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Chapter 03: Green building policy measures for greening social housing

Aside from policy incentives there are inherent

potential benefits to the developer from building

to enhanced resource efficiency standards

(Environment Agency, 2005). These are:


Potential waste reductions associated with the

construction process. The construction sector

produces millions of tons of waste each year and

a significant portion of the delivered materials

are never used.


Demonstration of sustainability credentials

to local authorities, investors and consumers.

Added value and performance against

competitors (competitive advantage) where

the developer is able to establish a position as a

market leader in developing sustainable homes.


Knowledgeable foothold and relevance with

regard to forthcoming new regulations and


Enabling legislative and

regulatory frameworks

To scale up green social housing, the institutional

framework of housing must have sustainability

as a goal. Because governmental policies guide

urban growth, land use, and housing regulation,

institutional support has a direct and indirect

impact on sustainability inside and outside

of housing. Governments and laws through

policy and institutions should support green

social housing to meet social housing demand.

Institutional sustainability maintains presence,

strengthens abilities and guides evolution of

mandates which are essential in ensuring long

term environmental, cultural, social and economic

sustainability. Particularly in developing countries,

where legislative and regulatory frameworks do

not exist or are lacking, institutional support

for achieving green social housing is crucial

(UN-Habitat, 2012a).

In addition to the will to meet sustainability

objectives there must be the capacity to enforce

regulatory policies; lack of enforcement has been

identified as a major weakness in energy policies

in developing countries. There also must be the

support to train professionals in the technical

knowledge and skills and the capacity to collect,

analyse and use data pertaining to sustainability

indicators, e.g. energy consumption (UNEP SBCI,

2009a). Monitoring and evaluation (research that

can include occupant comfort studies, energy

and water consumption figures) is an important

tool which can be used to demonstrate the

environmental, economic and social benefits

of sustainable housing and the effectiveness of

certain policy instruments (UN-Habitat, 2012a).

Comprehensive building level energy data is

proven to be essential in shaping and verifying

the impact of energy policy. Upon review of the

CO 2

emission reduction approaches in USA, UK

and India, Gupta and Chandiwala (2012) revealed

that the UK had good CO 2

reduction policies in

place, but limited bottom up energy data sources

to verify the impact of these policies; USA had

access to relevant data on energy use and profiles

from the EIA and US DOE but lacked substantial

policy targets to promote energy efficiency;

while India was lacking in both data sources and

substantial policy infrastructure, a situation which

is complicated by the large rural/ urban divide.


Green building interventions for social housing

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