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FACULTY OF INDUSTRIAL TECHNOLOGY

DEPARTMENT OF CIVIL AND WATER ENGINEERING

PART V RESEARCH PROJECT PROPOSAL

TITLE:

MODELLING OF LOW COST HOUSING UNITS


TO

PROVIDE

HOUSING

DEVELOPING COUNTRIES.

STUDENT NAME:

MUZANENHAMO BRIGHT.

SUPERVISOR:

MISS. D. MAKWECHE

DATE:

07 OCTOBER 2014

SOLUTIONS

IN

Table of Contents
1.0 INTRODUCTION.............................................................................................................1
2.0 AIM.....................................................................................................................................2
2.1 Objectives..............................................................................................................................2
3.0 PROBLEM STATEMENT................................................................................................2
3.1 Justification...........................................................................................................................3
4.0

BACKGROUND OF LOW COST HOUSING.........................................................4

5.0 METHODOLOGY............................................................................................................4
6.0

TIMETABLE...............................................................................................................5

7.0

REFERENCES............................................................................................................6

1.0 INTRODUCTION
The rapid rise of urbanization in most parts of Africa has presented the continent with a
number of challenges and stripped its cities of their ability to provide for basic needs like
shelter, infrastructure, education and health care. Urbanization and demand for houses are
positively correlated and thus as the urban society of a city expands so does the needs for
more housing. In the case of most developing countries, these needs have largely been
unmet.
Consequently, housing shortage in developing countries has escalated to unprecedented
rates making the percentage of slum dwellers that reside illegally in a place without
authorization and property rights extremely high.
The housing sector, while addressing the needs for affordable housing of low-income
groups, can enormously contribute in the development of African economies. However,
in most developing countries, few segments of the economy, as contributors to growth,
have been as understudied as housing. As a result, a sector largely missing in the
economic plans of most developing countries is that of housing and housing-related
activities.
As a result of housing shortages, housing opportunities are only available to the high
income earners and the poor are finding it difficult to own a personal property. The
availability of low cost housing for the poor is a situation that requires immediate
attention. These low cost housing units need to be erected fast enough to meet the 2018
ZimAsset deadline.

2.0 AIM

To investigate building practices for low cost, sustainable housing solutions to come up with
a potential model that can be used in Zimbabwe to address the housing backlog that country
is facing.

2.1 Objectives

Carrying out a literature review on low cost housing solutions employed in


various countries.
To carry out an investigation on the current building practices in Zimbabwe.
To conduct a survey on the affordability of housing to low income earners.
To come up with a model that is sustainable as well as affordable to low income
earners.

3.0 PROBLEM STATEMENT


Most poor Zimbabweans lack access to decent and secure housing. Others live in settlements
that lack basic infrastructure and sustainable services. Some neighbourhoods are
overcrowded and infrastructure constantly falters. Studies show that some high density stands
are shared by as many as 22 people instead of the recommended 6.
The housing backlog is thus seen in needs that are completely unmet as well as cases where
needs are partially met. Evidence of partial meeting of needs is seen in informal settlements
as well as existing formal settlements where services are strained. The strain is seen in sewer
bursts, water outages, bad road networks, and among others, overcrowded health and
education facilities
2

There is a huge housing backlog, that is, the number of new housing units and facilities
needed as well as old units and facilities needing refurbishment. Although no comprehensive
assessment has been done at least 1 million new units are estimated as the backlog across all
housing types. According to section 2.15 of the ZimAsset document the country faces a
huge backlog estimated at 1,25 million units due to rising housing demand in urban and
resettled areas as a consequence of the Land Reform Programme.

3.1 Justification
Housing is an essential part of human life. The Zimbabwe government in the ZimAsset
document showed its intent to provide low cost housing by 2018 meaning rapid construction
technology needs to be implemented. Given the magnitude of this task, it is legitimate to ask
if traditional building techniques can possibly provide the only answers. Is laying bricks or
concrete blocks on top of each other the most efficient and environmentally sound solution to
build walls, for example? Are the current building practices quick enough to meet the 2018
deadline? There is a strong case for innovative thinking in an industry that, at least in terms
of basic building principles, has not changed fundamentally in centuries; and also for
introducing completely different costing models. Additional challenges, when it comes to
providing low-cost housing, include scarcity of suitable land, urban density, overcrowding,
environmentally unfriendly building materials and the complications of servicing housing
areas with ancillary infrastructure such as water, sanitation and electricity.
In light of all this, it is necessary to prepare a paper that looks at new innovating building
practices that are being used in other countries versus the ones used in Zimbabwe. There is
room for new cost effective building practices to be introduced to address the current housing
shortage. The paper will also look at the engineering aspects employed in a potential model
that can be used locally.

4.0 BACKGROUND OF LOW COST HOUSING


One of the main challenges of developing and managing the developing countries is that of
providing adequate housing to its residents. Rapid urbanization especially in Africa, has for
many years, been profoundly affecting the lives of city dwellers and, indeed the economies of
many African countries. The expansion of the larger cities has resulted in a number of
problems including substandard housing conditions, overcrowding of households, inadequate
and unreliable infrastructure and services. Studies have shown that a growing number of
urban dwellers have limited access to acceptable and adequate housing, transportation, water
supply, health and education. In this connection, the inadequacy and substandard nature of
urban housing has spawned squatter or informal settlements, slums and backyard shacks.
Today, the global number of slum dwellers is now close to one billion. The magnitude of the
stress on housing delivery is clearly reflected by the degree of overcrowding, the
mushrooming of illegal settlements, illegal backyard structures and unauthorized extensions.
The low-income earning citizens and workers from the informal sector make up most of
these people living in slums. Therefore it is necessary to provide a low cost housing solution
that can be quickly implemented.
The private sector has ignored low income earners and only the government has tried to
provide low cost housing. New technology and cheaper innovating ideas might encourage the
private sector to provide housing for the poor as well.

5.0 METHODOLOGY
To achieve the set of objectives, a thorough literature survey will be carried out to understand
the basic but new building practices that are being used around the world. The research
method to find possible remedies to the housing deficit is a descriptive research using
qualitative data. Investigations on current building practices will also be carried out. This can
be found from handbooks and articles by governments and various construction companies
on the internet. Publications by independent authors will also prove useful to provide a
comprehensive understanding of the subject and scripts of work previously done by others on
this topic to get a brief background and knowledge in related issues.

A questionnaire survey will be conducted to see the low income earners ability to purchase or
build a house and how much they are willing to spend.
A basic model of a house will be recommended at the end of the study and the structural
integrity and behaviour of this model in various conditions is going to be studied.

6.0 TIMETABLE

Table 1 Gantt Chart showing project schedule


ACTIVITY

NOVEMBER DECEMBER JANUARY FEBRUARY MARCH APRIL

1. Introduction and
project overview
2. Literature review
3. Methodology
4. Analysis of the
potential model
5. Conclusions and
recommendation
6. Project submission

7.0REFERENCES
5

(GoZ) Government of Zimbabwe 2012. National Housing Policy, Ministry of Local


Government, Public Works and Urban Development, Harare
(GoZ) Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation (ZimAsset)
(2013)
(GoZ) Government of Zimbabwe 2008. Zimbabwe National Housing Delivery Programme,
Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and Urban Development, Harare