Using appropriate infrastructure technologies for housing
The acceptance and use of technological innovations by the building industry has been slow due to various factors. Innovative materials and technologies developed by government research institutes are seldom used by governments in their own construction activities. Frequently, even government tenders for low-cost housing projects specify expensive conventional building materials and technologies instead of proven low-cost technologies developed by government research institutions. Due to lack of public sector demonstration projects, contractors stick to the "proven" technologies that are often unsustainable from the social, economic and environmental point of views, and wide application of new innovative building materials and technologies is impeded.
Even when low-cost, appropriate building materials are attractive in terms of market price, there is still the problem of consumer biases against the products. This may not be based on cost considerations but instead stems from the lack of information on the technical properties of these innovative materials and the lack of awareness of the fact that costly building materials can easily be replaced by innovative locally-made materials. The failure to use low-cost materials in government-sponsored construction projects is another serious constraint which limits the wide-scale adoption of these materials. Governments in developing countries are often the largest clients of the construction industry; their efforts can easily popularize the use of these materials by private low-incomes house builders.
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