Living at Sacred Groves
Sacred Groves wants to invite everyone who is aspired to work and live towards a more sustainable world. Sacred Groves makes it possible to live in affordable houses which are healthy for the environment and its habitants. To live in a child friendly community where a healthy social life is stimulated, while having enough space for an individual needs. Sacred Groves wants to prove that it is possible to live in a green environment with the required population density for an Auroville residential zone. A community meant to be an example for a world worth living.
Sacred Groves is more than just using green building methods and materials. It is about creating an environment where people can live a more sustainable life. A place to find solutions for many issues the modern world is facing. Not only ecological sustainability is of importance also social and economic sustainability get equal attention.
The houses at Sacred Groves are mainly build with local available materials like earth and lime. The use of organic materials like straw and wood, and the absence of materials like cement and steel, make it possible to retain more carbon dioxide from the environment then it produces. This could make this way of construction an important solution in reducing carbon emission.
Demolition waste is in terms of volume the largest amount of waste in India, this waste mainly ends up in wetlands, destroying sensitive ecosystems. At Sacred Groves we reuse large amounts of demolition waste for the construction of houses. Helping in this way the research for solutions in reducing this kind of waste.
To create a better awareness of these issues it is important to be confronted with them on a small scale, for example by promoting an off the grid power supply, harvesting rainwater for domestic purposes, finding local solutions for waste, and to promote urban farming. It would be ideal to live in a community where all the needs are taken care of. When work becomes a mean for individual and collective growth, freed from the burden to work for material needs and desires.
Social sustainability is about equality and sharing, and equal lively hood for everybody. By using materials like lime instead of cement we bring a better livelihood to common families instead of supporting one of a few families who control the cement industry. But also to provide residence with shared facilities, like laundries, workshops, co-worker hubs and so on, to promote a better social life and stimulate sharing of knowledge and resources among the residents.
The use of local available materials like earth or lime have no expiry date, in the contrary cement based constructions have a limited lifetime. When well maintained the lifetime of the constructions at Sacred Groves will be much longer than cement based buildings. At Sacred Groves we want that all basic needs are provided within the community and as such avoid the exchange of money. Reusing, or recycling of waste adds an additional economic value to waste.
At Sacred Groves special attention is given to create a living environment and indoor climate which is low in risk factors, but promotes life, vitality, and regeneration. Using the principles of building biology.
To guarantee a good indoor air quality by using humidity buffering materials, like lime and earth. Avoiding any construction materials containing formaldehyde, hazardous solvents, pesticides, and heavy metals, asbestos and so on. Creating a passive ventilation system that guarantees sufficient fresh air. An electrical installation which creates no electromagnetic pollution, and facilities to promote wired communication. Using building methods and natural materials to avoid biological pollutants like moulds, yeasts, bacteria’s and other pests. An overall design that improves social interaction (based on the co-housing principle). A natural organic design that stimulates creativity and improves mental health, and gives sufficient space to individually shape and create houses and interiors.
Shared facilities and spaces do not only reduce the building costs but also promote a social interaction. The level of sharing can be different for every person, therefore the lay-out of Sacred Groves will be build up in clusters, each will have a different level of sharing, according the wishes of the residence.
Apart from these clusters there will be common facilities, like a community house, a bio-pool, a small amphitheatre, various workshops and co-working offices.
Before and during the construction of the prototypes a lot of research is being done. Most construction methods used have an origin in traditional building practises. At Sacred Groves these methods are being revived, but before used they underwent field and laboratory tests. The research is done in collaboration with various renowned research institutes. The structural integrity has been tested and certified by the EPCRM, an engineering group incubated at the IIT Madras. For the development of new methods to improve the use of lime we are working together with the Velore Institute of Technology (VIT). This on-going research may result in new building methods which further reduce the use of cement. Other researches have been done towards energy efficiency, carbon footprint, building biology and so on. Our volunteers have been doing and are still doing important research on a variety of subjects. New residents are invited to continue with this never-ending quest to build a better future.
Money should not be the main criteria to be able to join Sacred Groves. The cost of the houses will be substantially less than the cost of conventional construction. Using locally available materials reduce the material cost. Most building methods can easily be learned by laymen, this makes it possible to build with volunteers besides hired labour. Active involvement of residents is stimulated, this can further decrease costs and give residents more transparency in the management.
Sacred Groves and the ideals of Auroville
Auroville is meant to be an ongoing experiment towards a better future. At Sacred Groves we take this ideal of Auroville very serious. Being part of Sacred Groves also means being part of this experiment.
We promote to have a great variety of residents to be able to live together in order to create unity in diversity. The cohousing principle, the open structure, sharing, and different clusters, make a flexible approach possible, to find ways where individuals can live together towards unity.
Sacred Groves wants to be a place which can provide their residents with all their basic needs, without any money involved. Although this aim may be high, we invite everybody willing to take up this challenge to be part of Sacred Groves.
Sacred Groves wants to become an alternative to the increasing development of conventional construction, and the growing individualization of the society. It wants to become a place for those who believe that creating unity in diversity is more than just words. A place that can proudly show the world that there is a better way to build and to live together.
Sacred Groves is an experimental project in sustainable construction. We are happy to give students and volunteers the opportunity to work with us and learn about natural building practices. For the construction we rely fully on donations and income from workshops and presentations. The running cost of the site needs to be covered by contributions of the interns and volunteers.
If you think we are doing a great and wish to support us through your kind donations,Please donate generously to:
ICICI Bank Auroville
Please send the receipt of payment /NEFT /online transaction details to firstname.lastname@example.org to confirm the payment..