Volume No. 7 Issue No.: 1A Page No.: 553-560 July-September 2012




Pushplata and Kumar Ashwani *

Department of Architecture and Planning, Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee (INDIA )


Received on : May 25,2012




Environmental quality of a settlement is an outcome of its natural as well as built environment. The intensity and pattern of built environment not only affects its appearance and efficiency. It affects the environmental quality of the area significantly in terms of variations in the micro climate, the extent of surface run off / recharging of aquifers and water table, the extent of soil erosion and its consequential affects on siltation and quality of water sources and the extent and quality of vegetation cover. The built form of a settlement that affect its environmental sustainability, in turn are governed by the building regulations that are in force from time to time. For example, the spacing between the buildings, governed by front, side and rear setback regulations, determine the amount of solar exposure received by the building(s). Environmental degradation in form of changes in micro climate, loss of vegetation cover, disturbance to hydrological regimen, flooding, pollution and increase occurrences of instability is witnessed along with increased building activity, which are dictated by the prevailing building regulations in majority of settlements in India. These issues are of great concern in case of hill towns where ensuring sustainable built environment becomes essential not only for the quality of built environment and well being of its inhabitants, but for ensuring the sustainability of the ecologically sensitive hill regions surrounding the settlements as well as surrounding plains.


Keywords : Building regulations, Environmental quality, Sustainable development, Hill towns, Surroundings