Moreover, to help improve the structural rigidity of the Church, the architects introduced lateral flying buttresses, the so-called "Nubian vaults", elements that allowed them to exploit the full static properties of each constructive component, namely the arches and the bricks. The bricks, as the material that dominates the entire construction, were made of stabilised raw earth and, in order to improve their mechanical performance, the mixture with which they were made consists of a modest 5% cement content. In addition, each brick is connected to the other using the same stabilised raw earth, thus providing the whole construction with a high homogeneity in the thermal gradient of the masonry, to the point that thermal bridges have been almost completely eliminated.
The final result is a materially and formally homogeneous environment, so much so that even chromatically, the structure fits perfectly into the context in which it stands.
Finally, it should be reiterated that if industrial bricks had been used for the project instead of raw earth bricks, the energy spent to obtain them would have quadrupled (4,501.25 MJ/m3, against the 1,112.36 MJ/m3 actually spent) and the production of CO2 would have also increased proportionally (110.11 kg/m3 against 444.12 kg/m3).
Project Name: ST. GEORGE ORTHODOX CHURCH
Office Name: Wallmakers
Office Website: www.wallmakers.org
Firm Location: India
Gross Built Area: 221 m2
Project location: Mattancherry, Ernakulam, Kerala
Architects: Vinu Daniel, Fawaz Thengilan, Ashand Raju, Melvin Davis, Shobitha Jacob, Archana M., Bibu Behanan, Jincy Rajan, Mohammed Rauf
Photo Credits: Jino Sam