Thiruvananthapuram

Affordable housing solutions at Hab-Fest

Solutions for affordable housing are the main draw of Hab-Fest 30, a four-day exhibition organised by the Habitat Technology Group at the Poojappura grounds to mark three decades of its work towards low-cost and sustainable construction.

A host of stalls offering cost-effective solutions for construction requirements such as roof and floor tiles, interlocking bricks, rainwater harvesting, solar panels, biogas plants, furniture, and loans have been put up at the fete.

Be it a traditional mud house, brick dome structure, laterite stone construction, or a bamboo house, the stall of the National Building Centre at the Rural Technology Park of the National Institute of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj, Hyderabad, offers insights into various alternative technologies. It offers consultancy services in low-cost construction using locally available materials. It also works in the areas of rural sanitation, water harvesting, solar energy, and waste management, besides skill technology transfer to uplift the rural people.

A stall of the Energy Management Centre has two equipment that help illustrate the need for illumination in a house. Using a lux meter, illuminance in a box that is partitioned into three and has sides painted in colours from light to dark is measured.

The lux decreases as the colours become dark, indicating that light paints make a room brighter. Another box has three different bulbs – 60 W incandescent bulb, 14 W CFL and 7 W LED. The LED bulb registers the most lux, indicating that LED bulbs help conserve energy the most.

A staff of Uravu from Wayanad showcases the uses of bamboo - from pens to furniture to concept art. An interesting collection of bangles, purses, bags, masks, rainmaker, folders, penholder, lamp shades, trays, curtains, chairs and tables that underscrore the diverse uses of bamboo can be seen in this stall. One can get to know about various types of bamboos used in construction and furniture, how bamboo can be bent, and see saplings of the bamboo plant here.

A stall of bamboo curtains —– of various types at various prices, depending upon the quality of work — by a Nedumangad firm also has an interesting product, vetiver (‘ramacham’) curtains.

A stall of earthen pottery has a host of products, right from big tandoors and water pots to ‘kujas’ and other pots and pans used for cooking. Pots used for Ayurveda ‘dhara treatment’ vases, those for nesting birds and so on can also be picked up here. There is a stall of Ahimsa toys, with messages that stress on letting nothing go waste and discovering the true potential of every material.

A stall of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research offers solutions for cool buildings, helping in bringing down the use of air conditioners and thereby energy consumption too. Pigments that can help arrest infra red energy have been exhibited here. When buildings are coated with these cost-effective pigments, the heat is not absorbed, nor can it be radiated further. The council also has on display tiles that it has developed in association with the traditional tile industry in the State.

Prospective home owners looking for affordable and environment-friendly homes can also look up a protype of a 303 sq ft model brick home built by Habitat that costs only Rs.3 lakh and can be put up in three weeks. It also employs locally sourced materials.


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Printable version | Sep 24, 2021 9:03:31 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Thiruvananthapuram/affordable-housing-solutions-at-hab-fest/article18429873.ece

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