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Sustainable Built Environment: Learning from Vernacular Settlement – A Case of Manapad, in the Coastal Stretch of Tuticorin


  • Department of Architecture, Periyar Maniammai University, Thanjavur -– 613403, Tamil Nadu, India
  • School of Architecture, Periyar Maniammai University, Thanjavur – 613403, Tamil Nadu, India


Objectives: This paper aims to illustrate the identification of sustainable principles like climate responsiveness, indigenous technologies, locally available materials etc. that will provide important insights for the people involved in the development of sustainable built environments.Methods/Analysis:For the purpose, a case study of Manapad, located in the coastal stretch of Tuticorin, South India, which has a unique sustainable and cultural significance, is studied. The various principles of vernacular design and technologies that lead to sustainable performances are analyzed. The case study is studied at settlement level, street level,and individual dwelling and elements. Related literature reviews, field visits, documentation, sketches and photographs are used to analyze the case example. Findings:It is found out that vernacular architecture is more sustainable than the present built forms. Thus the principles that are adopted in vernacular architecture are analyzed in detail, so that they can be incorporated in the present architecture. The sustainable features in the case example that leads to sustainability like spatial organization, spatial flexibility, and spatial adaptability are identified and critically analyzed. Climate responsiveness, material usage, density and sense of space and cultural adaptability are identified as reasons behind its sustainable nature. Novelty/Improvement: This paper deals about the intangible aspects that are indirectly associated with sustainability like culture etc. Hence this paper brings in a new dimension on how to create sustainable built environments.


Climate , Culture , Indigenous Technologies, Materials, Vernacular, Sustainable.

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