The clients, also our friends, had purchased the property in late 2020. The site was an abandoned farm. The top soil was almost gone because the site was excavated, over tilled & kept exposed.
The project had very specific objectives:
- Accommodate minimum 4 lots
- Small community space
- Restore nature to positively influence the neighborhood
- Support local economy
The project had fixed budget & we wanted to make sure that we were ready for 2021 monsoon plantation.
While the project didn’t need a specific zone layout, energy conservation strategies were utilized.
Privacy of occupants, protection from harsh sun & summer winds, reduce water run-off and regenerate soil were some of the primary considerations for the design. Also, it was imperative to have enough productive green space in each lot.
As part of the project, we wanted to revive some forgotten natural building techniques. Usage of a native grass, kolimb (कोणींब), for thatch roofing and local basalt stone construction were among those. The under-structure was designed to be built with locally available bamboo – Dendrocalamus Stocksii.
Local Flora | Local Skills | Local Material
Diversity brings resilience. The project hosts diverse native flora for short & long term services.
Number of plant species
52 trees | 15 edible perennials | 13 fragrant & medicinal | 6 bamboo | 6 fresh water
Project Minivet has been very special because of multiple reasons. From implementation perspective, following made it more fun;
- Number of new elements that we introduced for the community space – bamboo gazebo, natural pond.
- This being a remote site, logistics planning & execution was important to avoid delays & to keep costs in check.
- Implemention using Agile methodology. Yes, you can apply Agile to non-software projects as well.
Micro wildlife has already started frequenting Minivet.
The property being adjacent to the road, continues to positively influence the people passing by – they appreciate nature’s ability to bounce back so quickly.
To us, Velvandi valley residents, Minivet continues to remind us about our real wealth – abundant gifts from nature, sustainable building techniques.
A well balanced natural system continues to grow in it’s productivity & resilience with time. It’s service period can last for decades, and centuries.
According to me, this project is a good template for CSR activity for following reasons;
1. Involvement of local community
It supported local economy. The use of local material & building techniques instilled a sense of pride in the community. A local goodwill is also earned.
2. Tangible & Transparent
The results are tangible that don’t need presentations, reports to showcase your contributions.
3. Long Term Impact
With appropriate aftercare, the positive impacts of this kind of activity can last for decades, if not generations.
Hope more businesses follow the model.
Project Minivet Photos
You’ll not fail to notice Minivet, if you visit Nisargshala (निसर्गशाळा) – a camping experience near Pune.