The amount of energy used in the housing space goes beyond what is needed to run it including the ecological footprint of the materials it is made of, and the resources needed to maintain them. The construction sector in India contributes to 24 percent of the country’s greenhouse gas emissions, and yet, we hardly ever hear sustainable housing come up in day-to-day conversations. If you’re wondering why we should be having this conversation at all, read on!
On March 24, 2021, Hardeep Puri, the Minister of Housing and Urban Affairs, said, “The Government of India has shortlisted six cities where 16,368 low-cost, sustainable, and disaster-resistant housing will be built as part of Light House Projects. As discussions and innovations around sustainability gain momentum, we are looking to expand our focus on affordable housing for economically marginalised communities. Schemes like Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojna (PMAY) already include energy-efficient technologies.”
Nirmita Chandrashekhar, the Design Program Manager at SELCO, talks about the work they are involved in. “SELCO runs sustainable projects by using recyclable materials and by cutting down on construction processes.”
Well, SELCO seems to have cracked the code to make sustainable, inclusive and accessible housing by paying attention to community needs both in terms of design and energy-efficiency.
Thus, talking about sustainable housing leads us to bigger questions: Can we really achieve our 2030 sustainable development goals with our present infrastructure? How can we make our housing affordable and sustainable? The answers may lie in our approach to implementing these projects so that our infrastructure is self-reliant, inclusive, and energy-efficient.
As SELCO’s efforts point out, efforts to combat climate change can change how we interact with the environment in our everyday lives and significantly improve living conditions.
Edited by Anjali Hans
Some resources to help you learn more about the sustainable housing: