Research informed teaching of sustainable development in South Africa: The case of 'Local' Building Materials and their Environmental impacts

  The study examines the properties and benefits of selected local materials (such as clay and recycled elements) and whether their use as construction materials enhances environmental protection. The rationale for this examination stems from the views held by scholars that imported materials are more preferred as sustainable building materials; however, there is limited research into whether the choice of local building materials is influenced primarily by their environmental benefits. The study will undertake a systematic literature review of sustainable development, available ‘local’ and ‘imported’ building materials, and adopt a quantitative research methodology involving the survey of selected building and civil construction companies in South Africa, and testing of materials in the lab to determine their physical properties and level of environmental impact. The research data collected on the economic, social and environmental properties of ‘local’ materials and their benefit in environmental protection, will be analysed using descriptive statistical techniques. The study findings will show the economic aspects of the ‘local’ building materials and whether these are useful in environmental protection and sustainable development of affordable housing. The study will uncover whether there is a need for improvement in the available ‘local’ building materials to address the sustainable triple bottom line of economics, social and environmental requirements.

  • Start Date:

    1 April 2019

  • End Date:

    31 March 2021

  • Activity Type:

    Externally Funded Research

  • Funder:

    Royal Academy of Engineering

  • Value:

    £10000

Project Team