United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat)


"Governments set up appropriate technology transfer mechanism at the national, provincial and local grass root level such as Building Centers to enable and enhance the application of technology options and to ensure the incorporation of building technology in the educational curricula of professional institutes ".

Resolution No. 14/6, Para 20, at the 14th convention of the UNCHS, Nairobi, Kenya, May 1993

Government of India

"Spurred by the success of the Kollam (Building Centre) experiment the Government of India have decided to launch a national programme of setting up of a network of building centers in all the districts of the country".

Letter No. 16012/7/87-H.I, dated 12.8.1988 from the Secretary to Government of India

The Finance Minister, Government of Indiastated in the parliament:

“It has been decided to set up a national network of Nirman or Nirmithi Kendras which will provide easy access to low cost housing materials and techniques. It is proposed to set up one Kendra in each district in the coming year”.

Chairman of India’s Housing and Urban Development Corporation (HUDCO) has observed,

“This initiative of Building Center movement has now strong linkages towards achieving the UNCHS Habitat goal”.

Evaluation by Govt. of India

  • So far 627 Building Centres have been approved as a part of national network of building centres.
  • Appropriate and cost effective technologies are now applied in housing for weaker sections and low income in over 1 million houses every year to produce affordable housing.
  • The Building Centres have been able to demonstrate savings in the cost of construction to the extent of 15% to 40% over conventional construction.
  • The Building Centres have developed into effective construction delivery system for affordable housing and also contributing to employment and income generation at local levels.
  • So far these Building Centres trained nearly 150000 construction artisans.
  • The launch of Building Centre movement has contributed significantly in conserving the natural resources and environment.
  • This movement has received unanimous support for creation and establishment of a SAARC NETWORK on Low Cost Housing and Building Technologies called SAARC SHELTERNET in Kathmandu, 1996.

United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat)

“The Global Nirmithi Net (GNN) is a fraternity of institutions and Individuals working for the realization of a 'better world through better habitat'. Established in Istanbul during Habitat II by a group of "Global Best Practices", GNN works for cost-effective and environment-friendly habitat development through a network of Building Centres. The Building Center movement in India was selected by UNCHS as a Global Best Practice in 1996. GNN, the global manifestation of the Building Center initiative, is the recipient of the Bremen Partnership Award, Germany and the Urban Green Management Excellence Award, Singapore.”

The Best Practices Newsletter, December 2001 - January 2002 Edition


“The Global Nirmithi Net (GNN) attempts to develop sustainable human settlements that are cost effective and environmentally sound. GNN acts as an advocacy group at the international, national and the local levels for sustainable human settlements that can facilitate universal improvement in living and working conditions. GNN also promotes best practices in all spheres of sustainable living.”