Documentation Template


The title must contain the name of the knowledge system/innovation that needs to be highlighted and the regional name of the product. Say ‘bhungas for earthquake safety’ or ‘handmade atthangudi tiles’ or ‘sand packed foundations’.

Summary/short description of Building Practice

This will help the reader decide if they are interested in going further into the details of the knowledge system/innovation or not. It will also bring out the clarity of the author in selecting the knowledge system/product/innovation. A description of the problem to which the design (structural/architectural) responds should be articulated. Alternately why the author thinks the knowledge/product/innovation is appropriate/relevant. A description of the essence of the knowledge system/innovation. The description should be within 100 words. This can be accompanied with a photo/drawing that represents the product/innovation.


The complete address of the village/house/settlement that has been documented. A map sequence from state/taluka/village be there in standard format. A map and description of the region where the innovation is/was practiced.


This section will contain a description of the region where the knowledge system/innovation was developed/is being used. A description of the community that uses the knowledge/innovation. The socio-political-economic-ecological-climatic situation of the region that created the necessary conditions for the development and spread of the knowledge/innovation. The closest assessment of the date when the knowledge/innovation must have been developed and popularly used. This section should not be more than 500 words.

Housing/settlement typology

The plan/section/elevation of the typology where the knowledge/innovation is/was used. The drawings can follow a standard scale and labeling system. Dimensions, function of the parts, materials used should be put on the drawing (we can select an example as reference). Is it possible to make an axonometric view if we have the plan/section/elevation? If there are variations in the basic plan then 2-3 sub typologies can also be provided. These sub typologies can be represented in plans alone, unless a variation needs to be represented in a section. This can be accompanied with 4-6 photographs of the typology, along with its description.

Knowledge system/Innovation

The details of the knowledge system can be presented here. The information must be presented as text, photos, and drawings. However, the author is also encouraged to present the information as film, sound bites or any other appropriate communication tool. The logic as presented to you by the community or artisan can be presented with or without scientific validation. The source or name and contact details of the person from whom you got the analysis must be mentioned. If you have developed the inference then that too needs to be stated. Guides/editors or any other contributors will be encouraged to provide authenticated rationale behind the knowledge system.

Disaster resistance/Structural system

This section needs to be filled out only if relevant to the knowledge/innovation. Particular emphasis needs to be given to how the building/settlement responds to disasters prevalent in the region. A description of how the structural system prevents damage in a disaster. The source of information to be mentioned. It is not necessary to provide structural calculations, but to identify the structural principle at work. A listing of the commonly occurring disasters in the region with information on intensity and periodicity of the disaster should be provided.
Eg. Kutch
Earthquakes- Whole of Kutch. Zone V. 50 year cycles with 7-9 Richter scales. Last quake- 26th January,2001.
Cyclones- 220km coastline. 180-200kmph wind speeds. Last cyclone in July,1999 Abdasa. 180kmph
Floods- Banni region of Kutch; 4500sqkm. Flat region with elevations ranging from 7-14m above sea level. Clayey soils.

Climate response

This will require an analysis of the climate in the region to achieve comfort levels. What is the positive in the climate that the designer wants to retain, bring into the design and what needs to be avoided? This should be presented season wise.
Eg. In Kutch region-
Summer- the cool wind in the evenings/night needs to be brought into the house from the south west; however the day sun/heat needs to be avoided from the south.
Winters- the sleeping room needs to be closed from the night cold, but the day sun is welcome.
Monsoon- rain is less but can come down in torrents and generally comes from the S-W direction.
A description of how the design and materials respond to the climate. The source of inference too needs to be stated. To be accompanied with drawings to illustrate climate response. Can we develop a standard drawing format for this?

Construction methodology

This section should document the construction methodology such that it works as a ‘do-it-yourself’ manual. Stage wise photo/drawing accompanied with text description and dimensions/quantities to be provided, along with an enlarged wall-section and/or detailed plan (approx. 1:20/ 1:10 scale as appropriate).

Key Issues with the Building Practice

Many a times it is observed that despite of their positive aspects, traditional building practices are facing problem of discontinuity almost upto the scenario where they may become ‘extinct’. This part will try to identify and discuss the issues and/or problems this particular building practice faces, due to which the continuation of the same is being limited or is not practiced. This may be in form of technical issues, material availability, drudgery, economical aspects, ecological aspects etc. The building practice studied should be evaluated from all these various aspects and issues related to it should be discussed in this section.


This is a section that documents information about the master artisans who continue to hold this knowledge system and skills in the region. This glossary will also help us create the database of artisans so that we can research further on the knowledge, help the artisans find contemporary markets for their knowledge/skills.
This section should have the full name and address/telephone of the artisan; a photograph of the artisan; a small description that highlights his/her skill and knowledge levels; the present status of the artisans practice, including infrastructure/apprentices/markets that they have. We can document information of more than one artisan for a particular knowledge system.

Special tools/ equipments

Special tools required or particularly developed for construction of the building practice/ innovation, apart from usual tools for construction.


All the reference material available and used in documentation should be mentioned here.

Credits and Acknowledgements

Anybody else who needs to be acknowledged for the contribution in the study, but can not be included in the above formats. Should be mentioned with details of contribution to the study.

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