Indicator based sustainability assessment tool for affordable housing construction technologies
Journal article, 2012

With the growing worldwide demand for affordable housing and the importance of supporting and stimulating sustainable development, the need for sustainable solutions in the affordable housing sector is at a peak. The present paper screened about 75 construction technologies and assessed 46 of them. The present paper presents the first results of a step wise approach to identify, assess and recommend most promising technologies for affordable housing projects. A database was developed to store detailed technical information about each of the technologies. A grading and ranking scheme was developed to identify the most promising construction technologies from a sustainability perspective. The main challenges for affordable housing production and most relevant assessment indicators were identified from the literature, interviews and meetings with experts. An indicator based assessment system was developed by cross-referencing the identified eight challenges with ten selected indicators. The final ranking demonstrated that a wide variety of technologies perform strongly overall, and these range from bio-based materials, such as bamboo and timber, to industrialized technologies, such as concrete. Moreover, the possibilities for improvement are vast, and the option of combining different technologies seems to be the most promising approach.


Sustainable development






Holger Wallbaum

York Ostermeyer

Corinna Salzer

Edwin Zea Escamilla

Ecological Indicators

1470-160X (ISSN)

Vol. 18 July 353-364

Subject Categories

Materials Engineering

Civil Engineering

Social and Economic Geography

Human Geography

Climate Research



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