India faced the challenge of providing adequate shelter to 18.5 million households in 1991 and employment for its citizens. The construction sector represents the most pressing need, viz., shelter. This sector has a great potential of generating employment through its forward and backward linkages. Earlier researchers have indicated that construction activity contributes 17% to the carbon dioxide emission in India. In this paper we have tried to interweave these three issues and propose a construction strategy for the Indian housing sector. Affordability of a house and availability of building materials for its construction are the main determinants of access to shelter. This demands efficient use of resources at low cost. In this paper we analyze whether it is possible to reduce cost, reduce emissions and generate employment in house construction. We have developed a model for technology evaluation in house construction based on design codes for India. Recent Government policy statements have indicated that an annual supply of two million new houses would be required to meet the current shortage of housing in India. This model is applied to the construction of two million houses. The construction technologies that we evaluate are the pucca(1) construction technologies as well as low-cost techniques. It is asserted that by a proper selection of such techniques and material the costs and emissions can be reduced substantially and at the same time employment can be generated. (C) 2001 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.
- low-cost housing
- housing models