Orientation Workshop on Greening Architecture Education

New Delhi, Dec 22, 2015

The Sustainable Buildings and Habitat Programme organised a one day workshop on ‘Greening architecture education’ at Casuarina Hall, India Habitat Centre, New Delhi on December 22, 2015. This was a gathering of selected 50 odd professionals from building professions and faculties of architecture institutions in India. The objective is to support green building and habitat movement to reduce the resource impacts of new construction in cities. This is a new area of governance that can be taken on if India is able to build a new cadre of architects and professionals exposed to the new science and techniques related to new approaches to passive and low energy architecture, sustainable material, building orientation and design, less water intensive structures, reuse and recycling of construction and demolition waste and techniques of assessing energy and resource aspects of building operations. The primary purpose to bring sustainable courses in undergraduate programme is to educate students towards a sustainable development in the profession of architecture. An undergraduate program is committed to maintaining diversity of course offerings that allow institutes to undertake courses as per their choice, at a range of scales from art and aesthetic to building technologies.  For this, green integrated curriculum need to be introduced to facilitate and encourage students and designers to play a bigger role in ensuring that their buildings are not contributing to the negative effects of globalization with the creation of a sustainable built environment in mind. It encourages the adoption of green building design and technologies to improve buildings energy efficiency and reduce negative environmental impacts like carbon emission. It was a specialized workshop designed to help faculties in developing and providing a platform for exploring new approaches to sustainable architecture education.

The workshop was started with Anumita RoyChowdhury and Inderjit Ahuja giving thematic overview of sustainability and green buildings. Ms Anumita RoyChowdhury gave ideas about sustainability and concepts of green buildings. The presentation provided an overview of issues concerning urbanization, building construction and energy use with a special focus on developmental challenges in building sectors. . She highlighted the fact that the India has still to build 70 per cent of its building stock which will be there in 2030. Pointing out that we have great opportunity to develop differently and be more sustainable.

The formal presentation by Inderjit Ahuja, have presented the significance of paper ‘Greening architecture education’ and highlighted findings of architecture curriculum scenario in India and suggested a model curriculum reflecting a more holistic approach to education under the banner of environmental education, and teaching of sustainable architecture. Later the first session was finished by Mr. Rajesh Dongre, representative from Council of architecture, who discussed challenges of executing green education in India and suggested ways to enhance architecture curriculum. He also explored sustainability’s relation to architecture education in an undergraduate curriculum and aims at reviewing the essence of sustainable education, highlighting its different approaches and analyzing transformation process of undergraduate architecture education for sustainable development.

The first session was followed by the technical sessions on ‘Resource efficiency in buildings’ and had presentations on building energy efficiency, resource efficiency, building services design, structural design for safe and sustainable buildings and green affordable housing. We invited eminent speakers’ like Mr. S.C. Mehrotra, past president, Indian association for structural engineers; and Architect Ashok Lall for sharing their experience and suggestions on integrating and strengthen present syllabus of architecture in terms of sustainability.

The workshop presentations followed by Q & A sessions reflects upon professionals views on adoption of sustainable courses in to the architectural curriculum. This open forum session also discussed teaching methods, support from stakeholders like Council of Architecture for promoting green architecture curriculum and how institutions can contribute towards this.


After day long discussion and experience sharing it was concluded that one of the strategies has been to include green design in a curriculum that would ensure to improve the architectural education. Green architecture education is an important paradigmatic shift for contemporary architecture education, in view of growing concerns for Energy Efficiency (EE) and Green House Gas (GHG) emissions attributed to the building industry. With buildings accounting for about half of global energy consumption: for construction, operation and decommissioning, and making a major contribution to greenhouse gas emissions, it is essential that this be acknowledged as a key part of architecture practice and education. There is therefore a need to reconsider the sustainability education that the architect receives. This inference can be drawn from the fact that deficiencies in educational curriculum have been identified as the bane of sustainable development. Today’s architecture students will be tomorrow’s architects and design professionals. The student perspective provides valuable insight and vision to be leveraged into measureable results.  Students need a high level of green education if they are going to change the nature and practices of the industry when they enter the professions. The concern is that when the student enters industry they may be swayed by industry practices, and effectively ignore the knowledge that they have acquired about environmental damage caused by construction work. Their attitudes and behavior may begin to conform to existing industry practices. One of the most important influences on behavior is attitude that in turn is influenced by education. So idea of green education is to change attitudes that will in turn change behavior as education is generally perceived to be the most important factor in forming attitudes.

For more details, please contact:

Inderjit Ahuja
Deputy Programme Manager
Sustainable Buildings and Habitat Programme,
Centre for Science and Environment,
41, Tughlakabad Institutional Area, New Delhi - 110062 
Office: +91-11-29955124 +91-11-29955124, 29956110, 40616000 (222)
Fax: +91-11-29955879