Can affordable housing be energy efficient & green?: Lucknow Development Authority’s success story

Lucknow Development Authority's (LDA) vision and initiatives for Affordable, Green & Energy-Efficient Housing

In India, buildings account for 35% of India’s overall power consumption and contribute significantly to greenhouse gas emissions. The building sector is one of the largest contributors to Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions; therefore, mitigation efforts within this sector will help significantly curb the negative impacts of global warming. Considering the pace and scope of buildings and infrastructure projects, Lucknow Development Authority (LDA) has decided to adopt and implement a comprehensive green agenda to reduce the impact of its future development activities.

This webinar focused on the green and energy efficiency initiatives undertaken by LDA, as a model for other cities. Also showcased was one of LDA’s EWS housing schemes as a case study, which has been successful in implementing measures as outlined in LDA’s vision.

Established in 1974, Lucknow Development Authority (LDA) is the primary urban development body under Uttar Pradesh Housing and Urban Planning Department. LDA plans and develops several types of construction projects, including residential housing, commercial complexes, business centres, shopping malls and multiplexes, industrial campuses, schools, and other service sectors.

Vision and Roadmap for Green & Energy Efficient Buildings:

Lucknow Development Authority (LDA) in partnership with USAID’s Market Integration and Transformation of Energy Efficiency (MAITREE) program has embarked on an ambitious plan to ensure that all the new building establishments under their purview are green and energy efficient. The MAITREE team has developed a document laying out the ‘Vision and Roadmap for Green & Energy Efficient Buildings’, covering the following key aspects:

  1. Specifications for new residential and commercial buildings
  2. Additional Environmental requirements
  3. Green Building certification

Specification includes mandatory compliance to ECBC-Residential (ECBC-R) for new residential buildings or Uttar Pradesh Energy Conservation Building Code 2018 (UPECBC 2018) for new commercial buildings. To address environmental issues other than energy, such as water scarcity, pollution caused by waste and construction activities, etc., LDA has adopted strategies to ensure that these issues are not neglected.  These environmental requirements are mandatory for both, residential and commercial projects. The document also outlines Green Building Certification options that could be pursued as an optional requirement, in addition to the two mandatory requirements.

In addition to the key aspects briefed above, recommendations were also given for efficiently managing the document submission process – a part of LDA’s administrative tasks and an implementation roadmap, which outlined tasks during the design approval and construction stages.

Design Recommendation & Guidelines:

One of the key objectives of LDA is to deliver affordable housing under the Economically Weaker Section (EWS) and the Low-Income Group (LIG) categories. For reference, a dwelling unit less than 32 square meters falls in the category of EWS housing.

Design recommendations & guidelines were provided for LDA’s Sharda Nagar Extension & Basantkunj EWS housing schemes, which are a part of Prime Minister’s Awas Yojana (PMAY) – an initiative by Government of India for providing affordable housing to the poor. Technical assistance was provided on the following aspects- design optimization, energy & daylight, ECBC-R compliance and verification of specifications in BOQ.

Furthermore, under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY), until 2020 a total of 48,000 EWS dwelling units along with 2,000 dwelling for other income groups are expected to be built as per the guidelines outlined by USAID and the allocated budget for the same is INR 3000 crores (USD 400 million).