Published: 28th May 2018
B Vamshidhar Reddy's firm in Hyderabad is using self-sustainable techniques to build structures
People who want to construct farm houses, resorts and holiday homes are more open to sustainable techniques, observes Reddy
Back to the roots, self-sustainable, going green — these trends have seeped into everything from the food we eat to the clothes we wear and even to the kind of houses we live in. Although the latter is a little slow in catching on, B Vamshidhar Reddy from Hyderabad, Ashwin Ramesh from Salem and Nikhil Guduru from Anantapur decided to give it a little push through their firm, which they established nine months ago. Though they are yet to find a name for their firm, they haven't had any trouble finding work. A compound wall of a newly renovated residence, a farmhouse in Shankarpalli, leisure homes in Anantapur and Insomnia, a nightclub on Road No 36, Jubilee Hills are some of the construction jobs they've taken up.
They have also undertaken projects like a Rammed Earth farmhouse in Shankarpalli and a cafe in Vanasthalipuram made using the Debri Wall technique
While Reddy was always interested in sustainable architecture, it was his thesis supervisor who urged him to refer to the work of an award-winning architect, Vinu Daniel. Serendipitously, Reddy actually went on to intern in Kochi for a year under Vinu Daniel himself. "I was so inspired by his work that I decided to put my master's plan on hold and start this firm," says the graduate from BMS College of Engineering, Bengaluru. He got together with his friends Ashwin Ramesh and Nikhil Guduru, who unanimously, "saw potential in contemporary design paired with sustainable materials."
It's not only about installing solar panels in buildings; it's about reducing our carbon footprint, which these techniques help doing
B Vamshidhar Reddy, architect
Rammed Earth, a technique that uses natural raw materials to construct foundation walls and such, Debri Wall, a wall constructed with materials of the previous structure, and CSE blocks (Compressed Stabilised Earth Blocks), which allow for thinner and more sturdy walls — these are some of the techniques that the trio use, which not only follows the norms of sustainable architecture but is trendy as well. "The structures have a rustic feel to them because we don't use paint or plaster. The temperature inside these structures is at least five degrees lower than the temperature outside," says Reddy. These techniques reuse materials around them which would otherwise make their way to the dump yard, thus reducing waste and becoming self-sustainable and eco-friendly in nature.
While Nikhil has a background in urban architecture, Ashwin comes with a greater understanding of design. About 50-60% of the construction waste is used in sustainable techniques employed by Reddy's firm
Currently, they operate out of an office at Masab Tank, Hyderabad and hire specifically skilled workers from Puducherry to execute the techniques they use. So, the next step forward would naturally be to train the local workers, start manufacturing CSE blocks themselves and more. As the techniques they use reduce the cost of construction, people sometimes come to them just for the cheaper prices. This is not the reason why one should opt for it, feels the 23-year-old. "It is about giving back to Earth and going back to the roots," he concludes.
Work in progress: One of the construction sites the firm is working at
If you want to get in touch, you can contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org