Located in the heart of Galle Fort, a UNESCO world heritage site, the renovation and extension was undertaken of an eighteenth century Dutch period house. The project restored and preserved a traditional building, in line with conservation requirements, while converting the layout to one that suits modern living, with a large open plan kitchen, living areas, outdoor dining, garden and en suite bedrooms.

A key environmental target for the project was to promote stabilised rammed earth walls: a technique that has its roots in traditional Sri Lankan building techniques. Unlike traditional earth wall buildings, a relatively small quantity of cement was added to the earth mix to stabilise it and ensure it will continue to have the necessary structural strength. The base material for the rammed earth was granite dust and chips from a nearby quarry, into which iron oxide pigments and an admixture were added, along with the cement.

The building also features two green walls. One is internal, with a felt growing medium attached to a wall, into which plant plugs were fitted. The wall receives water from a timed drip irrigation system, and specialised lighting was fitted to ensure it can photosynthesise sufficiently. The other green wall is in the garden, with creepers growing up a wire frame from the base, as well as a planter at the top of the wall from which creepers grow down.

In addition, solar thermal panels provide the hot water requirement for the building. Provision has also been installed for future installation of photovoltaic panels, by double wiring the house so that it can convert to renewable electricity.


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