Different Passive Solar Techniques

rammed earth hial

Rammed Earth Construction

Rammed earth is one of the oldest construction techniques in the world. It also finds its use in the traditional buildings of ladakh like monasteries and palaces.

It was traditionally called the “Gya-pak” technique meaning packed earth (as the mix used to be wet). However, the technique has seen various adaptations around the world and a more aesthetically appealing technique that uses a drier mix enabling it to flaunt its raw earthen nature has also been used in Ladakh. The structural integrity of the whole wall thickness of these rammed earth buildings make them safer in high-risk earthquake zones like Ladakh. Shesyon has expertise in constructing the traditional “gya-pak” (packed earth with plaster) as well the modern rammed earth walls. Being Labor-intensive, it caters to the more affluent section of the society and requires a longer construction season. We have used this construction technique in several of our projects
pre freb block

Pre Freb Blocks

To provide the straw clay brick system with further strength, Sheshyon experimented and developed a uniquetechnique that has a provision of reinforcement from within.

We call it the Pre-FREB (Fibre Reinforced Earthen Blocks) technique. The primary aim of a Pre-FREB wall system is to be able to modularize any orthogonal building layout for the ease of construction with added properties such as passive solar heating and insulation for the remote mountain regions. The uniqueness of the technique is its low construction time. Pre-FREB buildings can be erected within a few days using a mechanized system of construction, like a mini-crane.

PSH Framed Structure

This is a fusion of the conventional building technique using Reinforced Concrete Cement (RCC) for thebuilding frame and straw clay bricks as the encompassing ex-fill envelopes the structure to reduce the creation of thermal bridges. 

This building technique plays on the strength of both the individual techniques by bringing the option of being multi-storey due to the framed structure and higvhly insulated envelope due to the use of straw clay bricks.

Passive Solar Retrofits

Existing buildings can often be retrofitted to increase solar gain. A passive solar retrofit, like any passive solar system, collects solar energy through south-facing windows. 

A part of the energy is stored in thermal storage mass for night-time heating and the rest provides immediate heating for the living spaces. The heat is distributed by natural air currents, through the vents and openings.
straw clay block

Straw-clay Bricks

Our efforts to develop quick construction technologies led us to making Straw clay bricks. These bricks are straw-reinforced adobe bricks, only larger in size.
The composition of the brick makes it low-density and hence highly-insulating. The straw for constructing these straw clay bricks is imported from Punjab, where it is otherwise burnt. And here its use in the construction of Passive Solar buildings prevents active heating, thereby further reducing the pollution burden. By virtue of its large size, single storey buildings can easily be constructed using these bricks as load bearing walls. These bricks also reduce the workability of the labourers and the envelope construction time. They are also one of the most affordable construction techniques in PSH earthen building techniques. The technique is traditionally used in the lower foothills of himalayas and has a lifetime of 50+ years. Some buildings from the Shakespearean era, when demolished, found the use of similar straw-clay techniques. Thus, confirming the long life of these building materials.
Passive Solar House

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