GBPN in partnership with Ashok B Lall Architects (ABLA) and Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI), has conducted extensive research to identify methods to improve thermal comfort in affordable homes without increasing costs. An MoU has now been signed with a local builder to pilot the research findings as part of the Healthy Affordable Homes project in India. 

The MoU with Avenue Realty will help them achieve thermal comfort ambitions for their upcoming affordable housing developmental projects in Ahmedabad, Gujarat. This is the first of a number of pilots GBPN hopes to support in 2023 to inform the upgrading of ventilation standards in India’s building code. 

The MoU is part of a broader partnership to pilot healthy affordable homes in Gujarat and will support developers with practical guidelines that they want to test. It is anticipated that the pilot will be expanded to include multiple regions across India as a demonstration of simple ways to introduce sustainable design, affordably. 

Mr Nilesh Bhalala, Owner, Avenue Realty said that he was happy to be part of the team working towards such an important goal for India.

“Working with GBPN has helped us understand how little changes in building design can have a large impact on the environment. We have been doing certain activities for the environment and sustainability. This project has helped me link my passion to my profession,” said Mr Bhalala. 

“It looks a little tough to construct sustainable and energy-efficient buildings for the affordable segment where parameters like cost, area, quality etc all need to be calculated and linked to sales. We are looking for little changes in the development, as substantial changes cannot work due to cost factors. 

“With projects like the current one, we can make the customer aware of the importance of energy-efficient buildings. We are hoping that with such projects energy-efficient specifications will become a trend.”

Designing for Healthy Buildings  

GBPN Project Consultant, Maaz Dixit said the partnership would enable the developer to access expert advice on sustainable design, specifically tailored to their own project. 

Ashok B Lall Architects and the Public Health Foundation of India will analyse the current design of the selected building projects of Avenue Realty and propose a list of recommendations for healthy building design standards through Design Charrettes,”  Ms Dixit said. 

“Inputs and feedback will be prepared before the organising of the design charrette. The final measures that are incorporated in the design will be detailed in a thorough report on healthy building design decisions and shared with the developers.”

She said the process was already underway.

“The first Design Charrette discussion was successfully completed immediately after the signing of MoU in the presence of ABLA team and the Developer team. The developer had shared a positive interest in adapting to the proposed recommendations,” Ms Dixit said. 

Proposed recommendations Avenue Realty has expressed interest in implementing include:

  • Openable ventilators for cross ventilation
  • Energy-efficient fans in all rooms
  • Light-coloured floor finishes for maximum daylight advantage 
  • Energy efficient LED lights. 

The MoU will test the research findings of GBPN’s Healthy Affordable Homes project in India and assess their efficacy in a practical implementation environment.