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RIMT COLLEGE OF ARCHITECTURE,
VERNACULAR ARCHITECTURE IS A CATEGORY OF ARCHITECTURE BASED ON LOCALIZED NEEDS
AND CONSTRUCTION MTERIALS, AND REFLECTING LOCAL TRADITIONS.
VERNACULAR ARCHITECTURE TENDS TO EVOLVE OVER TIME TO REFLECT .
THE ENVIRONMENTAL, CULTURAL, TECHNOLOGICAL, AND HISTORICAL CONTEXT IN WHICH IT
IT HAS OFTEN BEEN DISMISSED AS CRUDE AND UNREFINED, BUT ALSO HAS PROPONENTS WHO
HIGHLIGHT ITS IMPORTANCE IN CURRENT DESIGN.
IT CAN BE CONTRASTED AGAINST POLITE ARCHIECTURE WHICH IS CHARACTERISED BY STYLISTIC
ELEMENTS OF DESIGN INTENTIONALLY INCORPORATED FOR AESTHETIC PURPOSES WHICH GO
BEYOND A BUILDING'S FUNCTIONAL REQUIREMENTS.
TRADITION VS MODERN
• THIS IS NOT MEANT TO BE A BATTLE BETWEEN
TRADITIONAL AND MODERN FORMS OF
• ESPECIALLY IN INDIA THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS ONE
TRADITIONAL INDIAN ARCHITECTURE.
• EVERY DISTRICT HAS ITS OWN TRADITIONS AND, BY
TRIAL AND ERROR, OVER THOUSANDS OF YEARS,
• LEARNED HOW TO USE, AND TO COPE WITH, ALL THE
MANY FACTORS WHICH ARE INVOLVED IN
ARCHITECTURE. – THE
• SITE, THE TOPOGRAPHY AND GEOLOGY. THE CLIMATE
AND VEGETATION, THE AVAILABLE LOCAL MATERIALS
• RELIGIOUS AND CULTURAL PATTERNS OF LIVING, AND
THE MAIN LOCAL OCCUPANTS.
AND AN ARCHITECT
• MANY MODERN ARCHITECTS HAVE STUDIED VERNACULAR BUILDINGS AND
CLAIMED TO DRAW INSPIRATION FROM THEM, INCLUDING ASPECTS OF THE
VERNACULAR IN THEIR DESIGNS.
• IN 1964 THE EXHIBITION ARCHITECTURE WITHOUT ARCHITECTS WAS PUT ON AT
THE MUSEUM OF MODERN ART, NEW YORK BY BERNARD RUDOFSKY. ACCOMPANIED
BY A BOOK OF THE SAME TITLE, INCLUDING BLACK-AND-WHITE PHOTOGRAPHY OF
VERNACULAR BUILDINGS AROUND THE WORLD, THE EXHIBITION WAS EXTREMELY
• IT WAS RUDOFSKY WHO FIRST MADE USE OF THE TERM VERNACULAR IN AN
ARCHITECTURAL CONTEXT, AND BROUGHT THE CONCEPT INTO THE EYE OF THE
PUBLIC AND OF MAINSTREAM ARCHITECTURE .
• SINCE THE EMERGENCE OF THE TERM IN THE 1970S, VERNACULAR CONSIDERATIONS
HAVE PLAYED AN INCREASING PART IN ARCHITECTURAL DESIGNS, ALTHOUGH
INDIVIDUAL ARCHITECTS HAD WIDELY VARYING OPINIONS OF THE MERITS OF THE
DEALS WITH ECONOMICS OF
• VERNACULAR ARCHITECTURE
DEPENDS ON ECONOMIC, CLIMATIC,
SYMBOLIC AND TECHNOLOGICAL
AAT CHALA HOUSE, WITH EIGHT SLOPING ROOFS IN
TWO TIERS, VISHNUPUR,WEST BENGAL.
BRITIGHAR (the house and all its rooms fenced within one
CLASSIFICATION OF RURAL HOUSES
Structurally, the traditional rural houses may be grouped in seven types:
CHOUSHALA (four rooms on four raised sides and a uthan or
open space in the middle);
ATCHALA (house with eight roofs, four over the main building
and four over the verandas attached on each side)
The traditional Bengali dwelling provided a model for the British
The BANGLA was a hut, generally built with a distinctively
curved roof ,also called EKABANGLA
CHARCHALA is a rural hut in West Bengal with twelve sloping
sides in the roof in three tiers.
JORBANGLA is a twin hut structure.
The walls were generally made of mud. Where the mud was not
suitable for this purpose, walls were constructed of bunches of
straw or mats, tied to each other and to the bamboo frame to
. Bangla type structure With gable ended roof,
Gaur Chaitanya Deva temple at Guptipara, Burdwan .(late 18th century)
The frame of a bangla was typically constructed
entirely of bamboo, though wood posts and beams were
occasionally used in the houses of the very wealthy.
The thatched roof generally extended beyond the walls
to provide additional shelter from the rains and one
side of the roof was often extended four or five feet
beyond the wall and supported by a row of bamboo
poles to create a small veranda.
"Oblong shaped mud-walled houses with thatch and tile roof are common in West Bengal, the roof of the mud-walled house
which is peculiar to only this area. The mud is dried in the form of block for building houses. The gaps between the blocks are
filled in with clay.
Mud-walled houses with One to Two levels of roof are common in central bengal.Mud-walled house with long grass-thatched roof
is common. This type of house is also common in West bengal.
Mud house plan
Mud collection and dumping for seasoningTypical Homestead Layout
Mud collection and dumping for seasoning Seasoning of mud in layers
BAMBOO FRAME WORK
The vernacular architecture and construction methods have
developed through the local innovation and availability of
The general building tradition in the area uses clay walls
plastered on a bamboo framework or rammed earth core walls
up to two stories.
The walls support a roof construction made of bamboo and
covered with paddy-straw with a thatching of a more durable
The quality and durability of the paddy-straw for thatching has
been reduced, hence the need for roof maintenance has increased
over the years.
This has led to the use of modern concrete based and brick walls
constructions being used in the few newer buildings in the rural
areas and more commonly in the towns
CONSTRUCTION OF BAMBOO AND THATCH IN A HOUSE
• Bales of rice, wheat or oat straw are laid in a running bond pattern (like bricks), tied together with pins, and then plastered with earth, lime or
• Such a straw bale home saves as much as 75% of heating and cooling costs.
• It is cheap and easily available.
• It has high insulation value.
• Buildings build with straw-bale walls in combination with conventional building methods have proven to be very strong, durable, extremely
economical to heat, cool in the summer, acoustically quiet, aesthetically appealing, ecologically friendly, very fast, and easy to construct.
• Earth bags are soil-filled fabric sacks or tubes used to create walls and domes.
• Traditionally used for flood control and by armies to create bunkers, this method of construction has been recently turned to a variety of
natural construction purposes.
• To build with this technique, moistened soil is placed into a bag set in place on the wall, the bag is lowered into place, then compressed using
a hand tamper.
• Heavy earth mixtures can be used with weaker burlap bags as the compressed soil makes the bags redundant once it sets.
• Stronger, structural polypropylene bags are preferable for sandy soils.
• Recycled sacks are often available free or at minimal cost. In earthquake prone areas, a layer of long-point barbed wire is used as "mortar"
between the bags to contain slipping.
• Domes using these materials are easily achieved with a corbelling system utilizing long tubes made of the polypropylene bags.
STABILIZED MUD BLOCKS
• Can be of any size.
• But if the block is too big then it is difficult to lift.
• An ordinary, large burnt brick size is good, then masons need no
special training to build.
• You can make moulds so that several blocks can be made at one
COMPOSITE BEAM AND PANEL ROOFS
• This concept exploits the efficiency of beam and slab construction.
• The roofing system consists of partially precast or cast-in-situ ribs/beams at certain spacing covered with panels..
• The panels and beams are connected through shear connectors to achieve composite action. Varieties of options are available for the beams
(precast reinforced concrete, rolled steel sections, trussed steel members, timber, steel, concrete composite, etc.) and panels (precast
concrete, reinforced brickwork, stone slabs, hollow hourdi tile, reinforced SMB panel, etc.).
• The profile for the panels could be curved, folded plate or flat. Use of curved shape panels results in a composite jack-arch roof. The beam
cross section can also be adjusted to minimize the material consumption. The major advantages of this type of roofing system are:
(i) possibility of prefabrication and quick erection,
(ii) better quality assurance due to prefabrication,
(iii) savings in volume of materials and hence cost effectiveness,
(iv) Possibility of using hollow panels to increase thermal comfort.
A typical composite reinforced tile-work panel roof
•Practice of using earth against building walls for external thermal mass, to reduce heat loss, and to easily maintain a steady indoor air temperature.
•Earth berming: Earth is piled up against exterior walls and packed, sloping down away from the house. The roof may, or may not be, fully earth
covered, and windows/openings may occur on one or more sides of the shelter. Due to the building being above ground, fewer moisture problems are
associated with earth berming in comparison to underground/fully recessed construction.
•In-hill construction: The house is set into a slope or hillside. There is only one exposed wall in this type of earth sheltering, the wall facing out of the
hill, all other walls are embedded within the earth/hill.
•Underground/fully recessed construction: The ground is excavated, and the house is set in below grade. It can also be referred to as an Atrium style
due to the common atrium/courtyard constructed in the middle of the shelter to provide adequate light and ventilation.
•They include: taking advantage of the earth as a thermal mass, offering extra protection from the natural elements, energy savings, providing
substantial privacy, efficient use of land in urban settings,
•shelters have low maintenance requirements.
TECHNOLOGY ADAPTED :
Technology Adapted The vernacular architecture and
construction methods have developed through the local
innovation and availability of building material.
The general building tradition in the area uses clay walls
plastered on a bamboo framework or rammed earth core
walls up to two stories.
the walls support a roof construction made of bamboo
and covered with paddy-straw with a thatching of a more
In the villages of Assam, bamboo building is common
even today. The houses are detailed out to combat the
The floor of the house is a bamboo weave that allows
the water of a flood to flow in, rather than keep it
This is an important principle of sustainable
During this time, the inhabitants of the houses get
into the canoe that every house stores in the stilt area
below the bamboo floor.
When the flood waters recede, the assumes people
occupy their house again. The belongings are
protected by putting them up on the bamboo loft.
The roof of the house is built with local grass and can
last upto 10 years before it is replaced again.
TECHNOLOGY ADAPTED :
An earth plastering is often done over a close-
knit bamboo wall for further protection.
DHAJJI - WALL
• It literally means a 'patch quilt wall.'
• This technique uses timber and bricks but is quite different from modern brick construction.
• A framework of timber is made which is then filled with burnt clay bricks.
• Presence of timber studs gives a sturdy framework and divides the brickwork into small sections. As a result the individual sections resist
shaking and this prevents destruction of the wall.
• Dhajji - deewar system is often used for walls of upper stories, especially for the gable portion of the wall, even when the walls in bottom stories
could be made of brick or stone masonry.
• These are single storey structures built on a raised platform
made from bamboo strips.
• Bamboo beams are placed diagonally, under the floor as bracing
to reduce the sway.
• It has a mud foundation.
• The walls are called ekra walls.
• Ekra walls - a framework of vertical posts is set in the ground
and split reeds or bamboo are woven to form a lattice. Mud is
applied to this framework to make a thin wall. All the structures
are tied together with ropes to keep the unit together. Ekra walls
have less mass and are flexible so they can survive earthquakes.
•The first, simplest and almost certainly
the oldest system is called “COB”. With
only a little water to form a very stiff mud.
•A large lump of it - as much as you can
hold together between your two hands - is
roughly molded into the shape of a huge
elongated egg .
The usual size is anything between 12 to
18-inches, (30 to 40-cm) long and about 6-
inches (15-cm) in diameter.
•When three or four courses have been
laid, one above the other, the sides are
smoothed over so that the holes and
• it gives a sandstone like appearance.
• the structure can take up to two years to
• the life of rammed earth walls is usually very long and
they can carry heavy floors and roofs and be used for two
and even three storey buildings.
FILLER SLAB CONSTRUCTION
•As the name implies, ‘filling up’ of unnecessary parts of concrete in an ordinary reinforced concrete slab, with light weight materials, makes a
• This improves its insulating properties and create pleasing soffits.
•The resulting lightweight slab reduces the requirement of steel reinforcement, there by, achieving further economy.
• This can be designed for any span and loads. Bricks, Mangalore pattern tiles, coconut shells, inverted earthen pots, etc. can be used as filler
An aesthetic element from the archives of architecture.
the jaali is basically perforations in a wall created for allowing light and ventilation, the most fundamental being a wall with its header
Modifying the proportions of perforations, according to the solar angle ,can help control the influx of radiations to quite and extent.
Brick jails sealed with pieces of glass can economically provided pleasing, diffused light.
STICK FRAME CONSTRUCTION
Framing, in construction known as light-frame construction, is a building technique based around structural members, usually called studs, which
provide a stable frame to which interior and exterior wall coverings are attached, and covered by a roof comprising horizontal ceiling joists and
sloping rafters (together forming a truss structure) or manufactured pre-fabricated roof trusses—all of which are covered by various sheathing
materials to give weather resistance.
Diagonal bracing remains a vital interior part of many roof systems, and in-wall wind braces are required by building codes in many municipalities
or by individual state laws in the United States.
Light frame construction using standardized dimensional lumber has become the dominant construction method in North America and Australia
because of its economy.
Use of minimal structural materials allows builders to enclose a large area with minimal cost, while achieving a wide variety of architectural styles.
LARSEN TRUSS CONSTRUCTION
A Larsen truss is a type of wall truss used to build a thick wall — thick enough to provide room for above-average amounts of
A Larsen truss is usually site-built. Because the truss is not required to bear any roof load, its components are light. The original
Larsen truss consisted of two parallel 2x2s connected by small rectangular gussets of 3/8-inch-thick plywood. The gussets
measured 6½" x 8¼" each and were spaced 24 inches apart. A completed Larsen truss looked like a ladder with rectangular
Larsen trusses are designed to be attached to the exterior surface of the wall sheathing of a new home. In most cases, these homes
were framed with conventional 2x4 or 2x6 studs. Larsen trusses can also be used in retrofit work, in which case they are installed
on top of the existing siding.
EFFECT OF CLIMATE ON VERNACULAR
• CLIMATE, IN PARTICULAR, PRODUCES CERTAIN EASILY OBSERVED EFFECTS ON ARCHITECTURAL
FORMS. FOR EXAMPLE, THE PROPORTION OF WINDOW AREA TO WALL AREA BECOMES LESS AS
ONE MOVES TOWARD THE EQUATOR. IN WARM AREAS, PEOPLE SHUN THE GLARE AND HEAT OF THE
SUN, AS DEMONSTRATED BY THE DECREASING SIZE OF THE WINDOWS.
• IN THE SUBTROPICAL AND TROPICAL ZONES, MORE DISTINCTIVE CHANGES IN ARCHITECTURAL
FORM OCCUR TO MEET THE PROBLEMS CAUSED BY EXCESSIVE HEAT.
• IN EGYPT, IRAQ, INDIA, AND PAKISTAN, DEEP LOGGIAS, PROJECTING BALCONIES, AND OVERHANGS
CASTING LONG SHADOWS ON THE WALLS OF BUILDINGS ARE FOUND. WOODEN OR MARBLE
LATTICES FILL LARGE OPENINGS TO SUBDUE THE GLARE OF THE SUN WHILE PERMITTING THE
BREEZE TO PASS THROUGH.
• SUCH ARRANGEMENTS CHARACTERIZE THE ARCHITECTURE OF HOT ZONES, AND EVOKE COMFORT
AS WELL AS AESTHETIC SATISFACTION WITH THE VISIBLE ENDEAVORS OF MAN TO PROTECT
HIMSELF AGAINST THE EXCESSIVE HEAT.
• TODAY A GREAT VARIETY OF DEVICES SUCH AS SUN-BREAKERS OR BRISE-SOLEIL HAVE BEEN
ADDED TO THE VOCABULARY OF ARCHITECTURAL FEATURES IN THESE ZONES.
Village Architecture in Jordan
House in Jaisalmer desert (India)
Apa-Tani Tribal-house (Arunachal Pradesh)
Yawning Field hut
• NOTICE, TOO, HOW THE GABLED ROOF DECREASES IN PITCH AS THE RATE OF
PRECIPITATION DECREASES. IN NORTHERN EUROPE AND MOST DISTRICTS SUBJECTED
TO HEAVY SNOW, GABLES ARE STEEP, WHILE IN THE SUNNIER LANDS OF THE SOUTH,
THE PITCH STEADILY DECREASES. IN THE HOT COUNTRIES OF THE NORTH AFRICAN
COAST THE ROOFS BECOME QUITE FLAT, IN SOME AREAS PROVIDING A COMFORTABLE
PLACE TO SLEEP. STILL FURTHER SOUTH, IN THE TROPICAL RAINFALL ZONE, THE
ROOFS ARE AGAIN STEEP TO PROVIDE PROTECTION FROM THE TORRENTIAL
DOWNPOURS TYPICAL OF THE REGION.
• IT IS WORTH NOTING THAT SO LONG AS THE PEOPLE OF THE HUMID TROPICAL REGIONS
BUILT THEIR HUTS WITH REEDS AND GRASS, WHICH ALLOWED AIR TO PASS THROUGH
THE WALLS, THE STEEPLY PITCHED ROOF WAS A USEFUL DEVICE. HOWEVER, ONCE
THEY BEGAN TO USE MORE SOPHISTICATED MATERIALS LIKE CEMENT BLOCK AND THE
COMMON GABLED ROOF TOPPED WITH CORRUGATED IRON SHEETS, THE HOUSES
BECAME UNBEARABLY HOT AND STUFFY. THIS KIND OF ROOF PREVENTS THE
CATCHING OF DRAUGHTS AT THE VERY LEVEL WHERE THEY PREVAIL, AND THE SOLID
WALLS PREVENT THE PASSAGE OF AIR.
• Topography is a general term in geography, which refers to the lie of the land, or various other characteristics of
Physical geography in a region; this is usually expressed in terms of the elevation, slope, and orientation of terrain
features. The understanding of these features is an integral aspect of geography, encompassing the practice of
cartography, surveying, and GIS. The topography of an area often has a great influence on its weather and
sometimes on climate.
• Topology refers to the configuration of surface features of a plot of land, which influences where, and how to build
and develop a site. To study the response of a building design to the topography of a site, we can use a series of site
sections or a site plan with contour lines.
• Contour lines are imaginary lines joining points of equal elevation above a datum or bench mark. The trajectory of
each contour line indicates the shape of the land formation at that elevation. Note that contour lines are always
continuous and never cross one another, have they coincided in a plan view when they cut across a vertical surface.
Nago Hut Apatani tribe; Arunachal Pradesh
Dwelling at Nakabaru (Ikei Island)
These can be defined as:
• The accepted traditional customs and usages of a particular social group.
• Moral attitudes.
• Manners; ways.
Although the term "social" is a crucial category in social science and often used in public discourse, its meaning
is often vague, suggesting that it is a fuzzy concept. An added difficulty is that social attributes or
relationships may not be directly observable and visible, and must be inferred by abstract thought.
In law, custom, or customary law consists of established patterns of behaviour that can be objectively verified
within a particular social setting. Generally, customary law exists where
• a certain legal practice is observed
• the relevant actors consider it to be law
Effect of Social Customs on Vernacular Architectural Form
• 1. The typical Muslim house was built on a standard pattern: a rectangular house built around a central
courtyard with high windowless walls on the outside with a single low door. The interior space was
important, not the outside.
• 2. As family size increased, more rooms were built on the lot's unused land. Once the land around the
courtyard has been covered, expansion took place in a vertical direction.
• 3. Part of the house is separated for females. The men's reception (or guest) room tends to be located next
to the entrance lobby of the house so that visitors do not meet with the females or violate the harem (the
women's part of the house).
DakshinaChitra is a unique Heritage Centre
located on the east coast road in Muttukadu on
the way to Mahabalipuram which offers the
visitor an unforgettable & authentic insight into
the lifestyles of the diverse peoples of South
India. Traditional craftspersons & folk artists
work & perform in the reconstructed period
settings of 19th century streets, homes &
workshop-spaces in the TamilNadu & Kerala
sections. These are presently open to the
Enter the TamilNadu section through a majestic
carved wooden doorway of a century-old
merchant house from Chettinad. An exhibition
on Tamil culture is on display here. Proceed to
the 150 year old agriculturist house from the
fertile delta region of Thanjavur. Next, see a
potter's house from Tiruvallur with its terracotta
exhibition. Step into the humble adobe-and-
thatch huts of the basket-weavers, and on to the
shrine of Ayyanar, the village guardian-deity.
The typical house of a brahmin in Tamilnadu
Kartar House (Punjab Village)
• In sociology, a lifestyle is the way a person (or a group) lives. This includes patterns of social relations, consumption,
entertainment, and dress. A lifestyle typically also reflects an individual's attitudes, values or worldview.
• Having a specific "lifestyle" implies a conscious or unconscious choice between one set of behaviours and some other
sets of behaviours.
• In business, "lifestyles" provide a means of targeting consumers as advertisers and marketers endeavor to match
consumer aspirations with products.
• The term "lifestyle" apparently first appeared in 1939. Alvin Toffler predicted an explosion of lifestyles ("subcults")
as diversity increases in post-industrial societies. Pre-modern societies did not require a term approaching sub-culture
or "lifestyle", as different ways of living were expressed as entirely different cultures, religions, ethnicities or by an
oppressed minority racial group. As such the minority culture was always seen as alien or other. "Lifestyles", by
comparison, are accepted or partially accepted differences within the majority culture or group. This tolerance of
differentiation within a majority culture seems to be associated with modernity and capitalism.
Fishermen with nets in
central court of Houses
Traditional Weavers House In Andhra Pradesh
Bullocks for dairy at Pokahara
Chitwan Farming on the plains at the base of the Himalayas
Goan Farmer's House Exterior And Interior