Working with a team of 30 students and professionals, I was involved in the design and construction of a sustainable house which would serve as the prototype for a larger social housing project. Primarily done with locally found recycled materials, this construction was made with bamboo, corrugated tetra-pak sheets and recycled wood. A basic wood construction with concrete foundations was used, and bamboo ladders (already exisitng in the market) were used at times since they provide increased lateral stability and can withstand larger shear stress due to the reinforcement provided by the rungs (made from split bamboo). An ongoing project, this house includes a ferrocement tank which collects harvested rainwater from the sloping roof.
Dismantling original structure, in order to understand the heirarchy of structure
Digging and cementing foundations
One of the knots used for secondary joints
Base for ferrocement tank
Working on the upper joists and beams
Another Design + Build venture during my time in Auroville was with the Earth Institute. Using compressed earth blocks (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compressed_earth_block), we explored the structural concepts that govern the design of arches, vaults and domes. We then experimented and designed our own range of structurally efficient prototypes, entirely from earth blocks and lime mortar.