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Samskara, Made in India © 2014 Anshika Varma

Housing

Sangamam Cost Efficient Habitat

Sangamam is situated at the outskirts of Auroville, Tamil Nadu, in an area affected by environmental and social problems, including water scarcity, saline water intrusion, soil erosion and declining soil fertility, unemployment and inadequate housing, educational and medical facilities.

Soil from the site has been laboratory-tested and found to be suitable for the construction of load bearing walls. The age-old rammed earth building technique is introduced in a more sophisticated form with cement stabilisation to achieve better standard of finish, more strength and water-resistance, and enabling a quicker modular method of building. Five per cent of cement is added in the sieved earth to make the mass water-resistant, thereby significantly adding to the wet compressive strength of the material. A team of four labourers can produce a 23cm monolithic wall of 2.2m length per day.

Roofs are constructed using terracotta filler slabs, bricks as jack arches, and conical hollow vault elements designed specifically to achieve an affordable solution with low environmental impact that is beneficial to generate local employment.

The low cost housing scheme is provided with eco-friendly building infrastructure for rain water harvesting and waste water treatments systems in a single water tank with 3 separate spaces.

Auroville, India
2001 – 2003
Client: Auroville Housing Service
Project Team: Anupama Kundoo, Vinayagam, Sonali Phadnis
Structural Engineer: Dr. Ambalavanan
Integrated water management: Harald Kraft and Aurofilio Schiavina, Kraft Associates
Contractor: Auronirmata