Increasing population along with the paid urbanization has led to a significant shortfall of housing in the country. The housing shortage for 2012-17 is estimated to be 18.78 million units in the urban areas and 43.90 million units in the rural areas (Goyal, 2014; NBO, 2012). The residents in Lower Income Group (LIG), and Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) are facing more than 95 percent of the urban housing shortage. Similarly, below poverty line (BPL) resident are facing more than 90 percent of the rural housing shortage. Hence, affordable housing has been of the paramount importance to the policy makers of the country (NHB, 2015).

Over the past decades, India has adopted multiple policies at the central, state and Urban Local Bodies (ULB) levels to deliver affordable housing to LIG, EWS, and BPL residents (Sarkar, Dhavalikar, Agrawal, & Morris, 2016). More recently, Government of India (GOI) proposed several ambitious schemes to address the housing shortage in the country. They include Housing for all (Urban) by 2022 Mission, Atal Mission for Rejuventiion and Urban Transformation (AMRUT), and Smart Cities (Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation Government of India, 2015; NHB, 2015,

Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) offered capital subsidy incentives for purchase and installation of solar water heating and solar lighting equipment in house.

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Design Philosophy

Better housing enhances the equality of life of the resident and leads to higher productivity as well as income generating capabilities. Hence, the affordable housing design should aim to provide a healthy and comfortable environment to the residents. The design philosophy of affordable housing should incorporate key performance metrics such as indoor air quality, thermal comfort, and energy performance index (energy use per unit area of the house.

Design Approach

Energy-efficient buildings are typically designed using one of the two approaches – prescriptive-driven of performancedriven. Prescriptive approach specifies requirements for each building components. The builders, developers, or designers can choose the most suitable option from the possible combinations to design and construct the building.

Definition of Thermal Comfort for India

A comprehensive research study, India Model for Adaptive Comfort (IMAC), indicates that Indians can be comfortable at higher temperatures and wider temperatures bands than those prescribed by the international standards (Manu, Shukla, Rawal, Thomas, & Dear, 2016). Recently, NBC and ECBC 2016 have also incorporated IMACas a design method of the new buildings. IMAC provides an opportunity to design houses with broader temperature bands and design suitable active and passive technologies to achieve the same.

Efficient Envelope

The envelope of the affordable housing should be designed to minimize the heat gain inside the building. High reflectance roof (also known as the cool roof) is one of the cost-effective technologies to reject solar radiation falling on the building.

Further, wall, window, and roof materials with the higher thermal resistance (lower thermal conductance), commonly known as R-value, will significantly reduce heat gain inside the building. The Higher thermal capacity of the roof and wall materials commonly known as the thermal mass further dampens and delays heat gain inside the building.

External Shading Devices

External shading devices, fixed or movable, can be a very cost-effective approach for affordable housing to reduce direct solar radiation and heat gain from the windows. Traditional buildings often incorporate fixed external shadings (awnings and overhangs) in their design. However, the use of movable external shading devices (external louvers) is relatively new in the Indian context.

Ventilative Cooling

The primary purpose of the ventilation is to maintain indoor air quality in the buildings. However, the well-designed ventilation can also use outdoor air to provide space cooling whenever the environmental conditions are favorable.

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Courtesy: Yojana