Sustainable by design 2050

An initiative of the UIA

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Palmyra House

Palmyra House

Photographer: Helene Binet

Palmyra House

Photographer: Helene Binet

Palmyra House

Photographer: Helene Binet

Palmyra House

Photographer: Helene Binet

Palmyra House

Photographer: Helene Binet

Palmyra House

Photographer: Helene Binet

Palmyra House

Photographer: Helene Binet

Palmyra House
Palmyra House
Palmyra House
Palmyra House

Photographer: Helene Binet

Architect
Bijoy Jain, Studio Mumbai Architects
Location
Asia and Australia - India - Nandgaon, Maharashtra
Climate Zone
tropical
Design status
build
Date of completion
2006
Type
Housing
Site area (m²)
5093
Footprint (m²)
184
GFA (m²)
300
NFA (m²)
178
NFA/GFA
0.593
Density
0.059
Gross Volume (GV) (m³)
588
Building Costs
421739 USD
Building Costs / m² GFA
1405.797
Building Costs / m² NFA
2369.32
Building Costs / m³ GV
717.243
Cooling / Heating-System

Passive

Use of renewable ressources - low tech
natural cross ventilation
Renewable, recycled, recyclable and innovative materials

Localy harvested palmyra and ain wood.

Key Sustainability aspects
solar building integration, vernacular building strategies, public spaces, renewable building materials, recycling and reuse, ecological building materials, innovative bulding materials, integrated planning process, use of innovative design tools
Sustainability rated
No
Social and ethical responsibility

Palmyra House is situated within a functioning coconut plantation on the edge of the Arabean Sea and is positioned in order to preserve as many trees as possible. Approached holistically both in its abstract conception and its physical construction, the project employs a combination of culturally and ecologically sensitive practices: a regional sourcing of materials, the use of local laborers and craftspeople in all levels of construction, and an emphasis on hand-crafted elements.

Ressource efficiency and environmental impact

The site utilizes a local aqueduct irrigation system with water harvested from four on-site wells, which also provide water for the house. Locally quarried black basalt stone was used to construct aqueducts, boundary walls, plinths, and paving.  Structural framing for the house was built of ain wood, a local
hardwood, and was constructed by hand using traditional interlocking joinery. The louvers are made from locally harvested palmrya wood. A hardy palm species, palmyra is the primary agricultural crop and source of income for the region.

Economic lifecycle perfomance

The coconut palm canopy provides year round shade while open louvers allow air to pass freely through the structure, passively cooling the house and eliminating the need for air conditioning.  Provisions have been made to install wind and solar power, as the location and orientation of the house ensure consistent ocean breezes and ample sunlight.   Four wells on the site supply the house with water as well as irrigating the plantation via aqueducts, which are typical of the area.

Contextual performance and impact

Due to the density of trees, the building site is inaccessible by motorized vehicle or heavy equipment, requiring the foundations for the house to be excavated entirely by hand.  Excavated material was then utilized for agricultural purposes elsewhere on the site.  Additional landscaping is minimal and includes plant species local to the region.  The project is fully integrated into its natural landscape in an ongoing and reciprocal relationship of inhabitation and stewardship.