Our Process

At GoodEarth we took a conscious decision to explore alternate architecture and development. We took the route less trod upon and turned it into a market reality. Though the passion and ideological framework kept us alive, we did not want to make our explorations superficial. Our journey thus far has delivered many insights into our future processes and planning. A green or sustainable business needs to think beyond numbers and take conscious business decisions with an awareness of the impact of such decisions on the lives of people, ecology, culture and humanity at large with a sense of responsibility and care.


Doomsday predictions speak about wars over water and prompt the urgency of needing to manage water well. The problem of water starts at the basic planning level, where the load the land can take to sustain itself and its dependents, is not a factor considered when deciding the scale of development. Looking at the sources of water on the land, the rain, the groundwater and possibilities of recycling waste water should be the first priority in the planning of any development. Reducing the load on the state supply or bore-wells and intelligently harvesting the rainwater has been our approach. The water supply is supplemented by rain water harvesting. The roof water is collected through a network of gutters and pipes. This is directed to a tank through a filter. The tank is designed to collect an optimal amount of water and it is connected to the main sump. Looking at the rainfall pattern in Kerala and Karnataka, it is not possible to collect the entire rainwater, as the storage becomes very inefficient.

Sewage treatment in cities has been a state responsibility and it is only now, when the scale of the city grows and the treatment plants are not able to treat the sewage adequately that it has been made mandatory for sewage to be treated within the development. We believe that sewage is a resource and must not be wasted. While it is an effort to treat it and recycle it and the process is not without problems, it is definitely the way forward in the conservation of water. A lot of solutions are possible to treat sewage and they need to be selected depending on the context. We have been using a DEWATS system for the treatment of sewage.The fundamental criteria for choosing the DTS is that it is an environment friendly and low maintenance waste water treatment option for treating the domestic black and grey water. The system is not dependant on electricity for its treatment and its installation cost is comparable to conventional STP. The treated effluent conforms to the approved norms and can be utilized for secondary use like toilet flushing and irrigation of the landscape. The consumption of water through this process can be brought down by about 30%.

The design of the landscape focuses on creating “places” in the campus, the character being developed through variations of function, material or feature. An important element of this is the balancing of the ecology with the landscape. Water bodies are planted with species that will encourage insects and birds to visit, Butterfly host plants and others which host bees create a buzz! An emphasis is on native species, but a balance being brought about by culinary and exotics. Care is taken that invasive species are not planted, and very water intensive species are also avoided as far as possible. The landscape attempts to create themes of fruit trees, culinary herbs and trees, vegetable gardens, bird and butterfly host species, plants and trees of medicinal value and traditional species; reflecting sometimes forgotten cultural values. Planting timber species is another focus, and we believe that timber is one of the most sustainable materials. Weneed to plant trees for it to be available as a building material of the future. Balancing the ecology along with the landscape design, a contemporary expression, which is neither forest nor urban park, but attempts a blend which we can learn from.

The approach for passive solar has been different in the different places we have built. In Bangalore the climate is less humid and the need for light is greater than that of ventilation. Larger expanses of glass which bring in light are used. In Kerala with high humidity and heat, the emphasis is on insulating the walls and roof and increasing the air flow. In all cases, the ambient temperature and quality of air achieved within the space will be a marginal improvement from what is prevalent outside at the time. One cannot expect air conditioned levels of temperature by this method. We also feel that air conditioning is harmful for human health and for the environment, developing a tolerance to the temperature around is important. Provision of a double roof reduces heat gain and the temperature within the home was approximately 4 - 5 degrees cooler than the outside temperature. Skylights which are double glazed reduce the heat entering through the skylight. Air ventsair vents at the higher end of the roof allow the hot air to escape.
An adequate tree cover around the buildings shade them and reduce the absorption of heat.

Provisions are made in individual houses of most of our communities for converting to solar power as and when desired. The internal house wiring is linked to an inverter which has a conduit laid to the roof. Solar panels can be installed on the roof and connected through this conduit. Solar geysers for hot water are mandatory and are installed on the roofs, individually.