Building Affordable Homes with Mass Timber Construction
Bharathi Prem

Architect Bharathi Prem*, Associate Professor, Department of Architecture, RNS School of Architecture, Bangalore (Karnataka), India.

Manuscript received on 30 May 2022. | Revised Manuscript received on 07 June 2022. | Manuscript published on 30 June 2022 | PP: 53-58 | Volume-11 Issue-7, June 2022. | Retrieval Number: 100.1/ijitee.G91070611722 | DOI: 10.35940/ijitee.G9107.0611722
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Abstract: With the explosion in increased population migration to metro cities, housing infrastructure poses to be one of the biggest challenges in India as well as other countries. Housing in-equality, affordability and homelessness are persistent and complex challenges in our society. United Nations in the year 2015 has adopted Sustainable Development Goals or Global Goals to facilitate people to enjoy peace and prosperity, allow balanced social, economic and environmental sustainability. The need for a safe space to live which transforms the quality of life of individuals and families is a basic necessity. Thus, providing sustainable cities and communities along with good health and well-being of the citizens are priorities which needs to be addressed along with providing affordable clean energy, furthering actions to mitigate climate change. According to a United Nations report, (17) by 2050, more than 7 billion people will move to cities. The rapid growth of cities due to rising population has resulted in increased number of slums which are becoming a feature of urban life. To accommodate the rising urban poor, affordable homes have to be envisioned and built faster. The delay in construction time required by conventional construction methods is resulting in squatter, un- organized settlements as well as contributing largely to global carbon emissions. The need to provide affordable, sustainable homes with healthy benefits using better construction technology is the need of the day. Conventional method of construction which involves concrete and steel are a disastrous method of construction as they are dependent on energy generated from fossil fuels to process materials. As per a United Nations report (17), globally our cities occupy 3 percent of Earth’s land but account for 60 to 80 percent of energy consumption and 70 percent of carbon emissions. Hence, the need for alternative sustainable method of construction which can be built in the smallest amount of time, is a necessity. The technology adopted must be a big leap in reducing the carbon emissions, reducing the construction time and providing a healthy environment for the habitants. Presently in India, to reduce the construction time of mass housing, the Government is adopting ‘light gauge steel frame’ structures in which constructions are faster compared to the conventional buildings. However, this method is still dependent on burning of fossil fuels and other non-renewable resources still resulting in a sizeable carbon footprint. The need to adopt sustainable ways of construction, with less environmental disruption, while ensuring quality and to build faster, led to study of various construction practices adopted globally. Amongst the various solutions, Mass Timber Construction is believed to be one of the most effective solution, characterized by pre-fabricated components manufactured offsite and assembled on site in a shorter period of time and reduced dependency on workers, all the while using a renewable resource, timber. To move towards accomplishing the Sustainable Development Goals set by the United Nations, our future cities have be built to be safe, sustainable and inclusive. For achieving this we have to change and relook the way we build. 
Keywords: Carbon neutral buildings. Cross laminated timber, Sustainable Construction, Build with speed
Scope of the Article: Sustainable Structures