A home is as much a living, breathing entity as the beings that occupy it. In ancient times homes were built using materials that were naturally available around us such as mud, clay, wood and stone among others. These materials were easy to source and could be broken down naturally and returned to earth, thus reducing wastage. Homes built using these natural materials and construction practices are breathable, durable, sustainable and have natural insulation. Today many people are going back to building homes using these natural materials to reduce their carbon footprint and live in more eco-friendly, natural homes. Let’s take a look at some of the ancient construction practices used in building homes:
Using mud plaster helps in maintaining the thermal quality of a home, keeping it warm when the weather is cool and vice versa. Mud is also a very pliable material and allows one a lot of artistic freedom to create beautiful wall designs using mud plaster. Since mud is a natural and abundantly available material, it is both eco-friendly and economically viable. Mud is also very recyclable and thus sustainable; when broken down it goes back to nature, thus reducing waste.
Mud Blocks Besides being considered eco-friendly, mud blocks are also cost effective. Mud blocks are also stabilised with other materials like straw, lime, etc. This makes the walls solid, durable and water resistant. Homes constructed using mud blocks are generally cooler than those built with cement blocks. It makes a home cool in summer and warm during winter, thus reducing dependence on electrical appliances for artificial cooling or heating.
Lime Plaster Lime plaster is considered eco-friendly as it is made from lime, sand and water, all naturally available materials. It is one of the oldest materials used in construction. Lime plaster is a very breathable material which has the ability to absorb and release moisture, thus providing a more comfortable environment and reducing damage. It is also more durable than synthetic plasters and provides a beautiful finish to a home’s walls and surfaces.
Terracotta Roof Embeds Terracotta literally means ‘baked earth’. It is made of clay, a natural material and involves a simple, sustainable and eco-friendly manufacturing process. Terracotta tiles are used as roof embeds as their reddish colour is attractive and also lasts for long periods of time. Fire protection, durability and energy efficiency are some of the attractive features of terracotta. Terracotta is also customisable which means the tiles come in many different shapes and sizes as compared to other roofing materials.
Natural Paints Clay, marble, lime, earth pigments and chalk are some of the ingredients used to make natural paints. Some of the oldest and most naturally available materials, they make paints which are eco-friendly, and free of chemicals and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). As a result, natural paints are safer and a healthy choice especially in homes inhabited by children, pregnant women, and people with allergies or chemical sensitivities. Natural paints are also more breathable and provide a more aesthetic finish to walls.
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