Revitalizing Rural Neighbourhood Through Agro-Economy Based Design Approach

The project is a holistic approach to create a Sustainable Agricultural Community. The aim of the project is to fulfill four parameteres of sustainable agricultural neighbourhood - roduction sustainability, Social sustainability, Economical sustainability, and environmental sustainability where vermicompost production is a major catalyst.
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Designer(s) : Fouzia Masud Mouri

University : Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET)

Tutor(s) : Dr. S M Najmul Imam, Md. Tariquzzaman

Bangladesh being an agricultural country, her economy has been largely driven by the domestic agricultural sector. Agriculturally dependent Bangladesh needs 3375.52 thousand metric tons of fertilizer every year. Only 87% of the total fertilizer demand of the country is fulfilled. Out of that, local manufacturers provide 77% and the rest 23% is imported from abroad

Revolution is unfolding in vermiculture studies for achieving quicker and cheaper solutions to several social, economic, and environmental problems plaguing the human society from ‘waste management’ through Verm filtration to ‘land and soil remediation and ‘safe and sustainable food production without the use of agrochemicals. Vermicompost industry is much fragmented, manufactured mostly in India and Southeast Asia. Vermicompost production is rising higher gradually. In Bangladesh, there is a bright opportunity for establishing the vermicompost production industry in rural areas.

Vermicompost production on a small scale has started in a few districts such as Khulna, Jhenaidah, Gazipur, Borguna, and in some parts of Rajshahi. In this project, the site was chosen Pajulia village, where about 100 families are involved in vermicompost production. Mainly the rural women are involved in vermicompost production and becoming self-reliant.

Therefore, the project is a holistic approach to creating a Sustainable Agricultural Community by architectural interpretation fulfilling four parameters – Production sustainability, Social sustainability, Economical sustainability, and environmental sustainability where vermicompost production is a major catalyst and integrates three main goals economic profitability, social equity, and environmental health. Therefore, to revitalize the rural neighbourhood and accomplish the sustainable neighbourhood goals inter-scalar and inter-disciplinary approach is needed.

Production Sustainability: Bangladesh Government is providing loan facilities to rural people under the “One House One Farm” scheme to alleviate poverty and ensure income growth at the household level. By taking a loan each will be able to build a compost shed and start their business. A business module for vermicompost production has been analyzed as part of this project.

Social Sustainability: When it comes to the up-gradation of homesteads, villagers prefer brick over traditional mud houses. The use of brick is a threat to traditional rural architecture and has adverse environmental effects. Here in this design proposal, Housing prototypes have been designed based on research. Inspired by the traditional mud house architecture of Gazipur, Compressed Earth Block (CEB) instead of Brick has been proposed as the main material along with locally built prefabricated RCC columns, Katla, wooden doors, louvred windows, and easily buildable bamboo curtain wall.

Economic Sustainability: To establish the vermicompost production industry it is important to make sure the continuity of production, manufacturing, and delivery of vermicompost.  Therefore, the proposal for Growth Center for Pajulia Village will facilitate the production and manufacturing process and ensure economic sustainability. Along with developing a commercial zone, a Tourist Dorm and Restaurant have been designed to develop eco-tourism and an Agriculture Training centre for the skill development of villagers. The forms are generated considering the climatic condition and inspired by traditional courtyard-centred housing typologies.

Environment Sustainability: The use of vermicompost will keep the soil fertile, enrich the soil with micro-organisms and Improve water holding capacity, saving Chelai Beel from any kind of chemical pollution. The wastes produced in the village will be filtered through the vermi-filtration process, keeping the water bodies and the Chelan Canal Clean and pollution-free.

Therefore, revitalizing the rural neighbourhood and accomplishing the sustainable neighbourhood goals have been achieved through an inter-scalar approach.