Construction Technology

Building Technology

Karimadom Colony


Karimadom colony is located in the heart of Trivandrum, near the famous Chalai market. This area houses the sewage collection pond of the entire city, owned by Kerala Water Authority. There is a pumping station for sewage water to Parvathy Puthanar. Over time, settlers from different parts encroached the area around the pond and gradually developed into a slum Karimadom colony.


a) Population

The total population of the colony is 2341.

b) Location

The colony is situated in between Chalai market and Manacaud market. It is 1km away from the railway station and central bus stand. Also 500m from the site stands East Fort.

c) Extend

The total area of the colony is 9.73 acres including the pond.

d) Topography

The colony is situated in a low lying area of the city. The land lies 60 cm below the existing roads. The site slopes slightly toward the sewage collection pond.


a) Layout

Architect Laurie Baker derived the concept for the entire design. The layout is such that it creates several interactive community spaces in between building blocks by a staggered arrangement.

b) Road Systems

The vehicular entry is restricted to the main road so as to ensure pedastrianization and safety of children. The road layout is basically a network of 2m wide pathways connecting the units and surrounding the residential blocks on all four sides, since the entrance to various units is from all four sides of the blocks.

c) Planning Aspects

Planning has been done considering the existing drain. The staggered arrangement of blocks creates many informal open gathering spaces which facilitates social interaction and thereby fosters communal harmony.

d) Individual Design

There are 28 No.s of a ground + three dwelling block to house these families. The dwelling block design comprises of 20 units with 8 on the ground floor, 6 on the first floor, 4 on the second floor and 2 on the third floor.

The dwelling blocks are oriented with their shorter sides in the north -south axis. Area of each unit is 31 Sqm. The design is such that each unit has either ground or terrace areas for future expansion and for their extended activities. There is a need for parks & open spaces for better social interactions through public gatherings.

e) Services

  • Water Supply

    Public taps are provided in the colony. Apart from this, water distribution lines are also provided till the upper most floors. In this design, the water supply connection is included along with the plumbing works and the plumbing estimates. Also the prevailing water shortage problem of the area was solved after the implementation of the Japan Aided Water Supply Scheme.

  • Rejuvenation of Pond

    The existing sewage collection pond has been rejuvenated. It includes cleaning desilting and side protection of the pond using bio fencing and short bamboo planting. This would be later converted into a bathing pond.

  • Biogas Plant in Karimadom

    To effectively utilize the garbage and other bio degradable materials into useful electrical energy, biogas plant has been established for the settlement. The power is generated in a generator room and utilized for street lighting of 10 nos. This is an environmental friendly move, as these effectively reduces the dumping of waste into the pond and help maintain clean and healthy environment. Compost pit is also provided near the plant.

    Waste generated from the houses in the colony is collected by Thiruvananthapuram Municipal Corporation and deposited at Vilapilshala located at a distance of 25km. A decentralized system of waste management would save the large amount of resources wasted in transporting this waste.

  • Sanitation

    The sewage is collected from all the units and connected to the sewerage system. Manholes have been provided where ever necessary.

  • Electricity

    Electric posts at approximately 13m apart have been provided. Street lights are provided along with these posts. To maintain a well lit and safe environment at night, proper street lighting has been provided all along the pathways.

  • Drainage

    According to the design, storm water drains are been provided along the roads and discharged to the city drainage system.

  • Bio fencing

    Bio-fencing has been provided along the boundary of the site and also around the pond. This would be in the form of bougainvillea plantings with barbed wires. Biofencing of Ramacham has been provided along either sides of the drain.

  • Earth Filling

    Problem of water logging is solved in the colony during monsoons, by providing a raised level of land to 1.2 m high.

  • Retaining Wall

    Retaining wall has been constructed all round the colony.

  • Rainwater harvesting

    As a principle to reduce the use of energy and use of natural resources, rainwater harvesting has been encouraged in all houses through the provision of circular Ferro cement rainwater harvesting tanks supported on brick legs about 60cm high. The capacity is 1200lts. In Kerala we have an average of 140 days of rain. On these days without relying on the municipal water supply the inhabitants can use this water. The water tanks of corresponding houses are to be provided on its corresponding terraces or on ground level for units in the ground floors.

  • Tree planting and Landscaping in Multipurpose Open Spaces

    The common open spaces with tree planting are designed so as to function as community gathering spaces for the beneficiaries. Also, act as play areas for the children.

    f) Community Facilities
  • Play Areas

    Playground has been provided which also doubles up as a gathering space for functions of the families. Rest of the community spaces at various portions of the design are such that they can also be used as play areas for various age groups.

    g) Social Amenities
  • Study Center Cum Library

    For the empowerment of the beneficiary population study centers have been provided. Taking into account the social condition of the beneficiaries, space for children to come and study at night, as the atmosphere in their homes may not be conducive for learning is also been provided. Separate study centres are provided for girls & boys.

    Main intention is to make the students understand the importance of education by exposing them to different teaching methods. Apart from academics, sports clubs and nature clubs are also formed among children to increase interaction and social awareness, with the help of voluntary organizations. Real slum upliftment is possible only through educating the younger generation.

  • Anganwadi

    Two Anganwadis have been provided. This would enable both the parents to go for work and lead to a better social development of the children.

  • Multipurpose Open Spaces

    The common open spaces are provided so as to function as community gathering spaces for the beneficiaries. Also, act as play areas for the children.

  • TV kiosks

    These are so provided that the community spaces are productive and generate better social interactions. Two TV kiosk is proposed.

  • Market

    A market has been provided to cater the needs of the colony which would generate employment opportunities too.

  • Kiosks

    These are located so that community spaces are active throughout and do not end up as dead and anti spaces. These shops would also serve as an employment generator as well as an additional income generator for the destitute and widows among the beneficiaries.

  • Community Cluster center

    There are many production units under the Kudumbasree, making banana chips and many other bakery items. Hence two-community cluster centres have been provided. These activities at present takes place in unhygienic premises. Also, according to the baseline survey 44 women in the colony knew stitching. Cluster center can also act as mini apparel parks.

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