A 300 sq ft home for Rs 3 Lakh could be yours in three weeks

Innovative, cost-effectiveness come built-in in model home
being showcased at Habitat Technology Group exhibition


Thiruvananthapuram, May 11: For prospective owners looking for a home that won’t cost them the nest egg, an innovative, yet budget-friendly, prototype dwelling installed inside Poojappura ground here offers practical solutions to today’s construction concerns.

The 303 sq ft model brick home, designed and built by Habitat Technology Group, only costs around Rs 3 lakh and can be put up in as little as three weeks. It incorporates locally sourced eco-friendly materials and uses just 10 bags of cement – despite a floor map that finds space for a spacious multi-purpose hall, a bedroom with attached toilet, a kitchenette and dining area.

“It’s also durable. Once textured over with red mud, epoxy and sand paste, the brick structure will not give any cause for worry for about 30 years provided one maintains the home well. In contrast, the average house built today has to been painted over at a cost of at least Rs 2 lakh every four years or so,” said Sreeranjith, a site engineer with Habitat.

The prototype has already become one of the main draws at Habitat’s four-day exhibition on affordable housing that got underway on Thursday. Held as part of Hab-Fest 30, a celebration of the group’s 30 year history of sustainable, green interventions, the exhibition runs till Sunday, May 14.

The structure uses approximately 1,750 interlock bricks – a ‘green’ mud brickwork system that significantly reduces cement mortar use, cools down the interior and decrease electricity consumption while withstanding temperature and weather variances.

“When the cement and sand used is reduced, the savings are increased. With skilled labour, the home can be built in three weeks. As well, the use of locally available wood like mahogany and the jack fruit tree for example, for the doors and shutters will further reduce costs,” Sreeranjith said.

The flooring uses Plain Cement Concrete (PCC) with cement plastering and red oxide or other colouring agents while the sloped modul panel tile roof uses the filler slab system, which decreases total cement load and weight as well as steel consumption by leaving spaces between the slabs.

“Since heat gain is highest from the roof, the use of filler slabs allows for passive cooling where the hot air from outside is cooled down by the hollow spaces. Besides improving air circulation inside the structure, this also reduces environment noise coming into the house,” Sreeranjith said.

Besides the house itself, Habitat is holding live demonstrations of cost-effective household technologies that can be such as a waste management system. As well, free housing consultations with Habitat experts besides expert discussions and seminars will be on throughout the exhibition.


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