Govardhan Eco Village (GEV) is an attempt to highlight the importance of living in harmony with nature and using the gifts that Nature and God have bestowed upon us to serve the society by setting up a model farm community. Our aim is to create aesthetic and comfortable structures for the residents and guests, while not breaking the harmony with nature and our immediate surroundings.
The Vedas, the ancient scriptures of India, describe how our planet is perfectly created to meet the needs of all its denizens if they live in a spirit of cooperation and interdependence. Unlike the modern anthropocentric models (the belief that human beings are the central or most significant species on the planet), the Vedas present an eco-centric (nature-centred) model of creation where there is a natural symbiotic relationship between humans, animals, birds, insects, trees, rivers, mountains and all the other elements of nature. In other words, Vedic wisdom refers to the delicate balance of eco-systems.
For example, the sun’s rays purify, enliven and contribute to growth on this planet, while water rains nurtures, cleanses and sustains life on earth. Certain organisms are capable of degenerating matter, while others enhance it by adding nutrition. By aligning our developmental patterns with this symbiotic system, we can ensure a sustainable future. Govardhan Ecovillage is based on this Symbiotic Development Model. By blending the wisdom from traditional practices and the practicality of modern science, GEV serves as a living model for sustainable and eco-friendly development.
We want to create buildings that that tread lightly on the earth. For minimal resource consumption and waste generation, GEV began exploring the concept of mud construction. Modern buildings are made from highly processed materials, such as cement, which not only are detrimental to the ecology but also tend to isolate us from nature. Traditional earthen homes are built with locally available materials and reconnect us to the earth. At GEV we employed mud based technologies like Compressed Stabilized Earth Block (CSEB), Cob and Rammed earth built structures that have less than 1% embodied energy compared to conventional buildings. For more details, on Green Buildings please download our case-study here.
GEV followed the green standards as per the Green Rating for Integrated Habitat Assessment (GRIHA) norms and complied to the following criterion:
- Preserve and protect the landscape during construction
- Proper topsoil laying, stabilization of the soil, and maintenance of adequate fertility of the soil
- Reduced air pollution during construction
- Reduced landscape water requirement
- Reduced building water use by applying low-flow fixtures
- Optimized building design to reduce the conventional energy demand
- Optimize the energy performance of the building within specified comfort limits
- Renewable energy utilization
- Renewable-energy- based water heating system
- Waste-water treatment using SBT, water recycling and reuse
- Resource recovery from waste
- Minimize ozone-depleting substances
- Minimize the disruption of the natural ecosystem
- Meet minimum allowable luminous efficacy
- Minimize road and pedestrian length by appropriate planning
- To protect the health of construction workers and prevent pollution.
- Reduce volume, weight, and time of construction by adopting efficient technologies
- Using low-energy material for interiors
Some key features of this earth-conscious Construction Process are:
- Zoning – Thorough ecological planning prior to construction
- Protecting existing ecology – Fences around the important ecological landmarks
- Smart Sourcing – To reduce the overall carbon foot print
- Zoned Construction – Not allowed to spread all throughout the campus
- Mud is the essence – Simple, Natural Mud was the key constituent of the construction material.
- Foundation was of stone masonry with stabilized mud mortar & concrete short poles (as bond stone)
- Earthquake resistance – Conforming to the BIS norms (earthquake proofing methods to protect).
- CSEB Bricks – Lesser amount of energy is consumed in preparation against modern day fired bricks
- Assembled Arches – Saves cost on RCC, saves cost on plastering ceiling with cement, saves waste and offer more strength and stability.
- Natural Insulation – A sloped roof with double layer of Mangalore tiles with an air gap between the two. It ensures that the temperature inside the room is moderate as compared to outside.
Govardhan Ecovillage continues to embody sustainable practices in day to day living, in water conservation, waste management and energy use. Come visit us to experience life lived in harmony with the world and with yourself.