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Strategies to promote the acceptance of sandbag building technology for sustainable and affordable housing delivery: the South African case

Adetooto, Johnson; Windapo, Abimbola; Pomponi, Francesco; Companie, Fabio; Alade, Kehinde; Mtya, Amanda


Johnson Adetooto

Abimbola Windapo

Fabio Companie

Kehinde Alade

Amanda Mtya


Sandbag building technologies (SBTs) have been offered as a cost-effective and sustainable alternative building technology (ABT) capable of accelerating house construction in South Africa, but its acceptance remains low. However, knowledge about how to effectively improve SBT social acceptance is limited. This study aims to develop and prioritise SBT social acceptability strategies towards providing a comprehensive framework for the successful deployment and widespread adoption of sandbag technology.

This study used a quantitative research strategy that included a literature review and a structured questionnaire survey of 228 ABT professionals and stakeholders in the South African housing industry. The study statistically analysed 13 strategies for the social acceptance of SBT.

The analysis showed that the top three strategies include the availability of sandbag demonstration projects in all provinces, the approval of a sandbag building code and the availability of standard design methods for earthbags. A factor analysis clustered the 13 strategies into Stakeholders integration and policy formation, Effective education and knowledge sharing and Grassroots advocacy and incentives.

Practical implications
The current study’s findings provide a broad framework for the effective implementation and wide acceptance of sandbag technology in housing projects. It offered certain best practices that policymakers and practitioners might use to promote ABT and SBT societal acceptability.

To the best of the authors’ knowledge, the study represents the first and only attempt to investigate the viewpoints of experts and housing market stakeholders in South Africa regarding sandbag technology social acceptance strategies and contributes to the social acceptance body of knowledge in ABT and SBT.


Adetooto, J., Windapo, A., Pomponi, F., Companie, F., Alade, K., & Mtya, A. (online). Strategies to promote the acceptance of sandbag building technology for sustainable and affordable housing delivery: the South African case. Journal of Engineering, Design and Technology,

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Oct 2, 2022
Online Publication Date Oct 31, 2022
Deposit Date Nov 10, 2022
Publicly Available Date Nov 10, 2022
Journal Journal of Engineering, Design and Technology
Print ISSN 1726-0531
Publisher Emerald
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Keywords Alternative building technologies (ABTs), Building materials, Housing, Sandbags, Sustainability
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