Thatta Kedona

Culture is a Basic Need

Mud Housing Project

Peersada brothers with Tikedar (contractor) Iqbal from Harappa

Years ago, SPARC had taken up the initiative to refresh the importance of mud as construction material and to sensitize the general public in this respect. Currently, the Mud Housing Project is being implemented by SPARC in Lahore.

Mud is not a construction material of the past; only steel, concrete and bricks have pushed back such useful construction material, (this is a story in itself.) Considering the enormous costs of cooling and heating the current form of buildings, it becomes quite clear that mud is environmentally friendly, energy efficient and biologically far superior than any other construction material.

In order to realize the initiative, SPARC was successful in arranging foreign support as well as a local architect, who is working since the year 2000 in South Western Punjab, and together with DGFK (German Society for the Advancement of Culture, Berlin), it has been giving prizes under the Preservation of Cutural Heritage program for the best maintained Mud House, Brick House and the most interesting Design.

Now in the realization phase of the initiative, it was important to gather financial and organizational support as well as participants open to new ideas, which was made easier through provision of land by the Peerzada Group near their cultural complex. The planned mud rooms are to be used by the handicraft workers as sleeping quarters in the night while they work in Workshops during the day.

Example of appropriate technology (solar cooker) will also be available for demonstration purpose and in order to be independant of the public technical infrastructure.

This combination was also greeted by the universities Punjab University, COMSATS and BNU, who find it useful for involvement of students in practical projects like construction and physical measurements that are part of the Mud Housing Project.

Generally speaking, the Mud Housing Project comes at a time of extreme flooding misery around the River Indus and therefore unintended becomes current in its own right. There are, however no demonstrated examples of the concept, which can contribute to experience and which can be adjusted for example for usage in the crisis regions.

The initiative described above is small, but it has a large potential: Help in the Indus Basin flood hit areas is of course a priority, but the construction methods in the urban areas are to be examined closely in terms of energy consumption. Mud housing is normally ground floor construction, but there are also interesting mud house examples in double story construction. A project of experimental construction is therefore required for a more exact evaluation and experimentation of this and other aspects of mud housing.

Related: Mud Housing Project

posted by S A J Shirazi @ 8:14 AM,

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