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The use of alternative building technologies as a sustainable affordable housing solution: perspectives from South Africa

Adetooto, Johnson; Windapo, Abimbola; Pomponi, Francesco


Johnson Adetooto

Abimbola Windapo


This study aims to evaluate the perception of the local experts and end users on the drivers, barriers and strategies to the use of alternative building technologies (ABTs), with a focus on sandbag building technologies (SBTs) in the provision of sustainable housing in South Africa towards improving the public's understanding of SBTs.

This research adopted a qualitative approach that used focus group meetings as the primary data collection method for this study. This study's focus group participants comprised ABT experts and end users of ABT houses in South Africa who were selected using a convenient sampling technique. The data were recorded, transcribed verbatim and analysed using NVivo 11 software.

This study found that the perceived drivers to using ABTs such as SBT comprise sustainability, affordability, job creation potentials, fire-resistant and earthquake resistance. This study revealed strategies for the SBTs, including awareness, building sandbag prototypes across cities and training.

Practical implications
This study's findings have practical implications for the practice and praxis of ABT implementation and uptake in South Africa. This study provides a framework for broadening the worldwide understanding of use and uptake of SBTs to provide sustainable and affordable housing.

This study adds significantly to the limited body of knowledge on ABTs, focusing on sandbag houses. Consequently, the findings provide policymakers with information on the expert and end-user perspectives on the barriers and strategies to using ABTs.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Sep 27, 2022
Online Publication Date Nov 14, 2022
Deposit Date Dec 1, 2022
Publicly Available Date Dec 1, 2022
Journal Journal of Engineering, Design and Technology
Print ISSN 1726-0531
Electronic ISSN 1726-0531
Publisher Emerald
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Keywords Word, Alternative building technologies (ABTs), Building materials, Housing, Sandbags, Sustainability
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