: The M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF) has set a new benchmark in the construction of houses for tribespeople by adopting eco-technology-oriented green architecture.

The MSSRF has built 10 green houses at the Kairali Adivasi hamlet at Moopainadu grama panchayat in Wayanad district with the financial support of the State Tribal Development Department and technical assistance of Vasthukam, a green architect concern in Thrissur.

P.K. Jayalakshmi, Minister for Welfare of the Scheduled Tribes, will hand over the houses to the beneficiaries at a function here at 3.30 p.m. on Friday.

The houses, each of 357 sq ft area, were constructed at a cost of Rs.4.24 lakh. Locally available mud was the major material used in the construction, said P.K. Sreenivasan, architect, Vasthukam.

Rammed earth construction technology was used for the basement and foundation and cob construction for the walls. Hard wood was used for the construction of windows and doors. Matured coconut palms were used as raptors.

The houses were plastered with different colour mud available in the area, he said. “Since more than 60 per cent of the construction cost comprises labour cost, the large portion of the cost is circulated among the inhabitants of the hamlet. Apart from that, they get acquainted with a new technology, which in future could turn out to be a labour bank of green architecture-skilled persons, leaving scope for new livelihood means,” said N. Anilkumar, Director, MSSRF.

Earlier, the MSSRF had constructed two buildings by using the technology as part of implementing a livelihood development project in the hamlet and 10 tribal youths were trained for the purpose.

Initially, the tribesmen approached the technology with suspicion but as construction progressed, their apprehension was allayed, said Ms. Chandrika, Principal Scientist, MSSRF.