The construction sector is an important part of the economy, contributing about 8% to the national GDP over the last 5 years. It also provides employment to 18 million people directly. The downside of this sector is its enormous resource and energy footprint. The impact is only set to increase with an estimated shortage of about 60 million houses during the twelfth five-year period of 2012-2017. Given the massive growth in new construction and the inefficiencies of existing building stock worldwide, greenhouse-gas emission from this sector is expected to increase by more than double in the next 20 years. Moreover, the resource and carbon footprints of the sector may significantly increase due to more construction work required to rehabilitate refugees generated by the freak weather events.
The current designs, locations, building materials and technologies used for construction may not remain relevant with the change in climatic conditions, which is expected to raise the sea level, increase the occurrence of severe weather events and natural disasters, and lead to severe water shortage. The choice of building material is important for sustainable design because it may have a significant impact on the embodied energy of the building material during its extraction, processing, transportation, and utilisation and so on.
The answer to all these issues is a gradual shift towards a Low Carbon, Climate Resilient (LC-CR) development pathway. This requires creation of an enabling environment focused on three key factors of knowledge (building a technology base), finance (devising innovative mechanisms) and policy (strengthening the institutional framework). DA group is working towards influencing this pathway at the regional, state, national and global levels to increase awareness, acceptance and adoption of cleaner production and construction materials and technologies.