Monday, October 31, 2011

Affordable housing with Mangalore tiles roof by SEVAI for poor

SEVAI/FPV Housing in Trichy District

SEVAI has constructed hundreds of Mangalore tiled roof homes for the poor in rural and slum areas of Trichy region of Tamilnadu German Missionary Plebot set up the first tile factory in 1865, after he found large deposits of clay by the banks Gurupur and Nethravathi Rivers. It was called Basel Mission Tile factory and located on the banks of the river Nethravathi, around 100 meters away from Ullal Bridge. Several other tile factories came up in the years that followed. Abundant deposits of clay, plenty of firewood from the Western Ghats and cheap skilled labour helped the industry flourish. Since the tiles were made only in the city initially, they came to be called Mangalore tiles. Most of us have grown in houses that used Mangalore tiles, reading those letters on them, which gave their manufacturers name, abbreviated. Somewhere down the line, we switched over to the unimaginative concrete roof. Luckily, people are going back to the Mangalore tiles, though not for the whole house. Made of compressed mud and burnt under controlled conditions, these tiles are uniform in thickness and pattern. They have a nostalgic appeal, though their maintenance is an issue. The tile can be used in many creative ways — you could have a clay ceiling covered with Mangalore tiles for aesthetic appeal. Mangalore tile needs a neat sub-structure. ‘Mangalore tiles’ have become a generic term for clay roofing tiles, and mechanized tile factories are busy churning out newer patterns and sizes. Take a stroll around the Bangalore cantonment area, and you can still see the occasional 'tiled roof' and 'jack arch roof' trying to peep through the lush greenery within the compound dating back to British era. The tiles are all 'Mangalore tiles', the name giving you a hint of their origin.   The traditional Mangalore tile roof is fast disappearing but, what is fascinating, the Mangalore tile is staging a comeback in diverse and sometimes ingenious ways. Mangalore tiles are made of clay found in abundance in parts of Mangalore in Karnataka and Kasargod in Kerala.  The brand has been in vogue in the country ever since such tiles were first made in 1865 by the Christian missionaries of the Basel Mission. They are made of compressed mud and burnt under controlled conditions, giving them a uniform thickness and pattern.  With tiles making way for newer roofing materials, the 'Mangalore tile' has now taken on a new 'avatar' and acquired an aesthetic hue. People nowadays are going back to them for landscaping, car portico, garden gazebo or 'watchman's shed' in front of the house.  Back in the history, the rural living conditions and natural habitation mandated our forefathers to utilize mud, water and baking procedures to protect their families against wind, rain and summer heat. They baked flat and curved mud tiles that helped the skilful wrapping of roofs, floors and walls in an economical way. Yes, it started with only a bare-minimum, sleek drape of the roofing though, just about making sure that rain water did not seep in or the heat didn't radiate directly. Now the demand for the Mangalore tiles is on the increase, as people are laying these tiles over the concrete roofs for aesthetic purposes and for reduced heat transfer during summer season. Sloping roofs with muddy brown tiles still define the city's skyline even though multi-storeyed buildings and shopping malls are changing the way the Mangalore looks. Govin


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