With an increasing population, the demand for housing is on the rise, which is putting immense pressure on the limited land resources. The current scenario has led to challenges in both urban and rural areas, with unplanned and underdeveloped settlements contributing to the rise in homelessness. This has resulted in the depletion of natural resources, shrinking land, and pollution levels, calling for an urgent need to incorporate sustainability principles into the built environment.

The Need for Sustainable Shelters

Shelter security is a critical concern, with the number of homeless people worldwide growing rapidly. There are several factors responsible for homelessness, such as illness, job loss, lack of affordable housing, mental illness, natural disasters, physical disabilities, poverty, and severe depression. These factors often exacerbate the problems and make it challenging for homeless people to access housing, jobs, healthcare, and basic needs.

An Integrated Approach to Sustainable Shelters

  • An integrated approach is necessary to address the issue of homelessness.
  • The approach should involve inputs from various fields such as architecture, engineering, science, technology, ecology, and economics.
  • Sustainable shelters should be viewed as dynamic interplays of spaces.
  • Sustainable shelters should offer multiple purposes to provide physical comfort and psychological satisfaction to the inhabitants.
  • Sustainable shelters should incorporate balanced ecological elements.

Environmental Approach to Buildings

The following are the key points regarding the need for environmental approaches in the structure and design of buildings:

  • The structure and design of buildings should incorporate environmental approaches to ensure sustainability of the built environment.
  • Environmental approaches can help in conserving natural resources by reducing their depletion rate.
  • The use of environmental approaches can also help in reducing pollution levels in the environment.
  • Incorporating environmental approaches in the structure and design of buildings can promote healthy living among inhabitants.
  • Sustainable building practices such as the use of energy-efficient materials, green roofs, and solar panels can significantly reduce energy consumption and costs.
  • The adoption of sustainable building practices can also improve the indoor air quality, which is critical for human health.
  • Sustainable building practices can help in mitigating the impacts of climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Governments and other stakeholders need to encourage the adoption of sustainable building practices through policies and incentives.
  • The construction industry needs to incorporate sustainable building practices into its operations to reduce its environmental impact.
  • Education and awareness campaigns can help in promoting sustainable building practices among architects, engineers, builders, and homeowners.

Factors Responsible for Homelessness

IllnessSerious illness or disability leads to homelessness.
Job LossNo income to pay rent.
Lack of Affordable HousingHigh rent burdens, overcrowding, and substandard housing.
Mental IllnessSevere and persistent mental illness.
Natural Disaster/FireInhabitable housing due to chance disasters.
Physical DisabilitiesInability to work or find appropriate employment.
PovertyLiving on the streets due to being poor.
Severe DepressionThe inability to maintain a stable life.
Table: Factors Responsible for Homelessness


Sustainable shelters offer a viable solution to the challenges of homelessness and pressure on finite land resources. It requires an integrated approach and the incorporation of environmental principles into the built environment. Sustainable shelters not only provide physical comfort and psychological satisfaction but also promote balanced ecological elements. It is crucial to take a step towards sustainable shelters to combat the issue of homelessness and preserve our limited land resources.

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