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As we become ever more immersed in a new “technological” era we neglect those things that are most basic and obvious to us.

In the 1970s some architects and builders, who had been experimenting with vernacular materials, decided to break away altogether from modern technologies based on concrete and steel, and return to traditional methods of construction in earth, timber and bamboo. This “return to nature” coincided with the birth of the ecological movement, providing an interesting alternative for the billions of homeless people in developing countries.

The advantages of affordability and flexibility of timber, earth and bamboo, coupled with good design, contribute to raising the living standards and improving the housing conditions of low-income populations. The simplicity of the respective construction methods facilitates self-building.

The principal objective of this thesis is to design a methodology for selecting the most appropriate technology; monitoring; site supervision and feedback for Low-Cost Housing Construction in Developing Countries.

The methodology is divided into four parts: (Figure 1)

The first part is a house design suitable for low-income populations in Latin America.

In the second part, this house design offers three alternative Low-Cost Building Technologies in local materials.

The third part consists of a computerized statistical budgeting system which permits a fast and comprehensive evaluation of housing construction systems for optimal cost-saving in the construction process.

The fourth part of this thesis consists of a series of graphs and a software application which enable the professionals to select the most appropriate technology with respect to the income level of the community; interest rate on loans; length of mortgage period and the size of regular monthly payments.

This methodology has been designed to take maximum advantage of the latest computer technology and is designed to be user-friendly for those with limited computer skills.

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Contents | Preface | Acknowledgements | Abstract | Introduction
Objective | Methodology | Conclusions | Bibliography


Trade-off Methodology for Low-Cost Housing Construction Technologies
Page V


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