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Bhutanese Houses
Village Houses
Punakha Valley
Village houses are not built of the same material all over the country. While the western region favors compressed earth (mud) for the walls, the central and eastern regions use stones.

In eastern Bhutan, bamboo is an important raw material for any construction. In southern Bhutan, houses have mud walls with thatched roofs. However, houses all over the country display distinctive uniform features: rectangular shape, two or three stories high, upper floors almost totally made of a framework of wood and plastered bamboo panels, pitched roof and trefoil shaped windows.

The upper floor is used as living quarters and private chapels while the lower floor is used mainly for keeping domestic animals and for storage.

During the past twenty years, the design and structure of the Bhutanese architecture have changed, especially in urban areas due to the availability of new materials like cement, steel rods, metal sheets and slates as well as due to the change of purpose of the buildings.

In urban houses, the ground floor these days is often used for shops. However, the traditional features of architecture have been maintained. As for the rural houses, they have improved tremendously. Glass paneled windows, smokeless stoves and improved latrines are becoming more common; painted designs are applied more and more lavishly; and the roofs are made of corrugated metal. As with the dzongs, the rural houses also contribute in giving the landscape in Bhutan its charm and uniqueness.

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