Training on Guiding self-built housing for thermal comfort and sustainability at AAETI

The habitat team conducted a training on the topic of ‘Guiding self-built housing for thermal comfort and sustainability’. The training held at AAETI from 28th to 31st March, 2022 was attended by 23 participants comprising of government construction bodies, academia, scientist from Central Building Research Institute, researchers and practitioners.

Day one of the training introduced participants to the issues of sustainability in the built environment followed by how these issues have been dealt with in the past with traditional design principles and wisdom. The day culminated in understanding how self-built housing is a huge and dynamic market and the levers that can be used to deal with the challenges in the sector.

The next day began with understanding the current status of affordable housing in the country and the material penetration in the recently developed housing stock. This was followed by an interactive exercise with the participants in which they
role-played as contemporary building materials. The second half of the day introduced human thermal comfort and the multiple aspects that govern it. The next session covered a detailed understanding of the Eco-Niwas Samhita (Energy efficiency code for residential buildings in India) followed by a case study of the AAETI campus and its green features.

Day 3 began with CSE’s intensive research in traditional construction technologies in rural West Bengal, Karnataka and Odisha and the reasons for the transition from these technologies to ‘concretization’. The next sessions were taken up by multiple building practitioners/architects and facility managers who are working in reviving traditional technologies and utilizing them into contemporary buildings. These included questions and answer sessions from the audience with the speaker. Post this, the audience was divided into groups and a field visit to the nearby Neemli village was conducted to understand the local construction technologies, how they affect thermal comfort and the reasons for the transformation of these technologies to less sustainable material choices.

The last day had a session on how traditional construction technologies behave in terms of providing thermal comfort to the inhabitants. This was followed by presentations from the participant groups on their understanding of the Neemli village site visit and the solutions of the issues they understood.