Training on Guiding self-built housing towards sustainability and thermal comfort

The habitat team conducted a training on the theme of Guiding self-built housing towards sustainability and thermal comfort from 12th to 15th July, 2022, at AAETI. Around 25 participants have attended the training, which included faculties, research scholars and government officials . Interns from CSE, had also joined the training programme during their site visit.

The first day focussed on the topic of "Policies and challenges in sustainable built-environment, human thermal comfort."  It began with Mr. Rajnessh Sareen, introducing the participants to the issues of sustainability in the built environment, which was followed by lectures by Ms.Mitashi Singh, Mr. Sugeet Grover and Dr, Mainak Gosh on policy levers, factors of thermal comfort and challenges of using traditional materials.  The day concluded with a case study walk of CSE’s Anil Agarwal Environment Training Institute (AAETI) that brings multiple aspects of sustainable site planning and microclimate designing.

The sessions on the second day focussed on the "Materials in self-built housing and their transformation" which started with Ms Sakshi Nathani's session on embodied energy, followed by sessions on government initiatives that promote alternate construction and  CSE's research on self built housing technologies in West Bengal and Odisha, fiscal dynamics of the same and the material penetration and demand for sustainable materials, by Mr. Sugeet Grover, Mrs. Mitashi Singh and Mr. Harikrishnan C U. The day concluded with site visits  where participants were divided into groups to carry out the exercise  for the identification of local homogenous and heterogenous construction technologies, their resource mapping, factors of thermal comfort and  the reasons for the transformation of these technologies to less sustainable material choices.

Third day focussed on the "Technical know-how on traditional and hybrid technologies". Sessions were conducted on the same by Mr Nisar Khan who took a session on new challenges posed by climate change on the built environment with a case study of Ladakh, and professionals such as Mr Laurent Fournier who is involved in the development of hybrid and alternative building technologies. The session by Ms. Shagun Singh, explored modern natural building techniques and their applications according to geoclimatic factors and limitations which was followed by a practical demonstration of soil based techniques.This was followed by a session on other natural building techniques that have been documented as part of CSE's research in Odisha and West Bengal, by Mr. Harikrishnan and the day concluded with a site visit to a man-made earthen water conservation structure.

The fourth and last day had a session on material thermal properties by Mr. Sugeet Grover and a concluding session by Mr. Rajneesh Sareen, followed by the presentations on the exercises carried out by the participant groups on their understanding of homogenous and heterogenous technologies and their resource mapping from the site visits."