First Story Positive: Engineer builds eco-friendly home with jaggery & egg-whites instead of cement
Aravind Monohoran, a civil engineer from Tamil Nadu ditched cement to build an eco-friendly home out jaggery and egg whites.-
There are no limits to the creativity that can stem from human ingenuity. As the famous quote goes, imagination is intelligence’s playground. Such is proven by Aravind Monohoran of Tamil Nadu, who ditched cement to instead use jaggery and egg whites to build homes. How is that possible? You might wonder. This is where human genius comes in and creativity flourishes.
Tamil Nadu's Jawahar wanted to build an eco-friendly home. But when it came to its execution, he could only think of his nephew Aravind Manoharan to turn it into something tangible. A civil engineer, Aravind runs a sustainable construction company 'Pizhai Azhagu', which translates to 'beauty of mistakes'.
Before constructing the home, spread across an area of 3,200 sq ft, the duo interviewed local masons to get their input on traditional construction techniques. The findings were quite unusual. They had traditional courtyard-style homes built using mud. They also informed Aravind that jaggery and egg whites served as great construction materials. Jaggery acts as a great bonding agent while the use of egg whites in the plaster gives the walls a polished look.
In 2019, the duo started making the walls using conventional bricks, but in place of cement, they made a mixture of lime mortar, sand, jaggery, crushed kadukkai (yellow myrobalan) and water. The first base of plastering was done using a mixture of lime, sand, and water.The second and third layer was plastered using a mix of water, lime, and crushed kadukkai. The plastering on the bricks was done in five layers and this helped ensure the breathability of the building with more oxygen inside. The fourth layer comprised lime, water and talcum powder while the fifth and final layer was a mix of lime and water, again with egg whites.
The roofs of the house use recycled wood. To ensure that the wood is safe from termite attack, plantain leaves or lotus leaves are placed between the wood and the bricks.
Aravind wanted to continue the same process of understanding region-specific architecture and document how to construct them. He hopes to create more eco-friendly buildings in the future so that people have an environmentally friendly choice.