Hyderabad: National Institute of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj (NIRDPR) is hosting an International Training Programme on ‘Planning and Management of Housing Programmes’ for participants from 13 Developing Countries. Being sponsored by the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India, under ‘Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation’ initiative, this month-long training programme is being attended by 22 participants from Africa, Middle East, North America and Asia.
As part of this training program, a panel discussion was organised in the Institute on Friday (17th January 2020) to identify strategies to promote sustainable housing technologies and encourage affordable and climate resilient habitations and villages in India.
The group called for taking urgent steps on the growing climate change concerns due to the increasing unsustainable construction technologies and life style practices being adopted in the housing sector. The eminent members who participated in the panel discussion include Mr. V. Suresh, Chairman, Indian Green Building Council (IGBC), Prof. Eugene Pandala, Eminent Architect, Er.Kondal Rao, Former Engineering-in-Chief, Andhra Pradesh state in the presence of Dr WR Reddy Director General NIRDPR and others.
Speaking during the discussion, Mr. V. Suresh, Chairman, Indian Green Building Council (IGBC) emphasized the importance of incorporating green building measures such as use of appropriate energy efficient construction materials and adoption of efficient water, sanitation and energy management practices in buildings to ensure promotion of climate resilient habitations and villages.
Some of the recommendations which came up from the discussions on promotion of sustainable housing technologies include:
Ø providing special incentives to house owners who are constructing houses using these technologies,
Ø higher allocation of design and supervision fees for projects incorporating sustainable technologies, setting up effective sustainable technology demonstration buildings across the country for creating awareness, and
Ø incorporating sustainable housing technology practices in the specification of works and schedule of rates being followed by the government departments.
Speaking on reducing co2 emissions, Prof. Eugene Pandala, Eminent Architect, stressed the need for taking steps to reduce the huge quantities of Co2 emission emitted from urban areas due to improper housing design, use of conventional materials and unsustainable life style practices being adopted by a relatively small number of urban population.
In the discussions, the members raised deep concerns over the lack of awareness on the sustainable housing technologies among majority of the architects and engineers due to lack of a strong focus on this aspect in the curriculum of universities and colleges offering architecture and civil engineering.
Prof. Eugene Pandala also highlighted the need for governments to take proactive steps for promoting cost effective and sustainable buildings which would set positive examples and provide awareness and confidence among the general public on these technologies.
It was also opined that steps such as undertaking series of talks to create awareness by the experts engaged in promoting green and sustainable buildings and developing documentaries on the potential measures which can be adopted to reduce the impact of climate change through best practices in the housing sector must be widely undertaken.
In his concluding remarks, Dr. W.R. Reddy IAS, Director-General, NIRDPR, raised concerns over the lack of wider thrust on this aspect and urged various Government departments involved in construction of buildings to take proactive steps to incorporate sustainable building designs and use of appropriate materials in order to effectively mitigate the challenges being posed due to the impact of climate change.
Also, starting a national network to create awareness and mass movement on sustainable housing technologies was also recommended.