As part of its Aavaas initiative, Nebula, a real estate company, has undertaken temporary construction workers’ housing project at Changodar, Ahmedabad. The project is a contextual adaptation of an Archiprix winning thesis design by architectural graduate, Hannah Broatch. Nebula has partnered with Hatch Workshop for implementation.

The project addresses the deplorable and unhygienic living conditions that are prevalent at the makeshift shanties that Indian construction workers and their families live in for the duration of the real estate project.

In the Changodar project, the original design for the construction workers’ housing came from 18 months of architectural and site research from top architects and academics in India and New Zealand. The design aims to be as low-cost as possible, flexible and for almost the whole structure to be dismantled, re-assembled and re-used. This endeavour followed a systematic process, with constant interactions with the construction workers and other stakeholders keeping in mind the socio-cultural behaviour of the different groups of migrant workers.

The complex consists of 5 blocks which has 56 units, a crèche and a community kitchen. This includes 40 3×3 m units which can accommodate 4-6 people and 16 units of size 3×6 m which can accommodate 10-12 people. The clear height of the rooms, from floor to roof is around 2.5 m. The design has focused on ensuring that rooms are ventilated and for this, agro nets and windows have been put in all the units.

The complex has accommodated rain water drainage system, open social spaces, provision of artificial light, with rooms having proper conduiting and plug-points. The project provides bio-toilets blocks which is an innovative technology for disposal of human waste through use of bio-digesters toilet tanks. For the children, the complex has a thoughtfully designed, well ventilated and cheerful crèche cum learning center along with a playground. All in all, this is an effort worth duplicating, giving the workers a better life, and a better future.

“Aavaas” by Nebula is an Indian affordable housing development venture established in 2016, it seeks to provide Social Infrastructure on its projects – Affordable School, Health Clinic, Fair priced shop. The project has been promoted by Pacifica Group (a US based global real estate company with 40 years internationally and 10 years in India), and the Futura Group.

Hatch Workshop, a research, design and build partnership, consisting of Hannah Broatch and Mason Rattray, from New Zealand and their work in India, specializes in socially focused schemes for migrant populations.





Courtesy: This article is brought to you in association with Gallopper (www.gallopper.com), which is a collaboration platform for the building and construction industry.