Rural Housing Development Program
Chitrawad, Gujarat, India
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Location:
Chitrawad, Gujarat, India
Category:
housing
Phase:
under construction
Updated:
12 August 2021
Aga Khan Agency for Habitat improves built environment through community-led participatory housing programs with following features
· Disaster-resilient design, construction, repairs through capacity building of masons and awareness in communities
· Access to green homes based on vernacular, passive design, using low embodied energy local material, and resource efficiency
·Reduce risks to natural disasters with nature-based solutions and innovations
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Introduction
Saurashtra in Gujarat has 10 districts and forms a rocky tableland fringed by coastal plains and the Arabian Sea in the south and undulating plains broken by hills in the center. Due to its siting upon sedimentary rocks and volcanic rocks, Saurashtra is prone to earthquakes of MSK VII, cyclones, and high wind speeds. Multiple disasters like Bhuj earthquake to the devastating cyclones have exposed the vulnerability in the habitats. With the last known habitat for the Asiatic lion situated here, Southern Saurashtra needs to lead the way in green development. Some critical reasons resulting in the vulnerability in the built habitat were identified as:
· Non-engineered structures built with poor quality materials seen in rural and semi-urban settlements. Inadequate enforcement of codes in smaller settlements both urban and rural.
· Lack of awareness of natural hazards and emerging risks due to new construction practices. 
· Lack of knowledge in resilient construction methodology in local engineers and contractors
· Lack of awareness of the sensitive ecosystem which has seen huge impacts of unregulated concrete construction.
The Aga Khan Agency for Habitat (AKAH) initiated this participatory rural housing development process to incorporate requirements of the community by enhancing the design with bioclimatic and resilience principles that made the houses thermally comfortable and ensuring safety with earthquake-resilient structural details and quality construction standards.
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Impact
AKAH's housing program has met the objectives of successful housing, which is to be socially and culturally valid, economically affordable to the majority, healthy for occupants with minimum maintenance.  Training of masons to promote safe disaster resilient construction practices through on the job learning under the technical supervision of AKAH, enabling capacity enhancement of the service providers. Low-income rural families living in highly vulnerable houses, unable to afford the cost of construction or repair of houses were provided support in accessing finance for the resilience features of the housing.

House as a tool has helped promote sustainable development and living practices which focuses on empowering people through awareness and building identity and dignity for the excluded. Safe house and sustainable habitat are a medium to generate opportunities for future and an important medium of the village.

The program reached out to over 150 families in 13 settlements ensuring safe, secure, and healthy habitat. The reconstructed houses are a haven for the community ensuring save lives during earthquakes and cyclones. Safe and quality housing is a lifelong asset for families that rely on agriculture. 

Over 100 masons and contractors, plumbers, electricians, and others have been trained in safe construction practice. While the training has enhanced the income of masons’, they are an asset to the community as they continue to build resilient homes. Rural communities are now aware of the importance of improved habitat and sustainable living practices.
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Core team
The Aga Khan Agency for Habitat, India, a non-profit organization based in Mumbai has been working with the community starting with building sanitation units since 2004. Since then we have built rapport with the community and from 2015 the following experts execute the program:
1. Head of Department, Sucharita Roy with over 15 years of experience and a degree in architecture & urban planning, provides oversight and planning of the program’s objectives and budgets.  
2. Architect Sana Dharani with over 7 years of experience in housing and a master’s in Environmental Architecture, provides technical review to ensure the design meets the standards of the national building code (NBC) of India and provides working drawings.
3. Structural Engineers Mahmadfiroj Kureshi and Zubair Shaikh with over 15 years of experience in structural design and construction monitoring provide structural drawings that comply with seismic resilient codes and quality assurance & quality control.  
4. Project Manager – Harsukh Solanki with a Diploma in Civil Engineering and over 10 years of experience in working as project manager for community-led sanitation and housing projects, manages the participatory design and construction process on-field, and leads the team of mobilizers and supervisors.
5. Community Mobiliser – Masur Wadsariya with over 20 years of experience in working with the community for documentation, ensuring savings for the reconstruction & access to finance.
6. Site Supervisors – Malik Mithani and Bhavesh Bamaniya with over 5 years of experience ensure monitoring of construction and reporting.
Core Team of RHDP

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Image gallery
Components of RHDP

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Site Context 2

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Site context

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Step 1 RHDP

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Step 1 RHDP

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Step 1 RHDP

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Mason Training 1

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Mason training process 1

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Mason training process 2

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Mason training process 3

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Green Home principles

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Design Process

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Design process 1

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Design Process 2

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Community Participation

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Process for Social Resilience

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Social principles 1

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Social Principles 2

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Site Context 2

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Case Study 2

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Technical drawings
Process of Reconstruction

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Construction management

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Selection of Material

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Project 1

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Project 2

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Project 3

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Project 4

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Project 5

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Resilient Construction Features

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Quality assurance Quality Control

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Construction management

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Lintel Level Band

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Structural details 1

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structural details 2

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Structural Detail 3

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Working Drawing

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standard details

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Energy Savings_Edge Assessment

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Water Savings_Edge Assessment

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Material Savings_Edge Assessment

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Where are we now
Over the last 5 years, AKAH has provided technical support for over 150 houses and trained over 100 service providers at the Habitat Resource Center established for the purpose.  With an average cost of green affordable housing at 5500 Euros per house, there is an opportunity and need to develop a green finance support to encourage scaling up of for the vulnerable who bear the biggest burden of climate change. There is also needed to develop collaborative partnerships with green material suppliers to make large transformations where it is needed most. 
An indication of our team’s capacity:
50% funding already raised
100% expertise already found
100% materials / equipment already found
100% builders already found
Finance: € 200,000
With a 50% beneficiary component, each house requires a subsidy of 50% on construction cost that is 4000 euros per house. AKAH can provide technical support to build 50 Green houses each year.
Demonstration is a powerful tool for training, raising awareness, and increasing outreach for green affordable housing. AKAH proposes to engage in the demonstration of green affordable housing in 50 cyclone-prone, seismically vulnerable settlements around the Gir National Park.

Training of professionals and service providers in sustainable construction practices and emission mapping in construction to influence the larger built environment.
  • 30 new housing projects
200,000
Stuff: Materials, Equipment & tools
Green finance through innovative strategies shall be used for subsidizing green resilient materials like timber, green cement, solar rooftops for the exposed and vulnerable communities to build affordable housing.

Green finance shall be used for demonstrating green affordable homes in vulnerable zones of Southern Saurashtra. This shall help in promoting the scaling up of green affordable housing through government agencies and other housing finance providers.

Training of professionals and contractors and service providers shall be undertaken at Habitat Resource Centre to encourage emission mapping, renewable energy, green materials in construction and green construction methodologies which help in reducing embodies energy in construction.

AKAH has established a presence in the regions through its work in the sector for over 10 years. AKAH shall hence serve as an influencer in the region to promote the cause of certified green materials and green technology. 
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