Associated schools of construction of southern Africa infrastructure design and delivery workshop - Report. CIB task group 91 infrastructure

Owen, Robert L. (2015) Associated schools of construction of southern Africa infrastructure design and delivery workshop - Report. CIB task group 91 infrastructure. QUT, Brisbane QLD Australia.

Abstract

This workshop comprised a diverse group of African construction experts, ranging far wider than RSA. Each of the attendees had attended the annual ASOCSA conference and was additionally provided with a short workshop pre-brief. The aim was to develop a view of their 15-20 year vision of construction improvement in RSA and the steps necessary to get there. These included sociological, structural, technical and process changes. Whilst some suggestions are significantly challenging, none are impossible, given sufficient collaboration between government, industry, academia and NGOs. The highest priority projects (more properly, programmes) were identified and further explored. These are: 1. Information Hub (‘Open Africa’). Aim – to utilise emerging trends in Open Data to provide a force for African unity. 2. Workforce Development. Aim – to rebuild a competent, skilled construction industry for RSA projects and for export. 3. Modular DIY Building. Aim – to accelerate the development of sustainable, cost-efficient and desirable housing for African economic immigrants and others living in makeshift and slum dwellings. Open Data is a maturing theme in different cities and governments around the world and the workshop attendees were very keen to seize such a possibility to assist in developing an environment where Africans can share information and foster collaboration. It is likely that NGOs might be keen to follow up such an initiative. There are significant developments taking place around the world in the construction sector currently, with comparatively large savings being made for taxpayers (20% plus in the UK). Not all of these changes would be easy to transplant to RSA (even more so to much of the rest of Africa). Workforce development was a keen plea amongst the attendees, who seemed concerned that expertise has leaked away and is not being replaced with sufficient intensity. It is possible today to develop modular buildings in such a way that even unskilled residents can assist in their construction, and even their appropriate design. These buildings can be sited nearly autonomously from infrastructures, thus relieving the tensions on cities and townships, whilst providing humane accommodation for the economically disadvantaged. Development of suitable solutions could either be conducted with other similarly stressed countries or developed in-country and the expertise exported. Finally, it should be pointed out that this was very much a first step. Any opportunity to collaborate from an Australian, QUT or CIB perspective would be welcomed, whilst acknowledging that the leading roles belong to RSA, CSIR, NRF, ASOCSA and the University of KwaZulu-Natal.

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ID Code: 87938
Item Type: Report
Refereed: No
Keywords: Open Information, Workforce Development, Modular Building
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Civil Engineering & Built Environment
Current > Institutes > Institute for Future Environments
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2015 [Please consult the Author]
Deposited On: 01 Oct 2015 04:31
Last Modified: 02 Oct 2015 00:27

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