Architecture + Design

Rebuilding Waste into Sustainabl­e Architectu­re

Vinu Daniel

- By Vinu Daniel

Architect Vinu Daniel started Wallmakers in 2007 to devote his energies towards the cause of sustainabl­e and cost- effective architectu­re. Since then, it has won many accolades including being selected by ArchDaily as the only Indian practice in the list of 20 Young Practices of 2020.

Amy thinking— that the ideal house in the ideal village will be built using material that is found within a five- mile radius of the home. But in a typical urban context today, everything around us is waste, so we have to learn to build with it.

Necessity and innovation are two significan­t facets of my designs. In one of my projects, the location where my client wanted to construct a house was once a dumpyard. So, instead of shifting the waste to some other person’s property, I decided to build with it. That was when we first came up with the patented Debris Wall and Shuttered Debris

Wall ( SHOBRI). While all other walls of the house are built of rammed earth, with mud sourced from the site itself mixed with barely 7- 9% cement, the debris wall is built around a frame of 6 mm steel rods and plastered 22 gauge wire mesh. This supports the layers of debris poured in with intermitte­nt watering and finished with a final layer of plaster. The wall is made up of 80% building material remains, 15% gravel, 5% cement and 5% manufactur­ed sand. It is not just resource and cost- efficient, but also surprising­ly strong and of extremely pliable form.

At Wallmakers, our aim is to build sustainabl­e spaces that are responsive to specific site contexts and conditions in design and materialit­y, while maintainin­g a balance between innovative and utilitaria­n designs. We are constantly on the move, looking for ways to make constructi­on more sustainabl­e, as we believe that going green is no longer an option but a compulsion for 21st- century humans, where architectu­re is no longer a profession but has become a hazard. rchitectur­e is a creative space, unlike the pedagogica­l framework within which convention­al architectu­re is taught. Adjusting to it was difficult, and I felt that architectu­re had become all about satisfying one’s ego. However, a chance meeting with legendary architect Laurie Baker in my fourth year of college played a critical role in making me fall in love with architectu­re. Baker explained how buildings could completely coexist with nature and help avoid waste, inspired by Gandhi’s teachings. One of the things that Gandhi had said has also influenced

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Ar. Vinu Daniel

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