​Research Goals and Objectives

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South Africa is a country with significant socio-economic development. However, the majority of South Africans have limited or non-existent access to basic infrastructure, services, education, primary health care, housing and socio-economic opportunities. At present, the urban housing backlog exceeds 2.4 million houses, with many families living in squatter housing or informal settlements.

On the other hand, the availability of environmentally friendly building materials is on the rise. Environmentally conscious contractors and their clients have begun creating a market for alternative and innovative building products, and a proliferation of such products has ensued. With a global move towards sustainable and energy-efficient constructions, there is an increasing need for innovation within the built environment. Developing sustainable communities and cities thus requires the exploration of alternative and innovative materials and products.

The strategic goal of The Centre is therefore to support Government initiatives on the implementation of sustainable social infrastructure, including clinics, hospitals, schools, human settlements, etc. using modular, Innovative Building Technologies (IBTs), materials and processes.


Based on the vision of the Government, the University, FEBE and the School, the objectives of the Centre are to:

  1. broaden, promote and research a variety of products and materials utilized within the built environment, with particular emphasis on products/materials and processes that promote sustainable development;
  2. developing testing protocols and performing tests for performance-based building standards recognized by Agrèment for compliance to National Building Regulations;
  3. to position the school as a catalyst for research and continuous product and process innovation in the built environment through strong partnerships with public and private organizations;
  4. to promote 4IR in construction through relevant and impactful research that disrupts the current delivery of social infrastructure, including human settlements and clinics;
  5. Contribute to the university’s research output through the publication of research book manuscripts, journals, book chapters and conference papers;
  6. Mentoring and supervision of postdoctoral research fellows who will be engaged in various areas of research; and
  7. Influence government policies on the adoption and implementation of advanced construction technologies.