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As per the Census Report'11, only 20% of the households in the western semi-arid districts have puucca roof over their head. Universal coverage is probably a myth or distant dream. But the durable mud house of this region is no less important given its durability over decades and physically soothing air-conditioning. As per the scientific study,

  • This eco-friendly and low-cost house absorbs the heat in the day, and then at night when the temperature drops the walls radiate the heat back into the house. By morning the earth would have released all the stored heat and absorbed the cool in its place. So now in the heat of the day the opposite occurs; the walls release cool into your house. Its a type of natural air-conditioning.
  • The shading of curved roof structure dissipates more heat as compared to flat roof by convection and thermal radiation at night due to enlarged surface area.
  • A vaulted roof would also increase the attic area, which can act as a thermal buffer and help in thermal insulation both during summer and winter.
  • Mud wall and straw-roof is a thermal mass that absorbs sunlight and warms the building over the course of the day. This is called passive solar heating and it will keep the inside of the building warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Unlike conventional homes which are constructed with concrete, synthetic, industrial-foamed material, mud homes are built almost entirely out of natural and clean materials. The choice of materials used in the construction of a building has a direct impact on the environment. As the energy consumption of a building depends mainly on the building construction and material. The material used for construction such as soil, sand, cow dung and others are not energy intensive.
  • Mud brick is environment friendly. It possesses high thermal capacity and acts as heat sink in extreme weather conditions. Straw which is an agricultural waste preferably be used as a building material. Traditionally, it is mixed with clay or soil to produce mud brick, apart from roofing. It also possesses good insulation properties. The energy requirement in a building can be reduced to minimum by the application of thermal mass of mud wall.
  • Earth soil has proven to be a very suitable and successful building material throughout the world's many climates. Consider that nearly half the world-population lives in earthen dwellings. Whether the climate is harsh and arid or temperate with seasonal changes, earthen buildings are winners because of their thermal mass and heat-cool retention.
  • Mud wall and straw-roof is also a very poor conductor of heat and has very low thermal conductivity meaning, heat from outside has a much harder and longer time to transfer through mud walls and inside the home. Straw and other earthen materials will absorb heat, retain it, and then dissipate it back out slowly. Most modern, conventional building materials have opposite attributes. Materials like concrete and fired brick absorb and release heat very quickly.
  • Mud homes have an amazing ability to regulate the indoor air temperature. Compare the indoor temperature fluctuations between a cob home and a concrete or cinder block home and you will be astonished at the results!

    An international expert Gus W Van Beek in his acclaimed article 'Glorious Mud' commented“A mud house with walls 2 ft (0.6 m) thick, a well-insulated roof, and minimum-heat-gain doors and windows would have an indoor temperature range varying no more than about 6° – 8° F (3.3° – 4.4° C) year-round in most of the USA without central heating and air conditioning!”

    In the line, understanding the potential and prospect, in Balarampur block of Purulia, district administration has taken up an unique scheme named "Kumarikanan Tourism Project" near Ajodhya hill in convergence constructing mud guest house for the tourists from the earth available out of land development and WHS schemes. The estimated cost of each house is around Rs.1-2 lakh sharing labour wage in 60:40 ratio in favour of wage(if locally available material used). If it is managed by SHG members having hospitality management training , such adobe can easily be booked under 'SHG activity centre' under NREGA. In Dhaniakhali of Hooghly District, the Rural Hut in this pattern is also being developed. Purulia is planning to develop several Eco-Tourist hub having landscaping, floriculture,plantation & orchard,veg-fencing, WHS, footways and these types of accommodation. This is signalling a new chapter in eco-tourism in Bengal.