Housing Areas Indicators for Quality Environment

Written by bheru lal gaderi

Housing the place where a man lives is the measure of the quality of life and the determinant of the urban environment development process. The open and recreational spaces are essential urban content which complements and enrich the dwelling function sustainable habitat development means achieving a balance between the economic and social development of human habitat together with the protection of the environment, equity in employment, shelter, basic services, social infrastructure, and transportation. To bring sustainability in urban areas, it is important to integrate sustainability in urban development and can be achieved by considering sustainability in urban planning.



Housing has a strong spatial relationship with employment, social services, and other urban activities. The policy for the development of housing could act as a major tool for influencing the efficiency and equity of urban areas, besides its direct role in the provision of shelter.

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Housing Quality Indicators (HQIs) measure the quality of housing schemes funded by the HCA. The HQI system is a measurement and assessment tool to evaluate housing schemes on the basis of quality rather than just cost. They incorporate the design standards required of affordable housing providers.

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What the indicators measure?

  • Location
  • Unit – size
  • Site – routes and movement
  • Site – visual impact, layout, and landscaping
  • Unit – layout
  • Units – accessibility within the unit
  • Unit – Sustainability
  • External environment – Building for Life
  • Site – open space
  • Unit – noise, light, services & adaptability

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Location plays an important in the assessment of the quality of the environment in housing areas, greenery not only enhances the visual appearance but also provide health benefits such as fresh air and reduced carbon footprints. Factors affecting land value includes housing areas near market places and industries are less favored due to factors such as air pollution, noise pollution etc.  Everyone wants to live in a peaceful and green location to improve the quality of life thus it also plays a major role in deciding the land value.

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The creation and maintenance of good quality housing require achieving a balance between the economics of the project, the social needs of those who use it and its environmental impact. Planning the landscape from the very beginning of a project or looking to improve it in an existing scheme, will help to get this balance right and, as policy makers and developers come under increasing pressure to meet social and environmental considerations, it is landscape planning and design that offers a way forward in developing better places to live.



Access to open spaces for sport, play or general recreation is viewed as an important part of life. Open spaces also play an important role in developing communities, health and well-being enhancing biodiversity value, urban regeneration, recreation, flood prevention. Environmental education also plays important role in making our living area better.

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In Swindon, a number of open spaces play a key role in providing venues for a range of community events including music concerts, fairs and fetes and sporting competitions.


Overall recreational, public-semi-public, commercial etc should be adequate according to population and area to provide better quality of life and to improve the quality of environment

At neighborhood level:
  • These facilities should preferably be located along internal roads with minimum 12 m width unless specified. The development of the infrastructure should be monitored to assess the achievement in the relevant sectors.
  • The open space at the neighborhood level shall be provided and Minimum size of tot lot at cluster level shall be 125 sq.m.
  • The location of schools and Anganwaris should be made in the layout plan in cluster form to facilitate sharing of common parking space and playground.
  • The planning of physical infrastructure shall be governed by the following norms:
    • Underground tank, the sewerage-pumping system shall be provided as per requirement.
    • Rainwater harvesting shall be an integral part of the storm water drainage plan at the time of sanction of layout plan for all the plots.

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Rain water harvesting
Playground in a housing area


Other factors enhancing housing areas:

Energy Efficiency

Energy Efficient Design: Efficient development control regulations and building bye-laws from the point of view of energy efficient design should be considered. The Government of India has developed the Energy Conservation Building Code (ECBC) which provides minimum energy performance standards for energy efficient buildings, which can be referred while designing private and public buildings.

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Some of the standards and guidelines applicable to various categories of the building irrespective of their climate location include the following:

  • Non-Conventional /Renewal Energy:, for residential buildings 15% of the total external
  • lighting load should be met through renewable energy and for commercial / institutional/industrial /
  • mixed use buildings, 5% of the total lighting load should be met through renewable energy sources
  • (solar, wind, biomass, fuel-cells and so on). Also, there should be development of city level Energy
  • Efficiency (EE) and Renewal Energy (RE) policy actions for e.g. Nagpur and Bhubaneswar have
  • developed and adopted city level EE and RE.

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Zero Waste and Waste Recycling

Zero waste concepts shall be practiced in all cities which encouraged reuse or recovery of all waste. It reduces the need of raw material which mainly extracts from the natural environment to make new products, creating far less pollution and benefiting the local economy. The urban waste should be recognized with a significant proportion of organic constituents, which has emerged as a resource for energy generation in an environmentally sustainable manner.

Energy of biogas

Energy in the form of biogas, heat or power should be seen as a bonus which improves the viability of such projects. While bio-methanation, refuse derived fuel and incineration are the most common technologies, pyrolysis and gasification are also emerging as preferred options. In the case of existing landfills, bioremediation of waste is recommended with a view to reclaim the land and convert organic waste into useful products which will result in a reduction or elimination of GHG emission.

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GHG mitigation measures for wastewater

GHG mitigation measures include – collection, conveyance, and treatment of wastewater, reuse, and recycling of treated effluent and gas recovery from sludge as well as the use of treated wastewater for artificial recharge of aquifers to improve the ground water potential.

Decentralized Wastewater Management

Decentralized waste water management systems for the community, housing complexes, and commercial buildings to be introduced for efficient wastewater management. Institutional capacity of all (ULBs) should be strengthened for effective implementation and O&M of the sewerage system.

Low Water Use and Ecological Sanitation

It should be ensured that systems for the management of human excreta incorporate conservation principles. Low-water use toilets (3-5 liter) and ecological sanitation approaches (including ecological toilets), where nutrients are safely recycled into agricultural manual can be promoted.

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About the author

bheru lal gaderi

Hello! My name is Bheru Lal Gaderi, a full time internet marketer and blogger from Chittorgarh, Rajasthan, India. Shouttermouth is my Blog here I write about Tips and Tricks,Making Money Online – SEO – Blogging and much more. Do check it out! Thanks.