Towards upgradeable infrastructure for low cost housing : a new design philosophy

P.A. Erkelens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Low cost housing in developing countries is often built by the house owners through a process of self-building. Consequently, the infrastructure available is at a minimal level, often on site only. Whenever the (economic) situation of such areas improves, the local authorities together with the house owners work together to reach the stage where proper drainage systems, roads, sewerage, electricity and water are provided on an individual (per house) basis. This often requires demolishing, restructuring and rebuilding of the already existing infrastructure; which results in considerable capital waste. This article presents a theoretical solution on how to approach and prevent this problem: a gutter type of infrastructure; expecially designed for water, electricity, communication and sewerage. There are several advantages to this theoretical solution. Three of them are presented in this abstract, but more will be presented in the article. First, it can easily be adapted to future changes. Second, it allows the inclusion of gas piping. Third, it facilitates easy location and accessibility. Soon, a prototype of this system will be built and tested, at the 'test site' of the Eindhoven University of Technology.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7-11
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Construction
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2007


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