Is sustainable housing an option for LDC's?

P.A. Erkelens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Although the housing shortage is an everlasting problem in less developed countries (LDC's), the solution for this problem should also satisfy modern environmental requirements. This paper analyses housing options that also comply with the requirements for sustainability. This analysis is based on the author's extensive experience in the field of low-cost housing in both Peru and Kenya and research at the Technische Universiteit Eindhoven. Three approaches to solving the housing problem are the upgrading, renovation and maintenance of existing buildings. This paper deals with the aspect of sustainability in relation to these housing activities. The point of departure is the Dutch national environmental policy plans (NEPP), which can be applied to other areas and countries as well. Integrated life cycle management can be realized through upgrading, rehabi litation and maintenance of existing buildings. Within these activities, the ~aste production and closing of the life-cycle can be achieved through re-use of building materials and components already in the project itself. There is little awareness concerning energy saving or the efficient use of the available sorts of energy. The paper gives some examples for improvement. Besides that, the quality aspect should be given much more attention, when considering the reduction of materials use, energy use and extension of the service life of buildings and components. The conclusion is that (with some adaptations) it should be possible to introduce the concepts of sustainable building and construction in developing countries as well.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)251-257
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal for Housing Science and its Applications
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2001


Dive into the research topics of 'Is sustainable housing an option for LDC's?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this