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Development Account Projects

Strengthening national capacities in India and Bangladesh for integration of sustainable building practices in social housing programmes.


Rapid urbanisation has created acute housing shortages in cities in developing countries, such as India and Bangladesh. These shortages typically impact on disadvantaged and low‐income groups the most, forcing them into sub‐standard housing, slums or remote areas around urban centres where there is limited access to infrastructure, and basic services. At the same time, buildings are one of the most resource intensive sectors in the world, consuming on average 40% of energy use, 30% of materials, and 20% of water. Yet, they offer the greatest potential of any sector to reduce energy use and associated Greenhouse Gas emissions. Therefore, integrating sustainable building solutions into social housing programmes offers a range of environmental, social and economic benefits that can help a country not just improve the resource and energy efficiency of their building stock, but potentially help alleviate poverty.

The Sustainable Social Housing Initiative Phase II (SUSHI II) has been developed to help developing countries realise these benefits. As a result, the primary objective of SUSHI II is to increase the use of sustainable (resource efficient and energy efficient) building solutions in social housing programmes in India and Bangladesh.

The project will run over a 2.5 year period (January 2012‐June 2014), require a budget of USD 375,000, and involve stakeholders across five key categories in India and Bangladesh. These categories of stakeholders include: policy‐makers, project decision‐makers, executing parties, supply chain actors, and users. In addition, local authorities in India and Bangladesh, who have already informally indicated their interest in the project, will be asked to provide project commitments during initial stages of project setup; and local partners will be engaged to help deliver the project on the ground.

The United Nations Environment Programme's Division of Technology, Industry and Economics (UNEP‐DTIE), which oversees UNEP's sustainable buildings programme will oversee project development and implementation in close cooperation with UNEP's Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific (ROAP). Additional UN organisations, such as UN‐Habitat and UNDP will also be invited to participate in an advisory capacity.


The objective of SUSHI II is to increase the use of sustainable (resource and energy‐efficient) building and design solutions in social housing programmes in India and Bangladesh.

Expected accomplishments:

  • Raise awareness of sustainable building and design solutions among stakeholders (policymakers, project decision‐makers, executing parties, supply chain actors and users) involved in social housing programmes in India and Bangladesh, and strengthen their capacity to implement such solutions.
  • Construct a pilot unit to demonstrate how one or two sustainable building solutions can be integrated into a social housing unit. Once operational, the performance of the unit will be measured, monitored, reported and evaluated as compared to a business‐as‐usual scenario, and used to illustrate the benefits of sustainable social housing.

Implementation status: