Bangalore’s Greenest Homes

living on Good Earth at the Ganapathy home as featured in the alternative.in

food on space that is half as big as the house! From Solar panels to RWH, a big green space to going organic with their eating habits, P.G. Ganapathy’s home at Kengeri does more with a whole lot less.P.G. Ganapathy, an IIT Madras graduate who now works as a senior advisor at the Indian Institute Of Human Settlements (IIHS), had always been quite keen on living more sustainably. When the family shifted home from Mumbai to Bangalore, where Ganapathy had grown up, the hunt began for a suitable and sustainable home. The quest finally ended with green architects Natasha and Jeeth Iype and their community living project, Good Earth. Natasha and Jeeth Iype designed their 2600 sq. foot area of house on a 3000 sq. ft site to be as close to natural as possible.

Fulfilling material needs

Most of the material used in the construction of the Ganapathys’ home is in conformity with what Good Earth used for the community as a whole. The walls have been built using a combination of exposed wire cut and regular bricks. Flooring has been done using a mix of natural Kota stone flooring, clay tiles and recycled wooden flooring.Substantial use of wood along with very minimum use of steel is a signature design in the house. The use of steel, cement and concrete has been avoided wherever possible, including in load bearing walls. The exposed walls have saved the cost of plastering and give the house a raw, earthy and unique look.

Saving every drop of water and ounce of energy

The house has extra large windows. A large skylight floods the home with natural light from the centre, roof-down. All homes in the Good Earth community are row houses where two houses share one common wall, leaving the independent walls to be modified according to the individual house’s lighting needs.The home runs mostly on solar energy including refrigerators, television and other electronic appliances. The only equipment that runs on BESCOM power is an OTG. Ganapathy has done away with both artificial heating and cooling – there are no geysers or ACs in his home.A Rain Water Harvesting system built at the community level supplies water to all homes. Rain water from the roof is channelized to a larger tank which can accommodate the drinking water requirement of the community with 32 homes for one whole year. The community also relies on borewell water which is recharged through rain water.Used water is recycled through an STP and used largely for landscaping at the community level.

Living the green life

The house has a whopping 1500 square feet of open green space used to grow vegetables and flowers like spinach, drumsticks, brinjal, okra etc. along with other conventional and seasonal flowering plants.

The Good Earth community home at Kengeri.

The family of four enjoys an organic lifestyle where they try to consume organic food as much as possible. They also segregate their waste which is used to prepare compost at the community level. Apart from the community level engagement, Ganapathy’s wife Deepa does composting individually using a khamba supplied by Daily Dump. The family does not buy any bottled water and tries to live a “green” life as much as it is practically possible.

What green means to me

“Green to me means a value system that you live by, where you are eco sensitive and establish a connection between you and nature. Respect that connection and try to minimize your consumption.”

Good Earth is at Boulevard 15, Good Earth Orchard, Dodabelle Road, Kengeri, Off Mysore Road, Bangalore- 560060.

Bangalore’s greenest homes is a series on beautiful homes that have been built on strong sustainability principles – from natural building materials to efficient light and space design, water harvesting, off-the-grid energy energy, eco-friendly decor and furniture. And a lifestyle for the residents where less has meant a lot more. As on thealternative.in

Shreya Pareek is a development journalist who is passionate about grassroot change and sustainable living.
Follow her on twitter @shreya08