Building Sustainable Homes for Rural India


A house that earns for its occupants.
There are millions of poor homeless families in India. Such numbers are increasing day by day in the absence of enough affordable options. The challenge is not only to find a low cost solution, but to find a solution which reduces the financial burden on such families. We thought of taking it a step further; what if we had a solution wherein occupying a house can earn for the occupants? ‘A house which earns’ will eventually uplift local communities economically, slowly leading to reducing the gap between the haves and the have-nots. Powerhouse is a global collaborative mission to design not only a house, but even the process of enabling such a solution to the potential end users. Renewable sources of power can be harnessed to develop a standardised solution, becoming an integral part of the house. Think solar, think wind...think beyond. Powerhouse will be a house, which will not only produce its own power, but will be able to generate excess power. Powerhouse will do at least three things economically. First and second, it will make money for their inhabitants as they sell back the excess power to the grid and the income pays for part of the mortgages taken to buy the homes. Third, the inhabitants will be involved in building the easy-to-erect homes, and earning thereof.


Applications to the EOI are now closed. We will shortly launch the RfP.


Well, if you think you can do it on your own, you are free to apply singly. We feel that a collaborative attempt is the need of the hour. In India, and across the globe, homes have traditionally been designed by architects and erected by contractors. All other improvements, like say installing a solar panel, are usually standalone activities, resulting in a lack of accurate integration with other services, leading to inefficient outputs. The poor in India cannot afford architect-designed homes, and thus live in poor quality, self-imagined and built habitats, with no or limited access to good hygiene, clean water and power. So what if experts designed once, and houses were mass produced; say like cars? The poor is more concerned about a reliable roof above their head, rather than a customised designer house. A collaborative team of architects, engineers, renewable energy experts, policy makers, financiers and others working together from the drawing board stage can design the process required for such mass produced “net positive” homes. It is believed that this collaborative approach, versus the ‘design in silos’ approach, will help develop a holistic, modular, standardised housing solution for the poor in India; and in the process becoming an economic development engine.
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About Us

Empowering change
CRISP Social Ventures ("CSV")

Powerhouse is supported by CSV, which is an on-ground extension of the Chevening Rolls Royce Science and Innovation Leadership Programme, in a bid to promote science and innovation as a means to development. It is a unique programme aimed specifically at mid-career Indian and Sri Lankan professionals working in the fields of science, innovation, business and related public administration, funded by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office of the UK government. CSV is promoted and led by the alumni of the programme and supported by the British High Commissions in India, Indo-UK Business Council and others.


    driven initiatives.


    is key.


    who believes in this.


    for social good.

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