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Title: A flexible housing approach for self-help housing in Botswana
Author: Jobe, Kagiso
ISNI:       0000 0004 9358 9087
Awarding Body: University of Bath
Current Institution: University of Bath
Date of Award: 2017
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UN-Habitat recognizes that the right to adequate housing is much more than four walls. The indicators for adequate housing as described by UN-Habitat and that are of interest to this study are: affordability, participation, habitability, cultural identity, access to services and infrastructure. Self-help housing communities in Botswana are made up of housing of poor structural and architectural quality and they are lacking in basic amenities such as access to clean water, proper sanitary services and lack of clean sources of energy. The major challenge in these communities is a lack of finance and an informal approach to design and construction in self-help housing. Informal methods are usually poorly documented and they do not follow any set standards or good practices. The other challenge is that self-help housing developments are unregulated and unmonitored. This is because self-help housing is built incrementally over-time which makes it difficult to predict how and when housing improvements will take place. As a result the quality and delivery of self-help housing is compromised. The aim of this research is to explore how self-help housing can be designed and built to accommodate changes that are difficult to predict, and still be rooted in the socio-cultural and economic context of Botswana, without compromising the quality of housing. To address these challenges, this thesis examines the prospect of using a flexible housing approach as an effective strategy to improve the quality of self-help housing in Botswana. The design explorations were conducted using participatory action research and case study research methodologies. Thirty-five households were selected from five different wards in Mochudi as case studies. Scenario workshops, with focus groups involving local residents and local builders, were conducted to introduce and explore the application of flexible housing concepts. A flexible housing methodology is a simplified design system which allows for variations and incremental housing strategies. It is an effective design strategy that has the potential to responds to the continuously changing social needs of self-help housing in Botswana. The research findings revealed that flexible housing is economically and socially appropriate for self-help housing communities as they depend on informal livelihoods. Using this method allowed participants to expand their experience and knowledge of using progressive design approaches. This was a clear demonstration that a participatory approach empowers ordinary users and local builders with no formal design skills to create innovative housing typologies. The scenario workshops achieved their purpose of empowering participants with new knowledge and technologies for improving the quality of informal housing. The other achievement was to demonstrate that self-help housing can be subjected to the rigours of architectural design without losing its social and economic role.
Supervisor: Williams, Christopher ; Emmitt, Stephen ; Sharma, Bhavna Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available