Faculty: Melissa Smith | Catherine Desai | Niyati Naik

TA: Tarjanee Soni

Resilience Thrift: Strategies for Adapting to Climatic Change in Housing for the Urban Poor

The consequences of climate change – droughts, rising temperatures, increased flood events, water crisis, depleted groundwater levels and many more – have affected millions of people in India. On top of this, urbanization increases disasters’ severity by adding population to cities whose infrastructure services are already limited. The urban poor, settling in the areas lacking infrastructure services, are the most vulnerable to climate induced disasters and events. Many of Ahmedabad’s low income settlements are at a high risk of flooding, facing shortages of freshwater supplies and other essential resources. Informal settlements are densely populated, poorly ventilated, and often made from corrugated metal and plastic sheets, which cannot defend against the vagaries of natural calamities or increasingly adverse heat conditions. The intersection of poor construction quality with settlement locations concentrated on sites of elevated exposure to climate disasters drastically increases risks to these populations.

Studio Unit

Strategies for heat mitigation in informal housing: design and development

Detailing proposals and visualising the qualitative impact of frugal climatic strategies

Evaluating climatic performance of proposals was a core part of the design process. Top: smoke testing to visualise cross ventilation using 1:5 models. Lower images: measuring heat performance over a period of 48 hours using heat sensors on 1:1 scale mockups and control cube. The data gathered supports proposals to prototype selected projects in the community in conjunction with NGO Saath

Students presented their proposals to the community and the NGO Saath and discussed progressing towards future prototyping in Vanzaravas

Intial site survey and documentation of 80 houses in vanzaravas. The survey included material, social, ownership and climatic data which was used to develop strategies to mitigate heat or flooding stress in individual houses. Data was also inputted in arcGIS in order to extrapolate the potential of individual strategies across wider informal and irregular settlement contexts