Creating climate-smart community housing
Working with Agha Khan Agency for Habitat (AKAH) this initiative seeks to redesign housing opportunities, shifting communities towards sustainable, locally sourced, mass-timber hybrid houses in Gujarat, India. The initiative aims to build on AKAH’s rural housing program by replacing the use of concrete and bricks with timber and adapting AKAH’s reforestation program to include tree species suitable for construction. Through the breakthrough initiative, CSFEP supports AKAH in developing an integrated forest to frame value chain in a nascent mass timber market, understanding the 3S impact across the value chain, assessing and developing necessary safeguards for sourcing, engaging and influencing key decision-makers, and developing a community through the India Value Chain Alliance initiative.
AKAH'S INTERVENTIONS ACROSS THE 3S FRAMEWORK
AKAH has already identified nurseries for seedlings that match species needed for construction, with the planting ceremony to be publicized during India’s tree planting week in the first week of July
AKAH has begun construction of houses based on the designs and expect the final houses to be completed by June 2022
AKAH is scheduled to convene dialogues on the World Environment Day (5th June) and World Habitat Day (3RD October) via exhibitions to drive awareness and momentum in the Indian market
Informing their reforestation program, ensuring it can be used for a CSFE
Analyzing the carbon impact across the 3S (sequestration, storage, and substitution)
Assessing the required social, ecological, and environmental safeguards
THE AKAH, INDIA STORY
This initiative provides relevant lessons on the opportunities to build new value chains from scratch, what stakeholders are needed to do this, how to build the required relationships to influence a broad range of stakeholders, and barriers and opportunities in India, particularly as this is a new product for consumers. AKAH will then take the lessons learned through this BI to incorporate a holistic forest to frame approach across its housing portfolio.
As part of this work, AKAH will conduct exhibitions during the World Habitat and Environment Day to increase awareness in a market that just recently removed a ban on timber use in construction
Carbon modeling of the houses has already shown a net positive impact on carbon across the 3S functions, with most of the impact in substitution
~24.7 tonnes of carbon sequestered, stored, and substituted by four hybrid houses over their lifespan
Between 2.5- and 4-times less carbon emissions than conventional housing options in Gujarat