NIRDPR, Green buildings, NRBC, Laurie Baker, Dr WR Reddy, HUDCO Design Award, IGBC Platinum, Sustainable Construction

NIRDPR Director General’s bungalow certified as an IGBC Platinum building

Leading by example, Dr Reddy promotes the construction of sustainable and green buildings

The National Institute of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj (NIRDPR) Director General’s bungalow has been certified as an IGBC Platinum-rated building. This rating is the highest one awarded under the rating system of ‘IGBC Green Homes Version 2 Certification’ for green buildings.

Inspired by cost-effective and eco-friendly technologies such as those of the renowned British-born Indian architect, Laurie Baker, and others, the Director General’s bungalow at NIRDPR was built using locally-sourced materials and features a traditional touch of a mud house typology.

Highlighting the unique aspects of this building, Dr WR Reddy, IAS, Director General, NIRDPR, said, “Promotion of these technologies can give a great fillip, not only for accelerating provision of shelter for all, through the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) and other schemes, but also motivate others to adopt greener methods to build homes. It also aims at making a bold statement in favour of these technologies that warrant the use of compressed stabilised mud blocks for walls, filler slab roofing, mud plastering, local stone flooring, bamboo for railings and partitions, pergolas, rainwater harvesting, wastewater treatment and recycling, solar energy harvesting, etc.”

The Director General’s bungalow has helped save a huge quantity of construction material and reduced the overall cost of construction. The bungalow also features low-embodied energy use.

The use of appropriate construction techniques and energy efficient material has reduced construction cost by 25%, 71% of embodied energy, 40% of carbon emission compared to a conventional building design of the same size, 20% of cement, 47% of steel and 30% of construction aggregate.

The building construction was completed in 2018. It is a two-floor villa with a total floor area of 4,950 sq-ft. The innovative and cost-effective design of the building has been widely recognised. For this achievement, NIRDPR was presented with the HUDCO Design Award last year.

NIRDPR has been promoting eco-friendly and sustainable building techniques in the housing sector through National Rural Building Centre (NRBC). This centre has been established in the Rural Technology Park (RTP) of NIRDPR to demonstrate and promote various cost-effective and appropriate technologies for the housing needs in different parts of the country with a variety of local materials, that blends the old and the new techniques of construction.

Further, Dr Reddy added, “In NRBC projects, technologies utilise locally available resources and skills of the people. The construction cost is usually in the range of 25% to 40% lower than the cost of buildings built with conventional construction methods, varying as per the place, soil typology, local conditions and technologies adopted.”

The ever-increasing demand for housing and other infrastructure needs in the country necessitates the use of appropriate, environment-friendly and cost-effective technologies in construction, which have not become popular yet and are not adopted widely by people. Popularising it would entail, creating more demonstration buildings, effective transfer of technology, training of artisans, production of elements, creating awareness and construction guidance, among others.

Apart from reduced capital cost, these buildings will also reduce the recurring cost through better thermal comforts. Widespread adoption of these technologies across the country can slow down the adverse effects of climate change and its consequences. Creation of this marvel, showcasing different cost-effective and appropriate housing technologies, will prove to be useful for all people, both rural and urban, and solve the housing problems in the country and protect the environment.

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