Most developing countries have not yet reached the level of
specialisation that is found in the industrialised countries of the North, for
example Architects usually do their own quantity surveying. Although software
quantity-surveying programmes are available for conventional concrete
construction in developing countries, computer technology has not been applied
to the area of low-cost housing. Ironically, it is precisely the area of low-cost
housing that would most benefit from a rigorous cost-benefit analysis.
Although housing institutions in developing countries are
beginning to use computers for administrative tasks, nevertheless the whole
design process is still carried out manually due to the absence of user-friendly,
easily obtainable and affordable software.
The methodology proposed in this thesis addresses the deficit of
information technology, and the advantages of the proposal are compared with the
weakness of the few existing systems.
Disadvantages of the existing systems
• Interminable lists of materials and prices with no clear
separations between the constituent parts of low-cost buildings (e.g..
foundations, walls, roofs etc.)
• None of the existing systems incorporate graphical statistical
• Little flexibility to incorporate pre-costed self-build
• No flexibility to take account of rapid inflation which affects
prices from month to month in some developing countries
• Does not distinguish between shell and finishes
• Systems are only available for conventional concrete or similar
"modern" construction methods.
• Usually the systems are based on data base applications which are
neither user-friendly nor readily available.
• Great volume of information on Hard Disk
• Very expensive
Advantages of the proposed information technology systems
Integrated Statistical-Budgeting System
• Classification of the building elements with interlinked
• The incorporation of statistical graphics such as bar charts and
pie charts which are easily understood even by people with little training in
construction and computer technology.
• The system is structured to incorporate prefabricated elements
(in the Components Workbook).
• The system automatically adjusts with respect to interest and
• Developed principally for construction with appropriate