Ladakh Ecological Development Group Trainee’s Hostel (A Solar Passive Trombe-Technology Building), Leh


Ladakh Ecological Development Group (LEDeG) is an NGO formed by Helena Norberg Hodge a Scandinavian Linguist. Its prior mission is to promote and reconnect ecological sustainable development with local tradition and culture for underprivileged natives in the remote area of Ladhak. The LEDeGs Campus, Trainee’s Hostel covers 300 square meters in area and  is located in Chans’pa, Leh. Architect Sanjay Prakash has modified vernacular sustainable material and techniques in hostel design and construction for its better adaptation in cold and sunny climate of Leh. Following features elaborates its unique fitness in the environment serving minimum pollution potency:


·    Depending upon the position and load, the walls are made either of rubble masonry with mud mortar or sundried mud brick (adobe) in mud mortar.

·    The roof consists of timber framed with wood (poplar tree) joists covered by twigs (tubloo willow), grass (yagzes) and 30 cm of earth (gompa). To prevent melted snow leakage the roof was modified by slight slope with drain spouts and covered with a layer of water proofing black plastic below the  earth.

·    The building is south oriented. Except corridors, toilets and staircases, every habitable room is south facing with no overhangs for maximum winter heat gain.

·    At the centre of the building is a south approached air locked entrance leading to study room. These spaces are heated by south glazing tilted at 60° to the horizontal and remain warm after sundown due to heat grained and stored in building mass.

·    The thick earth in wall and roof provides both insulation and mass.

·    The rooms are provided with mix of windows and glazed walls, forming classical trombe wall design with required modifications. The trombe wall works on the basic greenhouse principle, which traps the remitted radiation from the walls in its glass layer. It provides stable and warmth condition at night.

·    The south walls are painted black for better heating.

·    All the opening has corck based weather strips at the edges to seal them tight.

·    A flat plate solar collector tilted at 60° is installed on the top  for hot water supply.

·    All the spaces in the building have good daylight. For lightening at night, Photovoltaic cell is used.

·    Eco friendly compost pit latrines with sloping pits and vent pipes are provided on the first floor of the building as a provision against frostbite. At the beginning of spring, the compost from the toilets is cleaned out and shifted to the field to be used as manure, thus maintaining the nutritional chain cycle.

The solar passive hostel is a comfortable and eco-friendly stay in Leh-Ladakh, to experience a reduced carbon- footprint lifestyle.








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