The Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) through Habitech Center and AIT Consulting organized a seminar and workshop to share innovative technology solutions for low-cost housing. Carrying the theme “Building Cleaner, Greener, Safer, and Cost-Effective Communities,” the event welcomed over 70 participants from seven countries on 27-28 November 2014 at AIT.

The workshop was presided over by chief guest Mr. Krisda Raksakul, Governor, National Housing Authority (NHA), Thailand, who conveyed his appreciation to AIT and indicated his support towards advancing the concept of sustainable housing development. He also shared the thrusts of the NHA, a state enterprise under the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security, highlighting that for 42 years, NHA has carried out over 700,000 housing units, solving the slums problem through community housing projects, government employee housing project, special projects services, and also helping flood victims in the southern part of Thailand.

AIT Vice President for Academic Affairs Prof. Sivanappan Kumar delivered the opening address on behalf of AIT President Prof. Worsak Kanok-Nukulchai. As a renowned renewable energy expert, Prof. Kumar emphasized the importance of building clean and green housing for the development of the Asia-Pacific region.

The two-day workshop was designed to demonstrate the theories and applications of technological solutions to help achieve cost-effectiveness, sustainability, disaster-resiliency, and long term durability for a variety of housing developments and civic infrastructures.

The event brought together over 30 organizations from countries including Bangladesh, India, Laos PDR, Myanmar, Nepal, Oman, Philippines, and Thailand. Participants were comprised of engineers, architects, directors, executives, managers, professors, researchers, and students from the public and private sectors, and universities.

The morning session kicked off with a presentation on “Low-cost Housing Challenges and Considerations” by Dr. Naveed Anwar, Executive Director, AIT Consulting. This presentation was followed by an overview of technology solutions for low-cost housing being used in NHA by Ms. Sukumaporn Jongpukdee, Deputy Director, Department of Policy and Planning, National Housing Authority, Thailand. Another key talk was on “Regional Practices on Low-cost Housing” by Dr. Ram Tiwaree, Economic Affairs Officer, Sustainable Urban Development Section, Environment and Development Division, UNESCAP.

The afternoon session focused on the available solutions for low-cost housing highligted by the following presentations: “Interlocking Blocks Solutions and Systems for Low-cost Building” by Gyanendra Sthapit, Director, Habitech Center, AIT; “Design Examples of Low-cost Housing” by Ms. Sudiksha Amatya, Senior Architect, AIT Consulting; “Ferrocement for Low-cost Housing” by Dr. Sun Sayamipuk, Managing Director, S N Service Solutions Co., Ltd.; and “The Ecovillage Rating System” by Dr. Atch Sreshthaputra, Executive Committee, Thai Green Building Institute.

Selected participants from the Ministry of Construction, Myanmar, SCG Thailand, UN-Habitat Nepal, and the India Centre for Public Policy Birla Institute of Management Technology, were invited to join the panel discussion to share their views, experiences, and solutions related to the topics covered in the workshop, together with speaker Dr. Atch Sreshthaputra.

The second day featured field visits to AIT’s Habitech Center and Ferrocement Park for hands-on demonstration of the technologies covered in Day 1. Visits to onsite Habitech projects including the AIT International School and the NHA project at Baan Eau-Arthorn Rojana were also arranged to illustrate the effectiveness of this homegrown solution.

Mr. Owen Waldschlagel, Founder and Designer, Intact Structures Inc. also shared his insights on intact structures design low-cost durable ferrocement housing systems. One of the participants, Dr. Santosh Shrestha, Sustainable Housing Analyst, United Nations Human Settlements Programme also presented key details on the “Green Homes-Promoting Sustainable Housing in Nepal.”

All the presentations in the workshop are available upon request by sending an email to