Naddi early April, peaks in early June (when

Naddi is a village of Himachal Pradesh
located at an altitude of 2000 meter (6500 ft) above sea level, in the upper
reaches of the Kangra valley. The village is situated about 3 KM from Mc Leod
Ganj. Village is surrounded by pine, Himalayan oak, and rhododendron. Naddi has
a monsoon-influenced humid subtropical climate. Summer starts in early April, peaks
in early June (when temperatures can reach 36 °C) and last till mid-June. From
July to mid-September is the monsoon season when up to 3000 mm (120 inches) of
rainfall can be experienced. Autumn is mild and lasts from October to the end
of November. Autumn temperatures average around 16–17 °C. Winter starts in
December and continues until late February. Snow and sleet are common during
the winter in Naddi. Winter is followed by a short, pleasant spring until
April. Historically, the Dhauladhar Mountains used to remain snow-covered all
year long, however, in recent years they have been losing their snow blanket
during dry spells.

 

Genesis of Traditional architecture

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The Traditional Architecture of Himachal
Pradesh is the outcome of the existing topography, land form, extremes climate
and other natural forces. Vernacular architectural solutions created here have
responded very well that merges with the hilly backdrop. The Traditional built
forms have been the backbone to nurture socio-cultural settings are splendid
not only to serve needs of the inhabitants but also, became a tourist
attraction that needs to retain its integrity and identity. The vernacular
houses of local villagers, farmers and landlords in village built during last
many decades are the example of traditional practices. Typical housing typology
has emerged to cope up the geo-climatic challenges imposed by the region. The
organization of spaces accommodates different levels of privacy with controlled
accessibility and visibility.

Spatial configurations

The orientation of the buildings in this zone
is mostly East-South. The slope of the land ranges from 0 to 30 degree
approximately. Materials available for construction are stone slabs for
flooring and roofing, stone and earth for walls and wooden plank to supports
intermediate floors. The areas around Dharamshala and Mc Leord Ganj are
subjected to heavy rainfall that needs steep-sloping roofs and deep verandas to
drain off the rain water as quickly as possible and for protection of the walls
as well. Before the British influence, the buildings of these regions had
influence of Rajasthan and Mughal architecture However; jack-arch was evolved
for these areas of heavy rainfall using plain or galvanized iron sheets for
roofing was introduced during British rule. Analysis shows that many variations can be noticed in the dwelling designs
and construction practices. Load bearing structure of traditional buildings had
thick stone masonry as major structural component that gradually been replaced
by the RCC framed structure with 4.5 to 15 inches thick brick walls.
Intermediate floors made of Composite material (wooden floor with mud
finishing) have also been replacing with RCC Slab supported on RCC Columns.
Similarly, pitched roof of slate-stone tiles are being replaced by the flat or
pitched RCC roof. Some of the dwellings constructed recently have been more
close to the buildings of urban centers with toilets attached with the bed
rooms and equipped with modern fixtures and finishes.New materials used in recently built modern dwellings do not have enough
thermal capacity to maintain indoor comfort conditions required for the local
climatic conditions. Infact, indoor temperature finds cooler in winter and
hotter in summers that has increased dependence on mechanical means to achieve
indoor comfort. Another observation for new dwellings made of modern materials
shows that overall building envelop including size & height of rooms, size
& transparency of window openings and roof projections at balconies are not
appropriate to respond to the local climatic conditions. Contrary to the
traditional dwellings, new buildings with its flat roof profile seem less
contextual and do not paying desired respect to the beautiful hill backdrops
and dynamic relationship with the natural settings.Opinion for suitability and choice of
dwelling type was sought from the native residents that have brought some key
findings. According to them traditional dwellings have been more comfortable
and liveable however, they are forced to opt for the new modern dwellings
because;·        
Finding
artisans capable to construct traditional dwellings has become very difficult.·        
Available
masons and contractors have more skills for contemporary construction methods.·        
Supply and availability
of dressed stone and carved slate stone has been limited in compression to
modern building materials such as aggregate, cement, steel and other factory
made products.·        
New
dwellings of modern material are considered as Pacca house and became a symbol
of high social status within the community. This is an important driving force
for inclination towards contemporary dwellings.·        
New
construction methods also providing opportunity to make lavish interior similar
to urban living within natural setting thus, well to do families making
distance from the traditional houses.·        
Due to change
in mode of earning there has been change in life style thus behaviour and attitude towards living in traditional buildings have also
changed. For example location of toilets has come within the house and practice
to keep livestock and cropping around houses has drastically decreased thus
need of front or backyards also minimised. Conceptually,
we can argue that advancement in the material and construction practices
should create more sustainable and harmonious designs however, modern building
are demonstrating contrasting picture. Considering recent problems of global
warming, climate change and over exhausted energy resources, there is need to
produce context specific, climate responsive, economical and energy conscious
building which must be appropriate within given geo-climatic location.  Conclusions A study tour of students of architecture was visited Naddi village,
Mcleordganj and neighbouring parts of Dharamshala district in 2014. Aim of this
study was to get exposure to the traditional hill architecture and construction
practices of these regions and to understand the factors shaping their built
environment and unique vernacular design using locally available materials and
other resources. The study has brought a significant finding that the design of
traditional dwellings material use and construction practices existed in village
has been highly climate responsive and found to have dynamic relationship with
local geo-climatic condition.

Traditional dwellings
are wonderfully responding to the actual needs of the inhabitants throughout
the year. The spatial organization of various indoor spaces such as living,
sleeping, cooking, storing etc. are functioning like an organism and its
relationship with the outdoor spaces, immediate precinct and neighbourhood was
excellent it has been a learning experience to understand  how thoughtful vernacular designs are
providing protection to their inhabitants against extreme environmental
conditions. The architecture in Himachal Pradesh is based on
some locally available materials such as timber, soil, stone, and slate. But rapid
urbanization, myth of so called social status attached to modern houses, less
availability of material and artisans of traditional buildings, and societal
inclination towards non-contextual modern designs are the major cause of
deviation from the traditional buildings made of  RCC frames and brick masonry.  However, considering the enormous benefits of
traditional designs at large, architects, planners, urban designers
and administrators are required to make adequate balance between
traditional wisdom and modern practices. New technologies should aim to create designs
based on local context and should be harmonious with the geo-climatic regions.