Couple builds zero-waste home which remains cool without AC

Gargi Parmar natural home
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Shikha Chaurasia

Aurangabad (Maharashtra), June 28, 2020: The ideal concept of a dream home according to many is a lavish bungalow or a home made of concrete. The widespread concept of a cement home is what is being followed for a long time. Misconceptions and lifestyles of humans have been increasingly causing harm to the environment. In of its kind efforts to have a unique home, Aurangabad-based Gargi Parmar has changed the definition of a home for all. She and her husband, Kiran Bhale have constructed a home that is eco-friendly, sustainable and runs on the concept of ‘zero-waste’.

In an interview with Punekar News, Parmar shares her journey and how she made her dream into reality.

Q. What is upcycling and how did you think of it?
Ans. By using existing things or scrap to make new products energy is conserved and the waste is minimized. This concept is known as upcycling.

I was a student of fashion technology in Pune. While studying fashion, I realised that the fashion industry is one of the most polluting industries in the world. There are heaps of clothes that are dumped in landfills. While preparing for a fashion project during college in 2011, I decided to research on ‘sustainable fashion’. From then on, I developed a keen interest in sustainable, eco-friendly fashion. This idea gave birth to my brand ‘Bano Batwo’– the core principle of the brand is to reuse and revise existing things or reusing scrap to make beautiful products.

Q. How did you construct your home using natural raw materials?

Ans. We have used a very less quantity of cement to make our home. The major components used are all-natural. We ventured into small villages to ask the traditional ways and recipes to make homes. After asking a relative residing in Bhalgaon village near Aurangabad, we got the recipe. The walls of our home are made up of a mixture of clay and sand. The mixture contains the mix of methi and jaggery which are fermented and then mixed with processed lime. To give a tinge of colour to the walls, we have mixed red soil. Since our home is not made up of cement but of natural and organic materials, it is porous and allows proper insulation which keeps the home cool even during summers.

We got our doors and windows from old homes which are around 50-100 years old and were demolished. The staircases and maximum furniture are made of upcycled wood and bamboo.

Q. Is upcycled furniture dependable?

Ans. Yes, to prevent our wooden doors and windows from getting soiled in rains and heat, we have coated it with linseed oil which resists water to a large extent.

Q. Was building such a home challenging?

Ans. It was a bit challenging to experiment and build a home like this. We had to explain and teach our methods to the labourers, which was a tedious task. The bricks are vertically laid which provides better thermal insulation. This is a rare technique nowadays.

Q. Is the construction of such a home economical?

Ans. In a cement made home, the cost of the materials is high and the labour is comparatively less. But if you opt for an eco-friendly home built of upcycled materials, the cost of materials is very less.

Note: The message people like Parmar are trying to give is that switching to environment-friendly ways will protect nature from further damage. It will help nature to heal and in return, humans will be able to peacefully co-exist with the environment. As responsible citizens, it is important to inculcate practices like reusing and upcycling of existing things to conserve energy and minimize carbon footprint.

Bano Batwo