slido q & a

Here are the answers to the questions raised by the audience via the slido app at the ‘VILLAGE 2047’ Awards Night held on Friday, 18 October 2019.

1Concept of ReGen villages in age-old India... Sustainable housing, agri n cattle farming, cohabitation. We just need to integrate it into modern tech. Please elaborate?

Yes, in many ways, ReGen Villages looks at the nature of each area to best understand the regenerative and resilient capabilities that the land can offer, as critical life support systems for residents not only within ReGen Villages communities, but also that benefit local surrounding communities. The integration of technology is a means-to-an-end, in terms of providing actual benefit in the form of long- term healthy and happy longevity.

2Please explain Hemp concrete?

Hemp is the cousin plant of cannabis and is, therefore, a weed that grows rapidly, abundantly and requires very little hydration, while also providing several full crop cycles per year. Hemp is an incredibly strong fibre that has been used for aeons in ropes, sails, durable clothing textiles, components for plastic substitutes and most recently blended into concrete mixes made with hemp fibres, lime and water. It is naturally pest-resistant, fire retardant, and provides incredible r-value for insulation. It also has the tensile strength to withstand seismic activity.

3What’s your future strategy for India regarding ReGen villages?

Our ultimate goal for ReGen Villages has, and continues to be the global south starting in India. We view India as the best case for creating a true industrialized approach to replicating and scaling ReGen Villages model across the entire country and then spreading this as an Indian export product to other strongly seasonal dry regions of the world (e.g. ASEAN, MENA, Southern Africa, etc.). The peri-urban and rural areas of India provides the best opportunities to provide social/affordable housing with paths to ownership, while also giving access and agency to natural resources of healthy food, clean water, renewable power and circular waste and hygiene for safe, secure and happy future of living in India.

4How should one tackle the challenges of Global vs. Local in a context of creating an ideal village of 2047?

This is an excellent question and ought to be considered first through the lens of neighbourhood developments (in our opinion), that by making these neighbourhoods self-sustaining around food, water, energy and circular waste systems – that we then have the best chance for seeing how these lily pads of housing developments can evolve into towns and eventually retrofits for near suburban areas near megacities.

5Hello, my suggestion would be to the Leaders and Lawmakers, with compulsory parking there should be compulsory plantation of Oxygen giving trees like Ashoka, Neem, Areca Palm, Peepul, etc. especially on terraces as space is a constraint for Development or 10 trees in compound... it is a challenge for Architects but best for reducing carbon dioxide and increase oxygen levels for clean air and Green India?

Your suggestion is excellent, and we would add to this that parking will no longer be a question in the next 10-20 years with autonomous vehicles that roam streets looking for transit as service requests. We would add to your suggestion that planting of edible forestry of diverse and varied types will bring about a beautiful change to ecosystem thinking, enabling biodiversity to return to previously barren areas.

6Please suggest local sustainable road techniques without using bitumen and concrete?

There are several recycled (repurposed) plastics that are being employed now for road surfacing, and there are other very interesting new technologies and materials coming out that can allow not only water capture and retention (e.g. no runoff and usable irrigation effluent) but also roads that can generate electricity with PV connectivity. Although some of these are emerging ideas, the goal, in any case, is to see a bright future with less car traffic, more shared vehicle usage (autonomous) and eventually drones and flying vehicles will become present everywhere.

7Thoughts on population density targets? Vertical Dwelling Units? Use of Bamboo in Construction?

We are not closed to greater densities, but within the boundaries of having external open land areas that can support that density with critical life support systems. Vertical dwellings and towers are also fine, and the use of bamboo and hemp are also perfect for certain climate zones where these materials are more readily available as well as preferred.

8It was a wonderful presentation. James has rightly mentioned that "Future is in the Past". India, with rich traditional and ancient culture, has many things to offer for a very bright future of mother earth. Villages-that too regenerative - is THE concept for sustainable development, conservation of the environment, reinstating the lost ecological balance, taking back humanity to its root and reconnecting it to nature. I will appreciate more information on regenerative nature of Villages, and how can we initiate the transformation with regards to the Indian context.

Thank you so much! It is all of our responsibility to advocate our government officials, local, regional and national with these ideas – but I think in India it more realistic to advocate the largest industrial players to get them to create the right framework and scheme for government to then participate in. This is the best way forward, we think, to get this moving more rapidly.

9Please share a red book or a case study for a specific region , with its scale and statistics for requirement as water , activity charts , work and living zones and use this information to scale down to small villages in India in local reference by modified requirements in village close to me and develop this concept of future sensibility.

I would suggest looking into Auroville near Chennai for what they accomplished since 1970, first in restoration and reforestation, and then in how they build their regenerative systems.

10Sir, great to have you with us. 2047 Rural India is a potential country to have the best infrastructure in the world. How can we achieve that?

Thank you! As I mentioned, India represents what can be the future of our species and our planet by doing things the right way. First is to show that there is an economic demand (which we know there is), then that there is a social housing scheme with a path to ownership that reduces burdens on society, and then to get the industrial players to move rapidly to create the best regenerative infrastructure mechanisms to replicate and scale the model across India.

1Santhosh Paul asked - What is Self Compacting Concrete and how is it designed ?

It is an innovative concrete that does not normally require vibration for placing and compaction. It is able to flow under its own weight, completely filing formwork and achieving full compaction, without segregation, even in the presence of congested reinforcement.
(Source - IS 1199 (Part-6) – 2019)

The mix design is generally based on the approach outlined below (Reference – IS:10262 – 2019):

a) Determine the target average compressive strength.
b) Select the air content based on the specified nominal maximum size of aggregate and concrete grade.
c) Select water-cement/cementitious materials ratio.
d) Select the proportions for initial mix.
e) Select water content and cement fly ash (or supplementary cementitious material) content.
F) Select admixture type and its content.
g) Select powder content and fine aggregate content.
h) Select coarse aggregate content.
i) Calculate volume of powder content and determine water powder ratio by volume, and make adjustments, if required.
k) Work out the mix proportions for trial I.
m) Produce the fresh SCC in the laboratory mixer, perform the required tests as per clause 7.2 of IS- 10262:2019, and make adjustments.
n) Test the properties of the SCC in the hardened state.
p) Produce trial mixes in the plant mixer.

2What is the strategy to generate the finds that will be required to redesign our villages and bring about a socioeconomic renaissance in rural India?

Provision of Urban Amenities In Rural Areas (PURA) is the strategy for rural development in India. PURA proposes that urban infrastructure and services be provided in rural hubs to create economic opportunities outside of cities. All details related to PURA can be obtained from their website https://rural.nic.insites/pura.asp/

3Atul Torne asked - What is the Role of Ultratech in the “Make in India “ Journey?

UltraTech is the largest producer of grey cement, White cement and RMC in India and a leading manufacturer of various building products like AAC blocks, mortars, grouts, waterproofing products, etc. All these products are totally manufactured in India. One in every 4 houses constructed in India are built using UltraTech Cement. UltraTech cement is the most preferred brand in prestigious infrastructure projects in the country like airports, bridges, flyovers, metro rails, dams, power plants, etc. Thus UltraTech as a whole contribute in a bigger way to nation building.

4Shyam Sundar Mishra asked - Can we make a competition amongst all architects and engineers on implementation of RMD Technology either for mass housing or for commercial high rise structure?

UltraTech is taking various initiatives for the promotion of new, innovative technologies which benefits the Industry. IndiaNext is one of such initiative by UltraTech which has emerged as a platform for the technocrats to showcase the new & innovative technologies, designs & concepts. Prospect of having a competition on implementation of RMD Technology may be explored as one such initiatives in near future.

5Rajesh Chindarkar asked - How can bi products produced in villages like rice husk, yellow dried grass, dry leaves, unused agriculture farm bi product be used in cement production?

By-products produced in villages like rice husk, yellow dried grass, dry leaves, unused agriculture farm by-product can be used as replacement of the conventional fuels used in cement production based on the calorific value and availability. We at UltraTech are currently consuming good quantity of agricultural waste/by-products as an alternative fuel in many of our cement manufacturing plants

6Rajesh Chindarkar asked - Can village road be constructed without bitumen and concrete and only using local materials like morrum, sand, and stones? This combination seems sustainable . Do elaborate?

Roads are the backbone of rural development. Therefore the roads should be durable. The main properties for a durable road pavement are strength, durability, impermeability, volume stability and wear resistance. Local materials like sand, murrum & stone chips although are easily available however, fail to impart the desired properties to make the roads more durable & sustainable. A strong and durable binder is therefore essential for durable roads. Cement & bitumen are the binders which are being used successfully for road construction for many years. However, considering the life cycle approach, the cement concrete roads have proven to be much better than bitumen road in terms of economic & technical benefits.

7 Engineer Ravindra Kesharwani asked - What about recycling of construction waste for RMC plant use? Any proposal by Ultratech?

Use of construction and demolition (C&D) waste for manufacture of aggregates is a step towards effective management and utilization of such waste. This however, requires necessary care while producing aggregates to ensure their efficacy in their use as part of concrete. These aggregates may be of two types namely Recycled Aggregate (RA) and Recycled Concrete Aggregate (RCA). RA is made from Construction &Demolition (C & D) waste which may comprise concrete, brick, tiles, stone, etc. and RCA is derived from concrete after requisite processing.

Recycled C & D waste has also been successfully tested in concrete application. Recent revision of IS:383 – 2016 permitting usage of RCA and RA in concrete is the proof of such successful tests. Therefore the recycled C & D waste can be used in RMC use as per the codal provisions with appropriate concrete mix design. UltraTech also have successfully tested recycled C & D waste in our RMC plants. However, due to lack of availability of the carefully recycled C & D waste and restrictions posed by codal provisions, commercialisation has not yet been done.

8 Can UltraTech share these idea of village 2047 with concern authority of Government?
Will UltraTech share these ideas with the Government of India to make sure these ideas will be implemented?

Yes. We will be having the coffee table book of the winning entries; which will be presented to Govt of India.

1How should one tackle the challenges of Global vs. Local in a context of creating an ideal village of 2047?

I truly believe that ideal villages in India must be developed with localised skills and knowledge, and keeping history, identity and values intact. There are no global challenges in this local problem. No global body of knowledge can help or assist in redeveloping the villages in India. As I mentioned in my presentation, every village in India presents unique culture and potential, and we must not let these fade away while developing the ideal villages. Rather we must harness the same and develop the ideal village with a bottom-up approach where empowerment of the community in specific context should be the key focus area. Yes, some challenges such as fund will be there. If such a challenge can be addressed by finding a common and innovative idea where public and private could join hands, then funding should not be an issue. But such an innovative idea for raising village development fund will need more research and idea elicitations among wider stakeholders.

2Hello, my suggestion would be to the Leaders and Lawmakers, with compulsory parking there should be compulsory plantation of Oxygen giving trees like Ashoka, Neem, Areca Palm, Peepul, etc. especially on terraces as space is a constraint for Development or 10 trees in compound... it is a challenge for Architects but best for reducing carbon dioxide and increase oxygen levels for clean air and Green India?

I think this suggestion is for the other speaker James who talked about ReGen villages with vertical development.

3Please suggest local sustainable road techniques without using bitumen and concrete?

This is a very interesting proposition but it needs a lot more in‐depth research and participation from a wider group of people as a think‐tank. While the technical solution in terms of replacement of bitumen or concrete has not been found, the notion of planning, development, operation and maintenance of rural roads has been researched at the Smart Villages Lab. One of the key ideas we have identified is that the community must take ownership for the maintenance and operation of the local roads. While government agencies may develop the rural roads under the capital funding schemes, the resources allocated for maintenance and operation need to be channelized for a local entity to control and perform. Usually, the funding for maintenance and operation of rural roads is not readily available or not sufficient, a mechanism for receiving lateral funding including philanthropic funding has also been proposed. Further work is needed on this front.

4Thoughts on population density targets? Vertical Dwelling Units? Use of Bamboo in Construction?

I think this suggestion is for the other speaker James who talked about population density with vertical development. Use of Bamboo in construction is the choice of the local community and vernacular design of the local architecture.

5Please share a ref book or a case study for a specific region, with its scale and statistics for requirement as water, activity charts, work and living zones and use this information to scale down to small villages in India in local reference by modified requirements in village close to me and develop this concept of future sensibility.

I would suggest the following two books as the beginning of developing some solid understanding in this context.
1. Doloi H., Green, R. and Donovan S. (2019) Planning, Housing and Infrastructure for Smart Villages, Routledge, UK (February)
2. Doloi H. and Donovan S. (2019) Affordable Housing for Smart Villages, Routledge, UK (November)

6Sir, great to have you with us. 2047 Rural India is a potential country to have the best infrastructure in the world. How can we achieve that?

As I mentioned in my presentation, the villages in India are unique creations and we must preserve their identity while undergoing massive transformation keeping in mind the evolution over time. These villages, if intact, will attract people to come and witness the ingenuity of the villagers. Nowhere in the world, such villages exist and we must do well to preserve them. Now the question is how? In our research effort, we tried to first understand the local community and their local conditions including the community‐based priorities, needs and requirements. That’s our smart data platform that was demonstrated in my presentation. Once we know the community intimately, we can then derive the outcomes (as our intervention planning) for the holistic development of the community. The holistic development of the community is what we conceptualised as a Smart Village in our first book above.

Having done the research, and having developed the understanding on the rural villages in India, I am in the opinion that current UNDP designs under the PMAY or PMAY(G) schemes are a complete waste of money. Brick and mortar houses are the last thing the rural communities in India need. This is going to be not doing any good but would destroy the rural landscape completely. In our second book, we tried to conceptualise affordable housing from a rural perspective. Affordable housing in rural perspective is not about money and buying power of money but something more than that.

As our research informed, I will be very interested to share my thoughts among the wider audience through some ongoing seminars, workshops or training programs on Smart Villages in India. We could target raft of industry practitioners and government officials (across all levels from Centre, State to District and even Panchayat, etc.) and educate them about what is needed and not needed in rural communities in India. That is the only way that we could collectively support the vision of Village 2047 and build the required capacity for making a difference on the ground.

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