Standing outside Kanubhai Karkare’s house in Amreli, Gujarat, will most likely appear to be just another concrete structure in the neighbourhood. A walk around it, on the other hand, will disclose its distinctive, sustainable features that are crammed inside his home.
Kanubhai, an officer in the state government’s education department, designed and built the house in 2000 for Rs 2.8 lakh. Rather than depending on an architect to complete the project, he designed the house himself, ensuring that it serves as an example of how a sustainable home can be constructed in a city setting.
For three years, Kanubhai’s house can cover his water needs without relying on outside sources.
In addition, the family raises organic veggies to suit their nutrient needs and treats their waste water on-site. Furthermore, by sending electricity to the grid, it receives Rs 10,000 from the government.
Kanubhai notes that the issue of water scarcity in the Saurashtra region of the state inspired him to introduce sustainable elements.
According to sources, he said “The region faces the brunt of water scarcity every summer, and our neighbourhood receives water 15 days a month. It causes immense inconvenience, and hence I decided to take sustainable measures to resolve the crisis.”
Kanubhai placed the house in such a way that it would receive the most sunlight. He increased the size of the windows and used a horizontal cross-ventilation technique to ensure that the house had adequate air circulation. He explains, “This guarantees the air is cooled before entering the house.”
“During the day, the structural design helped lessen the demand for electrical lighting and fans,” he explains.
Kanubhai developed a 20,000-litre underground water tank to retain rainwater during the monsoon to address water scarcity issues. Another 8,000-litre water tank in the backyard is used for gardening and other non-domestic purposes.
“Rainwater is captured and directed to recharge the groundwater table if both tanks overflow owing to excessive precipitation.” As a result, rainwater collected on our property is channelled for domestic use or returned to nature,” he explains, adding that he invented the concept of rainwater collection.
Kanubhai has developed 2-foot-long vegetation beds with certain plant species that break down the complex elements found in the waste and decompose them to recycle the sewage water from the house. “After that, the recycled water is used for kitchen gardens or other purposes.” “We grow all of our vegetables in the backyard because the ones offered in the market are chemically cultivated, unhealthy, and dangerous to both humans and the environment,” he explains.
According to his wife Kailash, organic food cultivated in their kitchen garden provides 95 percent of their daily veggie requirements. “We’ve even constructed a drip irrigation system to help them grow more efficiently,” she says.
According to Kailash, the family has also installed a 3 kW solar power system that meets all of the family’s electricity needs. “The electricity produced by solar panels is in excess of what is necessary. “We send the surplus to the electricity utility company, which pays us Rs 10,000 for supplying the energy,” she continues.
The house also received the District and State Government’s ‘Ideal House Award.’
“One can build a house for crores,” Kanubhai concludes, “but it is vital to integrate sustainability components that are also affordable for an individual across all strata of society.”