Roofing with terra cotta tiles

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Example of pithched roofing with terra cotta tiles


Roofing with terra cotta tiles can be done using rafters of different materials. We have pre cast concrete rafters and wooden rafters commonly used along with terra cotta tiles in Auroville.


  • Wooden rafter
  • Pre-cast concrete rafter
  • steel rafter

Details and experiences

Roofing with wooden rafters and terra cotta tiles

Pitched roof construction where the building plan, being hexagonal in profile coupled, with a double level demanded an innovative coming together of varied joinery details. Rafters radiate outwards and come together atop a central pillar while supported by the periphery walls. Tiling creates cover against the elements and is aesthetically pleasing.

Pitched roof construction also uses an assembly that integrates metallic, wooden as well as earthen elements. Cast iron brackets are hinged on columns that provide support to the main wooden roof edge member, which in turn holds rafters in place that are connected by battens upon which mangalore terracotta tiles have been laid to provide a shelter for this verandah space.

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Roofing with precast concrete rafters and terra cotta tiles

Pitched roof construction that includes a composite set of materials, where instead of wood, reinforced concrete rafters are used. Wooden purlins are incorporated over them to support the terra cotta tiles. The tiles range from normal terra cotta tiles to skylight tiles which are glass fixtures in between the terra cotta tile for allowing light. Improvised and innovated upon from traditional roofing techniques. The site plan for this example accounts for the neo-urban model of using streets and semi private green spaces. This was enhanced by evolving a building language that was inspired from the vernacular forms of costal Tamil Nadu, with the concept of using transition spaces that are verandahs, sit outs and terraces as the living spaces with a cascade of shading roofs in terracotta tiles as the skyline. Materials used and their overall combined resultant is considered to be solar passive design.

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Roofing with steel truss and terracotta tiles

Pitched roof construction where a steel truss becomes the principle structural member and is used to develop the main frame of the building, over which wooden purlins are used for the terra cotta tiles to be laid.

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