Bangalore’s Greenest Homes: it’s all sun and earth at the Muthiah home

A home that is completely off-the-grid, a family that uses rain water for its everyday needs and a lifestyle that presents a perfect blend of sustainability and native wisdom is what Chockalingam Muthiah welcomes you with.


A house that is completely off the grid for energy, a family that uses rain water for its everyday needs and a lifestyle that presents a perfect blend of sustainability and  native wisdom is what Chockalingam Muthiah’s home welcomes you with.

One gets a warm inviting feeling as one walks into Muthiah’s Chettinad styled ethnic home.

A businessman by profession, Muthiah believes in consuming only what can either be generated or preserved. “Giving up on unnecessary  luxuries is something what I believe in,” he says.

The 3,500 sq. feet house that was constructed eight years ago has been completely running on solar since then. The site area is huge and covers 7,200 sq. feet. “We took a large area because we wanted a central open courtyard,”  Muthiah says.

All the electronic devices including the washing machine, refrigerator, television and water pump runs on solar power. The solar installation cost the family Rs. 4 lakhs eight years ago because prices were really expensive as compared to now. Today, the same panel would cost half the price.

The house runs completely on solar and is designed in a way that it provides the family with sufficient natural light

Every drop counts

The family of four stores all the rain water their house collects. They have 10,000 litres of storage capacity, out of which 4,000 litres is collected at the first floor roof and balcony; the rest is stored at an elevation on the ground floor roof. The water in excess of the storage capacity of the tanks finds its way into an open well in the house that meets the family’s water needs for upto 10 months in an year.

The Muthiah family consumes approximately 20,000-25,000 litres of water per month (at an approximate per capita of 200 ml per person per day). The vast expanse of green in the house – a whopping 1,000 sq feet – is watered with reused water coming out from the kitchen sink and washing machine via a sandbed filter.

“We try to use recycled and rain water as much as possible: I am trying to get rid of our BWSSB connection too,” Muthiah says.

This eight year old house is now planning to also get rid of BWSSB connection

Living the green life

Being a very energy conscious family, the Muthiahs are now trying to fuel their cooking through a biogas generator that has been operational for a couple of months now. All waste is segregated; the dry waste is disposed off to BBMP while the wet waste is used to prepare biogas and compost for the garden.

Hailing from Chettinad that is famous for its intricate architecture and design, the Muthiah house has a distinct ethnic flavour. Sustainability grounds up has meant mud blocks that have been mud plastered and keep the house cool during the summer months. The use of cement has been minimized. The house is designed in a way that it allows for good ventilation. Large dorms and low windows not only keep the air flow regular but also provide abundant natural light.

“We also have a chimney in the staircase which leads the hot air out,” Muthiah says, talking about what might be the most unusual feature of a Bangalore house.

Green to Me

Green to me means saving the energy. If we don’t switch off the lights today then it will automatically get switched off permanently. We have given up on luxuries, we are dependent on what we can generate and what we can collect. that kind of lifestyle brings us closer to natural resources. you can’t be taught to love a sustainable lifestyle, it comes from within.

Muthia’s house is located at Classic Orchards, Bannerghatta Road, Bangalore

You can contact Chockalingam Muthia at- chocku.muthia@gmail.com

Bangalore’s greenest homes is a series on beautiful homes that have been built on strong sustainability principles – from natural building materials to efficient light and space design, water harvesting, off-the-grid energy energy, eco-friendly decor and furniture. And a lifestyle for the residents where less has meant a lot more. 

This series on Bangalore’s greenest homes has been done with the support of ZED Habitats – the largest green  residential developer in India today, and a leader in pioneering building technologies and management systems.

 


  ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Shreya Pareek is a development journalist who is passionate about grassroot change and sustainable living. Follow her on twitter @shreya08 more

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  ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Shreya Pareek is a development journalist who is passionate about grassroot change and sustainable living. Follow her on twitter @shreya08 more

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