Training on Sustainable building design processes conducted at AAETI

The first session of the day was dedicated to introducing the Anil Aggarwal Environment Training Institute campus and how it is designed for low impact development, right from the campus planning being derived from the site’s natural topography right up to its resource efficient fixtures. This set the tone for the upcoming sessions, the following session introduced participants to the challenges of urbanisation keeping in context the sustainable development goals and the national targets as well as an introduction to Environmental Impact Assessment which is a major environmental safeguard for the built sector in the country.

Th next day began with introducing participants to the various building codes and rating systems that exist in the sector. The following session focussed on the ‘transforming housing sector in India’ where the different aspects and learnings from CSE’s research in affordable housing sector were presented to the audience. First half of the day concluded with sessions on resource efficient and climate-resilient designing of cities, neighbourhoods and buildings followed by individual calculation-based exercises. The next half began with introduction to GIS based modelling to identify urban heat spots for the city of Mumbai and how the changes in terms of urban geometry, form and blue and green infrastructure have contributed towards it. The next few sessions were dedicated towards optimising the third skin (building envelope and micro climate) by understanding thermal comfort and building physics in detail.

The third day began with a walking tour of the AAETI in order to demonstrate its green features with special emphasis on the mechanical low-energy-consuming cooling systems present in the campus. This was followed by a session on the effect that lifestyle and consumption choices have on issues of sustainability and built environment, The post lunch session was followed by a hands-on simulation exercise where participants learnt to optimize their interior daylighting by manipulating window sizes, shading devices and interior surface conditions. The last few sessions focussed on the role played by building materials and different elements of building envelope in achieving thermal comfort and energy efficiency. This was supported by example from CSE’s research in Telangana on thermal comfort and daylighting in affordable housing.

On the last day, the knowledge gained throughout the previous three days was used by the participants in understanding of the Eco-Niwas Samhita code which is India’s energy efficiency-thermal comfort code for residential sector. The participants were introduced to the calculations that are involved in making a housing project adhere to Eco Niwas Samhita. In the end, participants were presented with CSE’s latest research on self-built housing, where CSE documented natural material construction technologies in rural West Bengal and Odisha and the reasons for the transition from these technologies to ‘concretization’.