The habitat team conducted an online self-paced training on New Vaastu: Designing Sustainable Habitats in a post pandemic world. The online training was designed to enable participants to understand the functioning of all natural elements as they come together to create a sustainable habitat and reduce disease burden in our buildings amidst the ongoing pandemic. These ‘New Vaastu’ principles that we refer to, help in reduction of resource footprint in the built environment, and enhance occupant thermal comfort with each of the four modules tackling a separate theme:
Module1: Health and Wellbeing in the built environment: Discusses the challenges of the built environment that were brought to the surface by the COVID-19 pandemic and how the built environment plays a part in reducing disease burden and improving the overall wellbeing of the occupant.
Module 2: Ecology and closing the resource loop: Understanding ecological cycles and the need for closing the resource loop in our buildings.
Module 3: Passive Energies: The module focuses on understanding how natural elements – sun, wind, water etc. all play a part in achieving energy efficiency and comfort for the occupant of a building by using passive techniques.
Module 4: Understanding the old and the new principles: The module looks into the traditional design/ building principles and materials in comparison to modern building codes that govern the built environment.
The participants- 45 in total were spread around the globe with participation from India, Canada, Slovenia, Belgium, Australia and the United States. This group represents an interesting mixture of different professions such as architects, educators, engineers, planners, urban designers, students of the built environment, freelancers and other professionals bringing in their unique perspective to the training.
The training was carried out on the moodle platforms with a combination of pre-recorded sessions, reading materials and live lectures. Each module was supported by either individual or group exercises/quiz to be able to get an assessment of the knowledge and learning of the participants. The training is based on a self-paced platform as was requested by multiple participants so that it allows them to carry on with the course material and exercises at their own pace.