(“Text as submitted by Architect”)

Vinu Daniel completed his B. Arch in 2005 from The College of Engineering, Trivandrum, following which he worked with Auroville Earth Institute for the UNDP (United Nations Development Programme) Post-Tsunami construction. On returning from Pondicherry in 2007 he started ‘Wallmakers’ which was christened thus by others, as the first project was just a compound wall built utilizing mud bricks and beer bottles, which was lying around as waste.

By 2008 he had received an award for a low cost, eco-friendly house from the ‘Save Periyar’ Pollution Control Committee for the house which was constructed for a cancer patient. Many such eye-openers in the course of his practice prompted him to resolve to devote his energies towards the cause of sustainable and cost-effective architecture.

Practice Ideology

All our earlier settlements have always been made of natural materials. But the sad fact is that, today less than thirty percent of the world’s population live in buildings made of earth, even though it is a more sustainable and durable material ; the blame of which may be solely placed on the advent of industrialization and a widespread demand for “cement” houses. We, at Wallmakers have devoted ourselves to the cause of using mud and waste as the chief components, to make structures that are both, utilitarian and alluring.

What is waste?

Waste can be classified as anything that was produced, used and then discarded from its original function. While the work and construction of a building results in the production of a lot of scrap, we believe in not being deterred by this demon, but instead have learnt to build with it.

Our Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi spoke to Laurie Baker (Father of Sustainable practice in India) –  “ We should build with materials available at 5 mile radius and we will attain sustainability.” However, neither him nor Laurie Baker would have imagined that the succeeding generations would pollute nature with so much waste.  We live with the above mentioned philosophy and want to utilize this waste to the maximum. We work with a wide range of sustainable techniques (e.g earth masonry, precast ferrocement shells, bamboo, scrap, etc.)  involving different sets of skilled laborers. It’s a very creative and intricate process.

So far, Wallmakers has mostly constructed residential structures, while also working on different religious edifices, commercial buildings, public spaces and pavilions. As Wallmakers, we aim at building sustainable structures that are responsive to specific conditions in the site’s context, thus maintaining a balance between innovative designs and functional deliverables.

We are constantly on the move looking for ways to make construction more sustainable, as going green is no longer an option, it’s a compulsion for 21st-century humans. Architecture is no longer a profession, but it has, in fact, become a hazard. We cannot ‘consider’ the ‘option’ of eco-friendly construction while building structures. For our generation, it is a necessity. We aren’t left with any other options.

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