Gurgaon is a fast growing urban centre located on New Delhi’s outskirts, and is facing a construction boom. Today, Gurgaon’s skyline is an unruly display of multi-storeyed structures that use highly energy intensive materials such as steel and glass. Such buildings require huge quantities of energy during their construction, and also consume a large amount of energy after they are built. They contribute significantly to greenhouse gas emissions and, consequently, climate change. In an area such as Gurgaon, it is of utmost importance to promote and adopt the principles of sustainable building design.


Prime concerns

There is a widening gap between demand and supply of electricity as annual demand and consumption are both increasing at 17% while supply is increasing only at 5% to 7%.
About a quarter of the electricity supplied (20% to 25%) is lost in transmission and distribution.
The water table is dropping at an alarming rate as ground water is being increasingly exploited in the absence of an adequate water supply infrastructure.
Most commercial and high-rise residential buildings are operated on 100% captive power plants run on high-speed diesel, which has led to increased air pollution and levels of particulate matter.
Management and treatment of sewage is inefficient and improper.


Likely causes

Lack of awareness leads to buildings that do not take into consideration the climate of the area. Building design does not incorporate energy efficiency measures or renewable energy technologies.
Choice of inappropriate building material which makes it necessary to use air-conditioning throughout the year leading to high recurring energy costs.
Lack of communication and coordination between stakeholders leading to ineffective management, supply, use and conservation of resources.
Sporadic development in isolated pockets distributed over large areas which has led to large-scale losses of vital resources such as electricity and water during transmission and distribution..
Lack of a suitable policy-framework, including building bye-laws, making it difficult to incorporate and support sustainable building design.



The project aims to improve the urban environment of Gurgaon in Haryana, India, by introducing sustainability in the built environment. The project shall:
Assist the local authority in Gurgaon to formulate urban development strategies and develop sustainable habitat/building design based on the concepts of energy conservation, energy efficiency, and renewable energy technologies, through consultation and engagement with key stakeholders in the area.
Develop a communications strategy for local authorities on how they may engage with the private sector and the local community in implementing sustainable energy options in habitats/buildings, and in fostering links between partners and the local communities.
Raise awareness and strengthen the capacity of building practitioners (builders, engineers, architects, etc.) operating within the jurisdiction of the local authority to introduce and implement sustainability measures in buildings through renewable energy and energy efficiency.



The main groups benefiting from the project will be :
Local authorities and policy makers
Building practitioners (architects, planners, builders)

The project activities will indirectly benefit the local community in Gurgaon, along with local authorities, policy makers and building practitioners in other localities of India, UK, and Spain.


Estimated impact on target groups

The planners and policy makers will be educated about the benefits, techniques and methods of adopting sustainability measures in public planning for the building and construction sector enabling them to adopt these measures early on in projects.
The project will enlighten and educate building practitioners about sustainable building practices in European countries and their adaptability to Indian conditions.
The project will provide a platform for building practitioners in Gurgaon to interact and exchange knowledge, good practice, and skills with their counterparts from Spain and the UK.
Planners and building practitioners will be able to analyse the costs and benefits of incorporating sustainable building measures.



Recommendations for modification of local building bye-laws
Manual on sustainable buildings: policies and practices
Marketing material for wider dissemination of the project
Interactive CD-ROM as training material
Reports of the three policy seminars
Reports of the ‘Learning-by-doing’ workshops for practitioners
Web site


Sustainability of project

The Ministry of Non-Conventional Energy Sources (MNES), a national level ministry has several ongoing programmes and policy frameworks in place, which could support and sustain these activities after the EU funding comes to an end. For example, the Solar Buildings Programme under the Solar Thermal Energy Programme initiative of MNES could promote the implementation of sustainable energy options in buildings.

Building bye-laws have made the use of renewable energy technologies (solar water heating systems) and water conservation measures (rain water harvesting) compulsory in Gurgaon. The Energy Conservation Act, 2001, passed by the Government of India made the inclusion of sustainable design options mandatory to all buildings. The findings of this project will help to implement this Act.

All partners can upgrade their existing knowledge base of sustainable design and also develop new techniques that can be adopted in Europe as well as other developing countries. With the knowledge obtained through manuals, CDs, web sites, seminars, and workshops, building practitioners will able to design, evaluate, and execute sustainable building projects.