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NIRDPR calls for Government buildings across the country to be built using Sustainable Construction Technologies

By   /  August 29, 2019  /  Comments Off on NIRDPR calls for Government buildings across the country to be built using Sustainable Construction Technologies

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Hyderabad,29th August 2019: National Institute of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj (NIRDPR) has called upon State and Central Governments to adopt Sustainable Construction Technologies to construct new Government Buildings such as Offices, Schools, Anganwadis, Panchayat Buildings and model Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) Houses across the country. Construction of government buildings using sustainable housing technologies across every block of the country will help in showcasing their durability and cost effectiveness which is not widely known due to lack of awareness on this aspect.

The Rural Technology Park of NIRDPR has established a ‘National Rural Building Center’ NRBC to bring together a range of cost-effective construction technologies with a variety of materials and technologies, which blend old and new techniques of construction. Its mandate is to serve as a skill development center on sustainable housing technologies which will impart knowledge and skills to the engineers and masons.

Further, the Institute has invited Gram Panchayats and functionaries across India to the campus where they can witness and learn about the low-cost sustainable construction technologies which can be further replicated and adapted in their respective villages. NIRDPR is also actively engaging with engineering and architecture colleges to promote sustainable construction technologies among the students and people living in the surrounding areas of these institutions.

The major advantages of Sustainable Construction Technologies include:

They are eco-friendly with a green building concept

These structures are erected using locally available resources and skills of local people

Cost of construction will be in the range of 25 – 40 per cent less than that of the cost with conventional construction at that particular place (variation of cost depends on the soil typology and locally available resources)

Sustainable technologies are also suitable for disaster-prone locations such as earthquake, cyclone and fire, among others

Reflecting on the importance of Sustainable Construction Technologies, Dr. Ramesh Sakthivel, Associate Professor and Head, Centre for Innovations and Appropriate Technology, NIRDPR, said, “In India, nearly 80 percent of the population lives in rural areas in about 5 to 6 lakhs villages. Conventional construction consumes enormous amounts of resources such as steel, cement, paint and energy, apart from the generation of over 80 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions to produce steel, cement, bricks and lime. The very high quantities of use of bricks will also lead to depletion of fertile top soils of the agricultural lands.”

Dr. Ramesh Sakthivel added,“It is in this context that use of sustainable building technologies can be beneficial to address the climate change and the depletion of precious natural resources which otherwise would continue to happen with the use of conventional building techniques and materials. Also, there is a considerable scope for reducing the massive energy requirements in the housing domain by using simple and cost-efficient sustainable housing technologies.”

NIRDPR has constructed over 40 sustainable construction technology components in the 15 typology houses constructed for demonstration purposes. All these structures are eco-friendly with a green building concept. The demonstration units also showcase the various model houses built using sustainable housing technologies for PMAY houses, panchayat buildings, and Anganwadi centres in the NRBC.

In addition, technical support to interested private parties and government building programmes are also being provided by NRBC. Training modules and publications on sustainable housing technologies have been prepared for promoting this concept. The efforts of NIRDPR are expected to enhance and meet the requirements of the housing needs of poor people in the rural areas at an affordable cost.

Promoting Entrepreneurship in Sustainable Construction

Enterprises supporting construction sector at the moment predominantly produce conventional construction materials only. There is an urgent need to create mechanisms for production of building materials which are required for promoting sustainable housing such as stabilised mud blocks, conical tiles and fly ash bricks, among others, so that these are locally available to the people and technicians involved in housing programmes.

As far as the PMAY rural housing programme is concerned, the panchayats play an important role by producing necessary sustainable building materials, not available in the market, through the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) and Rural Livelihood Missions while creating additional employment opportunities for rural people.  This aspect can be piloted in the model panchayats which are doing exemplary work across the country to arrive at a suitable mechanisms for scaling up.

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