Training on Livable, Inclusive and Healthy Housing

A training programme on Livable, Inclusive and Healthy Housing was conducted from 23rd to 25th March 2021 at Anil Agarwal Environmental Training Institute (AAETI – School of Habitat) with over 24 keen participants. They were from diverse professions and age groups such as, practicing architects, research scholars, faculty members, students, and government officials. The training programme was aimed at bringing the stakeholders together and sensitizes them on livability, inclusivity and other aspects of sustainability in context of affordable housing to the target stakeholders of the housing sector.

Day 1: Rajneesh Sareen inaugurated and commenced the programme and introduced CSE and AAETI to the participants. This was followed by an ice-breaking session, where the participants were asked to put forth their expectations from the training programme and name a few topics related to the training programme) of their keen interest. The tone for the training was set by Anumita Roychowdhury. She deliberated on pressing issues faced by the world today such as pollution, extreme weather events, climate risk, public heath emergencies like the COVID-19 pandemic and so on. She brought in picture the need to think of a new approach towards planning and designing of habitat in the post-pandemic times. The discussion was further rescaled to Indian context specifically to the housing sector by Rajneesh Sareen. He explained the interlinkages between thermal comfort, resource efficiency, livability, and health.

Anannya Das stressed on the need for accessibility and explained the indicators to evaluate the same. This was followed by a group exercise. The day concluded with a case study and tour during which the live demonstration of green features of AAETI was given by Sugeet Grover. 

Day 2: Mitashi Singh started the day by giving an overview about the current housing demand estimation methods to the participants. She also elaborated on the challenges associated with the housing demand assessment methods opportunities of improvement associated with them. She futher spoke about planning prerogatives for affordable housing such as the location, mobility and access to basic services. She delineated the fundamentals of a self-sufficient neighbourhood, access and its impact on affordability. She concluded her session with a group exercise on understanding access to determine appropriate locations for affordable housing.

This was followed by a session on environmental regulations and safeguards by Rajneesh Sareen. He elaborated on environmental clearance procedure for neighbourhoods and case studies were discussed involving linear projects. In his session he introduced conservation practices to be kept in mind while planning and designing a project such as retaining the natural topography, rainwater harvesting systems, nature based solutions for water and waste management among others. 

Day 3: Prathama Dolas kicked off with a session on basics of solar photovoltaic systems. She explained the various system types, their components, respective losses, and the design parameters to be considered. Further, she explained the participants about thermal comfort and its importance. To bring in more clarity, she presented a case study of enhancing thermal comfort in an affordable housing project. The last session of the training was focused on understanding the attributes of India Cooling Action Plan, Urban Heat Island Effect and thermal comfort. Sugeet Grover introduced CSE’s methodology to evaluate thermal performance of mass housing. During the session he touched upon the Eco Niwas Samhita, role of building physics in enhancing thermal comfort and material properties and their impact on thermal comfort. 

The participants enjoyed their stay at AAETI amidst the Aravallis and also enjoyed the lectures and the hands-on exercises conducted. They expressed that not only the content but also the fruitful exchange of dialogues during the in-class sessions enhanced their subject understanding even more.