Sustainability of Social Housing in the Urban Tropics

University dissertation from Chalmers University of Technology

Abstract: The Licentiate thesis looks at sustainable building approaches for social housing in emerging economies. It combines theoretical concepts with practical applications of sustainability and underlines the relevance and strength of multi-dimensional development. At the example of the Philippines, the conceptual framework for a multi-perspective development process of a bamboo-based building system is developed. Sustainability Assessment Criteria are defined based on data from three stakeholder clusters: (1) Builders and users of traditional bamboo houses in the Philippines; (2) Stakeholders involved in using forest products for housing in countries around the world; and (3) Stakeholders in the field of social housing of the Philippines. Through a qualitative content analysis, research areas are identified and categorized into five dimensions of holistic sustainability: technology, society, ecology, economy, and governance. The Licentiate names methods leading to measurable, quantitative endpoints for those research areas and presents selected results: from mechanical property and fire resistance testing in the technical pillar, to environmental impact assessment in the ecological dimension as well as pathways towards a legal approval as contribution to the governance pillar. An accompanying implementation project is introduced, producing outputs in economic, social and governance dimension, and a pathway for the course of the PhD is shaped. By the end of the PhD thesis, a holistic sustainability assessment of the building technology will be provided for the given context of social housing in the Philippines.

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