BMTPC Chief (Building Materials) J.K. Prasad calls for striking a balance between affordability and safety/sustainability of houses

Against the backdrop of Ministry of Housing & Poverty Alleviation’s target to provide affordable housing to all by the year 2022, the New Delhi-based Building Materials and Technology Promotion Council (BMTPC) is trying to evolve ‘good building practices’ which ensure safety and sustainability of the houses to be constructed.

BMTPC and several other organisations were involved in the revision of the National Building Code 2005 which was supposed to be strictly followed but observed more in the breach, said it’s Chief (Building Materials) J.K. Prasad.

Addressing a workshop on ‘Design and Planning of Affordable and Sustainable Housing’ organised by the School of Planning & Architecture (SPAV) of the Union Ministry of Human Resources Development here on Friday, Mr. Prasad said efforts were under way to devise region-wise design packages with standards and specifications using alternative/emerging technology keeping the seismic vulnerability, costs of construction and many other things in view.

BMTPC has already published the Vulnerability Atlas of India on disaster-prone areas across the country and was in the process of bringing out State-specific earthquake hazard maps and atlases with information up to the village level, Mr. Prasad said while stressing the need for striking a balance between affordability and safety/sustainability of houses.

Delivering the keynote address, Institution of Engineers Vijayawada Chapter chairman P. Ravindra Babu said due emphasis should be laid on use of low-weight materials and reducing their wear and tear so that costs could be under control. Corrosion was a major debilitating factor in the construction industry, he observed.

SPAV Director N. Sridharan said the task of housing millions of poor in rural India faced twin challenges of affordability and mitigation of environmental impacts on the people, properties and the planet. Coastal regions were especially vulnerable to natural disasters, which enhanced the need to look at sustainability, he added.

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