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Study of Appropriateness of Cost-Effective Building Construction Technologies in Hous


As housing demand in India is continuously growing, different government schemes are being implemented to cater to the need of mass housing for the poor and lower income group people. Use of appropriate Costeffective Eco-friendly Construction Technologies (CECT) in housing sector in India has the potential to be the most appropriate in terms of economy and acceptability. The reduced cost of building, enhancement of comfort level and non-compromise on safety may establish appropriateness of CECT, which will also act as a market force and demand for such technologies is expected to grow-up. Previously the appropriateness of CECT in Indian context was never explored. This paper studied the acceptability and adaptability potential of different CECTs through field survey, literature study and technical calculations and tried to find out the most appropriate one among those.


In order to meet growing demand of housing, government of India has planned to provide shelter for every shelter-less people and also to build disaster-resistant housing in rural and urban areas. Different government schemes of mass housing are being implemented to cater to the need of housing. In India the buildings constructed under mass housing schemes are all low-energy buildings.
As per the Census reports of India and other reports by different Government Departments, the house types are gradually transforming to Permanent (“Pucca” Houses – in which the walls and roof of which are made of permanent material) and Semi Permanent (“Semi Pucca Houses” – in which either the walls or the roof is made of permanent material) types from Temporary (“Kutcha Houses” - in which both the walls and roof are made of materials that needs to be replaced frequently) in both rural and urban areas. “Report of Technical Group on Urban Housing Shortage (TG-12) (2012-2017)” prepared by the National Building Organisation of India (2012) is the latest document available in this subject which have thoroughly investigated through primary survey, the rural to urban shift of labour resulting in shortage of dwelling houses in urban areas of India – particularly in the Lower Income Group (LIG) and Economically Weaker Section (EWS) segment. Draft prepared in 2012 by the Working Group on Rural Housing for XII Five Year Plan, 2011, Ministry of Rural Development, Govt. of India, has provided a detailed study and analysis on housing shortage in rural areas. Need of introduction and use of eco-friendly and cost-effective housing technologies were included in the document
under clause 5.3.1(iii).

Indira Awaas Yojna – one of the flagship rural housing schemes, was launched in 1985-86 and guidelines were revised time-to-time with the latest issued in 2012. In its introduction, the objective of the scheme was stated as “upgradation of unserviceable kutcha houses”. In the same chapter emphasis was given on “use of cost affective, disaster resistant and environment friendly technologies in rural housing”. The following figures may be taken into consideration to assess housing shortage in India during its 12th Five Year Plan (2012-2017):

(i) Housing shortage in Urban Areas as assessed by Technical Group on Urban Housing Shortage of National Building Organization-18.78 million units of which 95.62% i.e. 17.96 millions belongs to Economically Weaker section and Low Income Group families.

(ii) Housing shortage in Rural Areas as assessed by Working Group on Rural Housing, Ministry of Rural Development, Govt. of India for the 12th Five Year Plan-48.81 million units of which 90% i.e. 43.93 million belongs to Below Poverty Level families.The trend of conversion from Temporary to Permanent or SemiPermanent structures is likely to continue in view of economic upliftment of common people and different government schemes on providing durable shelters to people of economically weaker section and lower income group. It is expected that large no. of buildings with
durable and easily available conventional materials like brick, sand, cement, steel reinforcement etc. will be constructed in near future and demand of such building materials will shoot up. About 61.89 million
units of residential houses for Economically Weaker Section and Low Income Group families will be constructed by 2017 to fulfill the declaration of “Housing for All” by the Government of India under the National Housing and Habitat Policy 1998. If the said 61.89 million housing units have a minimum area of 25 square meters as per the standards of Indira Awaas Yojna scheme, a total of 1547.25 million square meter of built-up space is likely to be constructed by 2017. As per Indian Standards, the peripheral and main load-bearing masonry walls of any permanent building should be of
thickness not less than 230 mm (one brick thickness). Considering the growing concern about safety, quality and comfort, we may consider that that buildings will be built with masonry wall and R.C.C. roof to ensure durability, fulfill peoples’ perception and meet with the provisions in the Indian Standard Codes. Use of Cost-effective Eco-friendly Construction Technologies (CECT) to construct safe, durable, comfortable houses can bring down the cost of construction by reducing use of energy-consuming building materials. The cost of building which is expected to be reduced with adoption of CECT may also act as a market force and consequently demand for cost-effective technologies would grow-up. The scope of the study is to examine, through field survey, literature review and computation, an appropriate CECT that will be acceptable by common people of India.

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