Mahindra Ecole Centrale hosts Niketh: A traditional housing challenge

October 23, 2018

Mahindra Ecole Centrale College of Engineering, Hyderabad recently hosted Niketh: A traditional housing challenge. The competition invited entries that focused on preserving the wisdom of traditional construction practices, viewing them through lens of science, engineering and technique. A total of 45 entries from across India were received for Niketh and 20 were shortlisted to present their models in the final round.

India has a unique mix of cultures and is also one of the oldest civilisations of the world. The diversity in culture, tradition and geography of India can be seen in traditional housing practices which are eco-friendly and sustainable. In the modern era, knowledge of traditional housing practices is on the brink of being lost.

Comments Dr. Yajulu Medury, director, Mahindra Ecole Centrale, “We at Mahindra Ecole Centrale are trying to build awareness about the sustainability of the traditional ways. Our ancient culture has witnessed many unique and surprisingly modern housing models. With Niketh, we are trying to get the students to capture the best from all existing ways to come up with ecologically viable models.”

MEC’s Niketh focused on three areas to judge the winning entries: Identifying the traditional Indian housing typology, Understanding the Science, Engineering and Construction Techniques and Building a scaled prototype (1:10, 1:15) of the original house.

The event, which began with the “I am that Change” video from Mahindra École Centrale, was chaired by Professor Bishnu P Pal, dean academics; Prof. Arya Kumar Bhattacharya, dean R & D; Dr. Prabhakar Singh, coordinator Civil Engineering; Dr. Ramachandra Prasad, IIIT-H and guest of honour Prashant Lingam, co-founder of Bamboo House India. The event chair Dr. P. Venkata Dilip Kumar presented the vision and mission of Niketh and co-chair Prafulla Kalapatapu compered the entire event and officially welcomed the participants to Niketh 2018.

In Phase 1 of MEC’s Niketh, a two-page article was submitted for the identified/chosen housing typology. The article explained the reasons for choosing a particular housing technique (typology, region, period of construction, materials, etc.). It also sought to share the entrant’s understanding with factual figures or references added. An expert panel of three evaluated the emailed article. All the finalists were invited to build a scaled prototype, which was showcased at Mahindra Ecole Centrale.

The final winning team of Gnanaprakash and Manoj Kumar from SRIT, Anantapur for their “Mud House” received a cash award of Rs. 15,000/-. The two runner up teams of Rajat.T & Rajat .S from Nirma University for House of Jalwali, Satvik and Kishore from MEC for Bamboo house received a cash reward of Rs. 10,000/- each. Certificate of excellence and participation were given to all finalists.

Hyderabad based Mahindra Ecole Centrale (MEC) College of Engineering is a well reputed private technology school that marks the foray of the USD 20.7 billion Mahindra Group into the higher education sector.

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