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Why Native Natural Buildings are the need of the hour?

Our air is polluted, our food and water are polluted, and we face many challenges with plastic pollution. However, there is another type of waste that is Omni-present, equally as dangerous but most of us overlook. 

We are constructing buildings at a very fast rate, thousands each year, implying we are consuming Materials, Space, and Energy at a rapid pace. This, more importantly, implies we are also simultaneously generating construction wastes and emissions.

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In our hopes for permanence in our built environment, we boundlessly exploit Natural resources. The Guardian Newspaper in 2019 has named cement as the most destructive material on the planet. We use tonnes of cement and steel every day. We killed rivers of their sand for our mortars and plasters. We use millions of liters of water for curing. To top it all off, this modern method of construction is mostly nonrecyclable and a major source of construction pollution(or concrete pollution). Concrete has sheltered mankind in the modern capitalist society but it has an ugly side to it that we cannot ignore.

If we combinedly put the carbon mass of all living organisms like plants and trees on one scale, and the amount of concrete on the other, the second scale would go down in weight. We are slowly and steadily converting every piece of natural land to concrete masses. We have come to associate pride with our modern buildings being the tallest, iconic, massive, or giant as we coldly turn a blind eye to its long-term repercussions. With increased sand mafia, illegal felling of trees, mining ores in indigenous lands, the building industry is also faced with lowering morals and ethics. 

There is a saying that whatever we build ends up building us. We are in need of buildings that we can connect more with, that can nurture and heal us in and can be a minimal embodiment of our simple lifestyles. We require buildings that are simple, local, and cheap instead of tall, iconic, massive, or giant. We need to change our construction ways to ones that do not leave any footprint behind. We call for buildings that are living and passively responsive to the surroundings. A term that best suits for such wholesome construction are Native Natural Buildings.



The best thing about Natural Buildings is that these types of constructions have been practiced for centuries and experts have left us with abundant indigenous knowledge, that is at present endangered. By Gandhian Philosophies, Natural Buildings are the most suitable ways to promote decentralized rural economies.

Natural Buildings not only means using local materials and techniques to build in the least energy-intensive ways, but it also carries with it an aware and conscious lifestyle and the idea to consume to a minimum. 


Designing and constructing a Natural Building involves studying the site immensely to understand what nature demands from the shelter. It is an integrated entity harmonious with the climate, the users, and the surroundings.

All native natural builders are highly proficient in climatology. It is the 5 elements of nature - Sun, Wind, Earth, Sky, and water that shapes a building. The sensitivity shown towards the climate can bring in adverse changes in creating a comfortable well-ventilated indoor experience, in turn reducing energy usage in buildings. The habits, profession, social life, spirituality, and lifestyle of the user plays a key role in designing a tailor-fit building. Natural Buildings require tracing out material sources locally available and utilizing local techniques of the area. Materials are the elements that give life and soul to a building. With the use of the right materials, walls can be made to breathe, hot days can be made cooler and cool nights can be made warmer. With globalization, Cement has become the new Local. We can completely avoid the usage of cement by using Natural materials that are not mass-produced or tweaked by factories, and the ones that were commonly available in our localities some decades back. 

The most exciting process begins when we start interacting with the materials, giving life to the building by manually constructing them. Many passionate people are known to just immerse themselves in the work engaging in an intimate conversation with the building.

Most work in Natural Buildings involves hand-held tools and low-tech principles.


Construction work on a personal level relates to a dance that each person performs in sync to their own beats. These masonry skills are only perfected with elongated times of practice.

Living in a Natural Building can be a truly humbling experience that can connect you back to your roots. A lot of times, we earn more money to keep buying things that we don’t need. Similarly, while we define our buildings too, we always tend to want more space. With every inch and every square foot of space, we are using more and more resources. It is highly significant that we become more aware of that thought!


If we start to exploit Natural Building Methods to build huge multi-story structures one after the other, Natural building methods too would end up saturated and no-more sustainable. It's the decisive question of addressing each person's need, and their purposeful efforts to minimize their consumption.


No matter how revolutionary these talks about natural buildings are, we pause at one point - Are these buildings as strong as cement buildings?


Natural Buildings are the Vernacular Building technologies that had evolved over centuries of trial and error. They are present all over the world, from the times of ancient civilizations till today. Numerous common Natural Buildings are around you, or in your memories, you just need to choose to see them. For people who doubt the strength of Natural Buildings, it is highly recommended that you visit some Natural structures near you.


The disparity between the rich and the poor is ever-increasing, and so has the stereotypes associated with their buildings. Methods of Natural Buildings were differentiated between the rich and the poor till a few decades back. For example, the Palaces were finished with fine lime plasters and floors and employed a lot of bricks and stones in their building, while the poor couldn't afford to do such practices. Soon after the Concrete houses took over, the Cement Houses came to be associated with the rich and the powerful folks. Today, Buildings of mud and lime are looked down upon as old-fashioned or belonging to the needy. It’s highly imperative that we realize that Natural Buildings are common to everyone as long as we don't attach any stigma to them.


Buildings are a reflection of ourselves and they mirror our life, culture, and values. With each purposeful step we take in our lives, we are moving towards a better future for our children. Change is significant, no matter how small in the right direction.

Natural building | Vernacular architecture | Natural building materials | Courtyard house | Kali natural buildings initiative | Architects in Trichy

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