PrototypeHut-to-Hut is the result of a workshop organised by Rintala Eggertsson Architects and some students from the University of Science and Technology in Norway to design and construct a practical, eco-friendly home in India’s Western Ghats region.

Built with locally-produced materials and using solar power and a composite latrine to provide its energy needs, the project, backed by the Panchabhuta Conservation Foundation is also expandable over time.

Rintala Eggertsson architects Daggur Eggerstsson, Sami Rintala and Pasi Aalto together with the Norwegian University’s students decided to create the project after an eco-tourism seminar on India’s Western Ghats region.

The ideal solution for them would be beneficial to the local people in Kagala, Karnataka, India and also be affordable and sustainable. Thus, the two-hut home was created with the aid of the Panchabhuta Conservation Foundation.

Hut-to-Hut or the Kumta Prototype utilizes traditional building style featuring homes grouped together with shared shady courtyards. The foundation for the building was provided by a square brick construction, and coupled with building with locally-made materials, created structures with large roofs, raised floors and screened walls to provide a naturally-ventilated home.

Independent of the grid, the energy needs of the home are provided by solar panel-generated electricity and a composite latrine for waste disposal and biogas production. The foundation makes it possible for future expansion of the home as needs be while a small garden can also be cultivated around the homes.

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