A Change of Focus from Low to Medium Density Housing for Chennai

By Shane Thomas West.

Published by The Sustainability Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This paper looks at the Tamil Nadu Slum Clearance Board’s public housing requirements and designs currently implemented. It examines the standard two storey low rise developments being built and compares the standard 2 storey designs to the potential outcomes that could be achieved by a change to 8 storey mixed commercial / residential medium density public housing.

Emphasis is placed on the role of economic sustainability and the contrast between current classifications of public housing in Chennai to those espoused by developing nations as being sustainable.

The difficulties in defining sustainable construction and materials are further expanded upon comparing the developed worlds sustainable classification methodology to that present in South India. The question of what building products are sustainable is further analysed with examples of cultural and social appropriateness. Discussion is also focused on the future options such as timber, bamboo plantations and lightweight insulated foam panels.

Finally a justification analysis that includes socio / cultural and economic factors to be considered at the local level is suggested as a methodology that will help enable an evaluation process, which may be used to explain the differences in the marked variation in cost / materials and construction techniques used in south India buildings compared to other countries defined sustainable architecture.

Keywords: Sustainable Construction, Economic Sustainability, Socio/Cultural

The International Journal of Environmental, Cultural, Economic and Social Sustainability, Volume 3, Issue 2, pp.103-110. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.076MB).

Prof Shane Thomas West

Head of School, A/Professor Applied Technology Institue, Unitec, New Zealand, Applied Technology, Auckland, New Zealand

Shane is the Head of School of the Applied Technology Institute, Unitec, Auckland , New Zealand. He was formerly Associate Head of School (Research &External) at the University of Technology, Sydney, Faculty of Design, Architecture and Building. Shane has a research background in Indoor Environment, Ventilation and Daylighting with several patents and new innovative product developments in these fields such as most recently the Wind Directional Skylight Vent. Shane has contributed to the debate of making economic sustainability a key component of sustainable building assessment schemes. Having designed and project managed several large community sustainable building projects he is a member of design advisory groups nationally and internationally.


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