ASPECTS OF SUSTAINABILITY ARE EMBEDDED IN ALL INITIATIVES OF THE GOI.

Cities
Host: BMPTC and TERI
Session 2 Day 3

  • A session on building efficient and sustainable cities was hosted at the India Pavilion on the 8th of November by BMPTC and TERI. The session saw good participation and discussion on topics related to efficient construction mechanism and technologies and interventions for better construction mangement.
  • India is at the brink of unprecedented economic, urban and demographic transitions. It is estimated that two-thirds of the commercial and high rise building stock in 2030 will be built in the next 15 years. The path dependency resulting from the long lifespans of these new buildings makes the risk carbon lock-in higher in India than anywhere else in the world.
  • Mr Sanjay Seth, Senior Fellow and Senior Director, TERI opened the agenda by setting the context about buildings that are central to India's development and climate change agenda, and this importance extends well beyond India's borders. India’s INDC under the Paris Agreement targets a 33% to 35% reduction in emissions intensity per GDP compared to 2005 by 2030. The Sustainable Development Goals Target 11.1 seeks to “By 2030, ensure access for all to adequate, safe and affordable housing and basic services and upgrade slums”.
  • Building at large are the biggest consumers of resources accounting for nearly 40 per cent of the carbon emissions. It is imperative that the interventions to streamline resource efficiencies in this sector are done considering the aspirations of the user group. Recalling the partnership with TERI, Mr Mark Radka, Chief Energy & Climate Branch, Economy Division, UN Environment emphasised that the technological and cultural solutions will have to be in sync with the fragmented building construction sector. While presenting specifically on the initiatives to mainstream sustainability and affordability in the built environment, Mr Sanjay Seth spoke of the challenges and the opportunities that the sector provided both in terms of technology and material interventions together with implications of cost related thereon.
  • BMTPC, Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, has been working to bring innovation and paradigm shift in prevailing construction practices to fast-track delivery of houses without compromising structural and functional requirements to support the endeavour of the Government of India. BMTPC initiated identifying, evaluating and certifying new emerging construction systems which can bring in speed, safety, and sustainability in the construction sector.
  • Prof. Rajat Gupta, Director, Oxford Brookes University mentioned about the MaS-SHIP initiative complementing the efforts of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs in their agenda of providing Sustainable Housing for All. Mainstreaming Sustainable Social Housing in India (MaS-SHIP) being implemented by the four consortium partners – the Oxford Brookes University (UK), The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), Development Alternatives and UN-Habitat. The objective of the project is to develop a Sustainability Index (SI) to enable selection of technologies on the basis of 15 attributes covering various aspects of sustainability, costs and social benefits.
  • Ms Megha Behal, Research Associate, TERI, emphasised the need for developing the Sustainability Index complemented with a Decision Support Tool to enable a comparative assessment of trade-offs between different green building materials and construction technologies. The underlying principles of the MaS-SHIP project would support building practitioners for providing evidence based solutions based on geography, climate, culture and economy.
  • Mr Santosh Kumar, Chief conservator of Forest, and Director, Environment & Renewable Energy, UT of Chandigarh presented a case study on Chandigarh as green, smart and solar city. His presentation highlighted various initiatives to showcase Chandigarh in the above light.
  • Summing up the discussions, Mr Sanjay Seth thanked all the panellists for their valuable insights. He concluded by saying that all of these initiatives would go a long way in demystifying the myth that ‘Sustainable is NOT Affordable’.

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