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2.3 Madras Terrace Roof

We are honoured to present the Madras Terrace roofing system for the first time in India as an online course that will guide you through its step-by-step process and diverse techniques for constructing this flat terrace roofing solution. This course will take you through the step-by-step process and various methods for building a Madras terrace roof. From an introduction to prerequisites, materials, and tools, to in-depth coverage of different types of structures, wall masonry, and preparation for roofing, you will gain knowledge in making lime mortar, a unique kaddukai jaggery mix, and laying special terrace bricks. This course provides a complete guide to constructing this beautiful, durable, eco-friendly roofing solution emphasising workmanship and proficiency.

Discover the versatility and efficiency of Madras terrace roofing in modern-day construction. Enroll today!

Language: English
Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes
Learn at your own pace
Validity: 365Days
*The displayed price is inclusive of GST(18%), Payment Gateway Charges(2-3%), Platform Charges(10%), Affiliate Charges(20%)*

About the course

The Madras Terrace roofing system, an embodiment of sustainable and environmentally conscious construction, boasts a rich and storied history in the southern regions of India. Its use of plant-based admixtures in its creation rendered it a testament to our ancestors' ingenuity and a manifestation of their commitment to preserving the natural building world. Constructed initially in gopurams (towers) of temples such as the Kalahasthi Temple in Srirangam, and the Ekambareswar Temple in Kancheepuram, this technique was once a symbol of luxury in mansions, palaces, and public buildings. After the colonial occupation, the British modified the Madras Terrace technique to accommodate longer spans and implemented it in various government buildings, railway stations, and more. The continued use of this eco-friendly roofing solution highlights its versatility and efficiency in modern-day construction.

What is Madras terrace roofing?

This sustainable building roof practices adopt composite flooring arrangements incorporating terrace bricks and a lime concrete mixture, particularly in southern India. This method is known as the "Madras Terrace Construction." Over the years, this construction has demonstrated its great strength with durability, significantly decreased overall temperatureresilience and water resistance. However, rapid construction is possible only with a certain level of proficiency in workmanship. The support provided by the terrace is derived from the arched formation created by the bricks arranged in rows and flat layers over closely spaced joists. The added support from the overlaying layer of lime concrete works with the burned bricks due to its bond with them and makes an attractive solution in the natural building roofing system.

What you'll learn

Section1: Introduction and Prerequisites

  • How does the roof work?
  • Thannal’s Journey
  • Recent Revivals
  • What are the materials required?
  • What are the tools needed?
  • Type of walls upon which this roof can be built
  • Structure - Three types
  • Wall Plate- Function and material options

Section 2: Types of Structure and Wall Masonry

  • Structure - Case 1 - Without Beams, Only Rafters
  • Structure - Case 2 - With Beams and Wooden rafters
  • Structure - Case 3 - With Stone columns and Wooden Beam
  • Masonry work with burnt bricks and lime mortar

Section 3: Making of the roof with terrace bricks

  • Preparation for roofing
  • Making lime mortar for terrace bricks
  • Making the special kaddukai jaggery mix
  • Preparing the Terrace bricks
  • Laying the Terrace Bricks
  • First layer and second layer in detail
  • Making of the brick enclosure/parapet wall

Section 4: Limecrete Layer

  • How to do the Limecrete layer?
  • How to level the surface according to the flow of water?
  • Different mixes for limecrete
  • Beating of lime
  • Curing of limecrete layer

Section 5: Finishes

  • Lime plaster
  • Surkhi lime finish
  • Cowdung finish
  • Terracotta tile 

Section 6: References and What’s next?

Section 7: Bonus Content (30 minutes)
Learn about different roofing techniques, and choose one that fits your natural building.



7 Modules | 16 Sessions | 1 hour 24 min 59 sec Total Time



Learn Indian Natural Building Anytime and Anywhere with Thannal!

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Get Lifetime Access (Limited Offer)

Write to us for exclusive access to our early bird offer on the complete online course package (Part 1- 4), available only for selected learners. Gain lifetime access to limitless learning and take advantage of this limited-time opportunity to save while doing your natural building. 

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