In a rare honour, Suhasini Ayer, architect from Auroville, was presented with the Green Solutions Award during the ongoing COP26 summit, the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, for the Humanscapes Habitat project of creating an affordable and sustainable housing hub in the universal township.
As an experimental project designed for approximately 500 inhabitants, the Humanscapes project also seeks to serve as launchpad for research into creating future developments that can withstand the impacts of climate change.
The project got the award in the Sustainable Construction category at the climate summit. The Green Solutions Awards 2020-2021 is an international competition run by the Construction21 network, a collaborative and networking platform for stakeholders interested in sustainability, that spotlights exemplary solutions integrated into buildings, districts and infrastructures contributing to the fight against climate change. As many as 192 candidates participated in the contest at the global level.
Ms. Ayer, a graduate of ‘Delhi School of Planning and Architecture’ joined Auroville in 1985 and is a co-founder of the Auroville Centre for Scientific Research, an organisation dedicated to research and experimentation in the field of appropriate building materials and technologies, water management, renewable energy and solar passive/climatic architecture and sustainable urban planning.
A press note from Auroville, meanwhile, said Humanscapes Habitat was an applied research and demonstration project of Sustainable and Integrated Urban Living for benchmarking in habitat as a course correction for a sustainable and harmonious mode of development.
This mixed-use development of residences, community and workspaces besides being sustainable also wants to address the issues of skill development and capacity building of construction labour, who are mostly distressed migrants in India, to improve their economic condition and reduce construction waste in the habitat sector to meet India’s commitment to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
The habitat project has integrated five goals as part of the sustainable human settlement mission that include designing a sustainable built environment with solar passive building design coupled with efficient functional space layout.