The design:

• The dorm was raised up to 3ft to prevent insects, snakes and scorpions and to get protection from flooding as heavy rains are very common in this region.
• Because the climate is moist and dry for most time of the year the walls were conceived to be a jail wall to provide ample ventilation.
• The lower floor has three rooms of size 12ft X 12ft that can accommodate 3 people each.
• The upper floor has a dormitory space for 10 beds.
• The lower floor has a height of 8.5ft and the partitions are made of wattle and daub walls.
• The upper floor has a sloping roof truss with a head room of 7.5ft.

The construction process:

1. The foundation has a layer of earthcrete at a depth of 2ft to protect the palm pillar from termites. In the 2ft deep pit earthcrete mix was filled and immediately the palm pillars treated with cashew-nut oil was inserted

2. At the ground level the gap between the pillar and the foundation pit was capped with lime mortar.
3. The tie beams of palm were laid on the pillars at the ground first floor levels.
4. The tie beams were connected with palm beams at the intervals of 2ft.

5. At the ground floor level Palmyra panels were used as flooring material.

6. The exterior walls were made of simple bamboo frame that was nailed to the Palmyra beams.

7. Reeds were lying in a farm for 2 years without decaying and being attacked with termites in the farm of a well-wisher. They informed us about it and we took the opportunity to make the right use of it. Reapers were fixed on to the bamboo frame and palm reeds were nailed on the reapers in a diagonal fashion to make the exterior wallfaçade as it was not decaying due to exposure to water.

We constructed wattle and daub as interior partition walls in the dorm.
Wattle and daub is a simple and very effective wall construction technique.It was often used in medieval Europe.


A wattle is a woven wooden skeleton and daub is a sticky mixture of sub soil (the layer of earth beneath the top soil) and fibres like rice straw and rice husk that is applied on the wattle. It is a very effective earthquake resistant structure.

How did we construct wattle and daub?

1. Bamboo vertical supports were laid at 2ft interval dividing the span of 12ft into 6 divisions.

2. In the 2ft gaps palm reed were laid in a diagonal fashion with the help of reapers as shown in the sketch below.

3. Wet mix of cob was prepared.
4. The wet mix was then laid on the wattle from both the sides in such a manner that there were no air gaps left.
5. It was left to dry until it lost moisture completely.
6. Since it is a simple interior partition wall and did not require any water proofing we applied a simple wet mix of sub soil as plaster.

7. The flooring of the first floor roof was done with marine ply wood pieces.

8. There are no walls in the first floor. Rather the A-frame trusses of the roof sits directly on the floor beams.
9. GI corrugated sheets are laid on the purlins with the help of J-bolts.

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