Project Description

This residence was designed for a teacher couple and their two children. For us, it is the culmination of a deep desire to design and build a net zero energy building. To make this possible various passive elements such as louvers, fins and extended roof coverings have been added to reduce solar heat gain. Large openings at vantage locations increases ventilation and comfort to the end- user.

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Building Details


New building project

367.91 m²


150.97 m²

120.77 m²

110.39 m²


INR 35,00,000

INR 23,650



Project Team

Habitat Architectural Services


Mr. Mahmood

Ar. Anas Ahmed Moosafi

Roshan Nageena Sabeer

Roshan Nageena has experience in design, construction and supervision of diverse projects such as institutional, residential and healthcare facilities. Keenly interested in sustainability and conservation of energy through all project phases and likes to design aesthetically attractive, architecturally sound and utilitarian spaces.

Anas Ahmed Moosafi

Anas Ahmed Moosafi was involved in the structural consultation for this project and gave valuable design inputs for the same.

Climate Analysis

Kanhirode is located in a region of undulating hills situated 16 km to the East of Kannur in North Kerala .The district has a humid climate with an oppressive hot season from March to end of May .This is followed by the S-W Monsoon which continues to the end of September. October & November form the post monsoon or retreating monsoon season. The NE monsoon follows & extends up to Feb although rains cease after December these days. Kannur is a coastal town flanking the Arabian sea.


Design Approach

The concept for this residence was to create a home which would minimise energy loss throughout its construction and use. Every element has been carefully considered to fulfill this principle.

The building sits on a level site. The ground level was raised by a foot to prevent water inundation during heavy rains. Breezes are predominantly from West and South West and sometimes from North East as well. The immediate surroundings are residential plots . The site is small with the longer axis oriented in the E-W direction.

The building has been oriented with the longer axis facing E-W due to lack of space. Deck & wide roof coverings have been providing to the East & West to minimize solar heat gain. Buffer spaces like toilets, Decks & Utility areas have been provided on the west face.Court yards within built-up spaces helps to regulate the internal temperature.

Special Feature

Day light is the primary source of light. The west facade is protected from solar radiation using wooden strips.

Rainwater percolation pits are being provided at the lowest point on site.

This residence is naturally cross ventilated with a window to wall ratio of 37.50 %. The west facade is protected from solar radiation using wooden strips. Large roof overhang and buffering spaces have been created to minimise heat gain. A double roof with an air gap has been provided and the cost implification for this works out to be medium. The native plants around the building have been retained as much as possible .

Readily and locally available materials like laterite stone and terracotta tiles have been chosen for this project. The cost also worked out to be medium.

Use of low environmental impact materials during construction.

Solar panels are being provided above the truss roof and a hybrid system has been adopted in this project.

Building Material

Load bearing masonry with RCC roof slab + wooden frame with tiles above.

Laterite with DPC

Laterite stone + plastered on both sides.

Irul wood doors and windows with MS grill

Kota Stone.

Cement plaster with paint finish

Terracotta tiles on wooden framework + air gap+ RCC slab. Terracotta tiles are easily available here and cost works out to be low as well.


Energy systems






Energy efficient fans and L.E. D lights are being used throughout the residence.

A hybrid system of grid and a small inverter battery have been proposed to meet the energy needs of this residence. 12 sq.m. of photovoltaic panels will provide sufficient energy for the lights and fans in the residence. We are hoping that the solar photovoltaic panels will meet upto 20% of the energy needs required in this residence.

Lessons Learned

Though we had some difficulty initially in convincing the clients to opt for energy efficient materials and processes we soon found that they were extremely excited once they made their own observations. During the construction of this residence we made a few changes in order to maximise our intent of saving energy such as adding the porch on the West and the clients were happy with these changes.