Asee peer logo

The "Natural House" Project: An Experiment In Learning By Doing

Download Paper |


2003 Annual Conference


Nashville, Tennessee

Publication Date

June 22, 2003

Start Date

June 22, 2003

End Date

June 25, 2003



Conference Session

Current Environmental Issues

Page Count


Page Numbers

8.1097.1 - 8.1097.7



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors

author page

Ishrat Mirzana

author page

Ali Ansari

Download Paper |

NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session No # 2151


Ali Uddin Ansari, Ishrat Meera Mirzana

Mechanical Engineering Department Muffakham Jah College of Engineering & Technology Hyderabad, India


The “Natural House”, a design and construction project of Centre for Environmental Studies & Socioresponsive Engineering (CESSE) at Muffakham Jah College of Engineering & Technology (MJCET), is directed at involving engineering students in a “real life” project with direct social benefits. The Centre’s primary objective is to help orient engineering theory, practice, teaching and learning toward socially and environmentally responsive goals. The Centre (CESSE) has organized a group of twenty mechanical and civil engineering juniors, 11 male and 9 female students, to undertake a few projects, one of which is the concept, design and construction of “The Natural House”. As conceived, the “Natural House”, would have a wide spectrum of novel features, many of which are designed for compatibility with the surrounding natural environment. It is intended that the house itself would “behave” like an “organism”, i.e. it will regulate itself to maintain homeostasis (temperature and humidity) and will intelligently adapt and respond to the environment. Some of these features are achieved through static geothermal cooling and evaporative cooling panels, and constructing walls from panels of different materials which can be assembled in multiple ways to optimize their properties and behavior. The entire (slightly curved) roof is designed as a solar collector comprising a network of pipes with full-length parabolic concentrators. It is also proposed to investigate the possibility of power generation from the solar collector roof, with either steam or compressed air as the working medium. It is expected that following the completion of the design the group will build a small Natural House.

The paper describes the two teachers’ experience of creating, developing and implementing a project designed for learning by doing and the satisfaction, exhilaration and lessons involved in it. “Proceedings of the 2003 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2003, American Society for Engineering Education”

Mirzana, I., & Ansari, A. (2003, June), The "Natural House" Project: An Experiment In Learning By Doing Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee. 10.18260/1-2--12634

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2003 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015