Towards sustainable infrastructure development in Africa : design principles and strategies for lifespan-based building performance

S. Agyefi-Mensah, J.M. Post, E.L.C. Egmond - de Wilde De Ligny, van, M. Mohammadi, E Badu

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review

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Abstract

Societies and economies the world over develop on the wheels of infrastructure. In Africa, it accounts for about one-third to one-half of all public investment (Kessides, 1993). Significant about infrastructure in general, however is the fact that they have very long lives. Consequently, their impact on capital investment, resource utilization, the quality of the environment and overall quality of human life can be very significant. It is important therefore that they meet performance requirements in terms of economic, ecological and social sustainability. By the same token, their long lifespan fraught the design task with enormous amount of uncertainties, compounding the already ill-defined nature of design problems. Given that change is importune, and the fact that it is impracticable to foresee all the changes that will occur over time, a defining characteristic of all infrastructure will be the capacity to respond to change. Focusing on the case of buildings, this paper presents a discussion on some design principles and strategies which assure responsiveness to change and hence sustainable performance. Although the concepts have been advocated for over half a century now, studies show that they still remain marginal to the design profession. To clarify the concepts for research questioning and extension of knowledge, this paper seeks to examine their basic tenets with the view to harmonize the core principles and strategies. A literature review method is used with examples from field observations where necessary. The paper first attempts to review and harmonize these principles, and highlights the practical usefulness. It then highlights the implications for research and development in building technology as well as technology capacity building for sustainable infrastructure development in Africa.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 1st International Conference on Infrastructure Development in Africa (ICIDA 2012), 22-24 March 2012, Kumasi, Ghana
Pages1-17
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Eventconference; International Conference on Infrastructure Development in Africa; 2012-03-22; 2012-03-24 -
Duration: 22 Mar 201224 Mar 2012

Conference

Conferenceconference; International Conference on Infrastructure Development in Africa; 2012-03-22; 2012-03-24
Period22/03/1224/03/12
OtherInternational Conference on Infrastructure Development in Africa

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Sustainable development
Wheels
Economics
Uncertainty

Cite this

Agyefi-Mensah, S., Post, J. M., Egmond - de Wilde De Ligny, van, E. L. C., Mohammadi, M., & Badu, E. (2012). Towards sustainable infrastructure development in Africa : design principles and strategies for lifespan-based building performance. In Proceedings of the 1st International Conference on Infrastructure Development in Africa (ICIDA 2012), 22-24 March 2012, Kumasi, Ghana (pp. 1-17)
Agyefi-Mensah, S. ; Post, J.M. ; Egmond - de Wilde De Ligny, van, E.L.C. ; Mohammadi, M. ; Badu, E. / Towards sustainable infrastructure development in Africa : design principles and strategies for lifespan-based building performance. Proceedings of the 1st International Conference on Infrastructure Development in Africa (ICIDA 2012), 22-24 March 2012, Kumasi, Ghana. 2012. pp. 1-17
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abstract = "Societies and economies the world over develop on the wheels of infrastructure. In Africa, it accounts for about one-third to one-half of all public investment (Kessides, 1993). Significant about infrastructure in general, however is the fact that they have very long lives. Consequently, their impact on capital investment, resource utilization, the quality of the environment and overall quality of human life can be very significant. It is important therefore that they meet performance requirements in terms of economic, ecological and social sustainability. By the same token, their long lifespan fraught the design task with enormous amount of uncertainties, compounding the already ill-defined nature of design problems. Given that change is importune, and the fact that it is impracticable to foresee all the changes that will occur over time, a defining characteristic of all infrastructure will be the capacity to respond to change. Focusing on the case of buildings, this paper presents a discussion on some design principles and strategies which assure responsiveness to change and hence sustainable performance. Although the concepts have been advocated for over half a century now, studies show that they still remain marginal to the design profession. To clarify the concepts for research questioning and extension of knowledge, this paper seeks to examine their basic tenets with the view to harmonize the core principles and strategies. A literature review method is used with examples from field observations where necessary. The paper first attempts to review and harmonize these principles, and highlights the practical usefulness. It then highlights the implications for research and development in building technology as well as technology capacity building for sustainable infrastructure development in Africa.",
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Agyefi-Mensah, S, Post, JM, Egmond - de Wilde De Ligny, van, ELC, Mohammadi, M & Badu, E 2012, Towards sustainable infrastructure development in Africa : design principles and strategies for lifespan-based building performance. in Proceedings of the 1st International Conference on Infrastructure Development in Africa (ICIDA 2012), 22-24 March 2012, Kumasi, Ghana. pp. 1-17, conference; International Conference on Infrastructure Development in Africa; 2012-03-22; 2012-03-24, 22/03/12.

Towards sustainable infrastructure development in Africa : design principles and strategies for lifespan-based building performance. / Agyefi-Mensah, S.; Post, J.M.; Egmond - de Wilde De Ligny, van, E.L.C.; Mohammadi, M.; Badu, E.

Proceedings of the 1st International Conference on Infrastructure Development in Africa (ICIDA 2012), 22-24 March 2012, Kumasi, Ghana. 2012. p. 1-17.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review

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N2 - Societies and economies the world over develop on the wheels of infrastructure. In Africa, it accounts for about one-third to one-half of all public investment (Kessides, 1993). Significant about infrastructure in general, however is the fact that they have very long lives. Consequently, their impact on capital investment, resource utilization, the quality of the environment and overall quality of human life can be very significant. It is important therefore that they meet performance requirements in terms of economic, ecological and social sustainability. By the same token, their long lifespan fraught the design task with enormous amount of uncertainties, compounding the already ill-defined nature of design problems. Given that change is importune, and the fact that it is impracticable to foresee all the changes that will occur over time, a defining characteristic of all infrastructure will be the capacity to respond to change. Focusing on the case of buildings, this paper presents a discussion on some design principles and strategies which assure responsiveness to change and hence sustainable performance. Although the concepts have been advocated for over half a century now, studies show that they still remain marginal to the design profession. To clarify the concepts for research questioning and extension of knowledge, this paper seeks to examine their basic tenets with the view to harmonize the core principles and strategies. A literature review method is used with examples from field observations where necessary. The paper first attempts to review and harmonize these principles, and highlights the practical usefulness. It then highlights the implications for research and development in building technology as well as technology capacity building for sustainable infrastructure development in Africa.

AB - Societies and economies the world over develop on the wheels of infrastructure. In Africa, it accounts for about one-third to one-half of all public investment (Kessides, 1993). Significant about infrastructure in general, however is the fact that they have very long lives. Consequently, their impact on capital investment, resource utilization, the quality of the environment and overall quality of human life can be very significant. It is important therefore that they meet performance requirements in terms of economic, ecological and social sustainability. By the same token, their long lifespan fraught the design task with enormous amount of uncertainties, compounding the already ill-defined nature of design problems. Given that change is importune, and the fact that it is impracticable to foresee all the changes that will occur over time, a defining characteristic of all infrastructure will be the capacity to respond to change. Focusing on the case of buildings, this paper presents a discussion on some design principles and strategies which assure responsiveness to change and hence sustainable performance. Although the concepts have been advocated for over half a century now, studies show that they still remain marginal to the design profession. To clarify the concepts for research questioning and extension of knowledge, this paper seeks to examine their basic tenets with the view to harmonize the core principles and strategies. A literature review method is used with examples from field observations where necessary. The paper first attempts to review and harmonize these principles, and highlights the practical usefulness. It then highlights the implications for research and development in building technology as well as technology capacity building for sustainable infrastructure development in Africa.

M3 - Conference contribution

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BT - Proceedings of the 1st International Conference on Infrastructure Development in Africa (ICIDA 2012), 22-24 March 2012, Kumasi, Ghana

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Agyefi-Mensah S, Post JM, Egmond - de Wilde De Ligny, van ELC, Mohammadi M, Badu E. Towards sustainable infrastructure development in Africa : design principles and strategies for lifespan-based building performance. In Proceedings of the 1st International Conference on Infrastructure Development in Africa (ICIDA 2012), 22-24 March 2012, Kumasi, Ghana. 2012. p. 1-17