Affordable housing

New house forms and technologies which provide more functional, durable and resilient houses for rural Assam, while allowing for local production and maintenance, all within affordable rural budgets.

Affordable Housing Research

Our research into affordable housing has taken many forms including a demonstration construction effort, a series of interviews, an indepth literature review and 3D modeling.

The demonstration involved construction of a building frame using light gauge steel with an innovative concrete-less footing system. The building components were delivered to the construction site, the University of Melbourne Burnley campus, prefabricated. Each corner of the footing system was put in place in less than 10 minutes each and were instantly ready to support the weight of the frame. The LGS frame was then put together using simple construction techniques such as screwing and hammering. The construction process was conducted by a group of students from the Management of Construction class along with Hemanta Doloi, David Week, Pradip Baishya and Sasanka Borah. The total construction process took less than seven hours. A video of the demonstration is available here.

The interviews were conducted in January 2019. The first nine interview subjects were living in houses that were built under the Indian Government's PMAYG initiative. A further ten subjects who were living in accommodation that was either inherited or self-built were also interviewed. This allowed us to compare some of the attitudes towards housing of the government funded scheme to other forms of housing.

These two components were brought together with the results of the literature review to compile the book "Affordable housing for Smart Villages" which will be available shortly through Routledge.

We have also used virtual prototyping to make 3D models of potential affordable housing designs. The flexible modeling tool allows for instant updates to the models. The tool can be used in consultation with target communities giving them input into the design of potential affordable housing for them. The modeling was demonstrated during our 3rd Workshop at the Assam Engineering College.