Masters candidate, University of the Witwatersrand
The objective of the research is to identify why the implementation of IBT has not been effective
Housing and sustainable human settlements remain at the core of the green agenda since the housing product has an environmental impact in the location on which it is built. In South Africa the policy trajectory has transitioned from housing to sustainable human settlements as informed by the then Department of Housing’s Breaking New Ground of 2004. Despite this shift, a majority of the housing products delivered in South Africa still do not reflect the sustainability aspect as a significant informant of technical choices in design and construction. Innovative building technologies (IBT) should be used to enhance the environmental performance of the housing product in terms of energy efficiency and green design.
In Crossing the chasm, Moore (1991) identifies that there exists a chasm in the technology adoption life cycle between early adopters, visionaries and enthusiasts of innovative technology (the early market) and late adopters, conservatives and sceptics of innovative technology (the mainstream market) mainly because the conditions in industry to adopt such technology is yet to be established. People are hesitant to invest in innovative technologies at this time since they are considered expensive and prone to failure and thus market growth cannot be sustained. In order to cross this chasm to move innovative technology into the mainstream market Moore (1991) suggests identifying a niche market as an entry point to promoting innovative technology.
On a broader scale, this research aims to contribute towards the implementation of the priorities of the New Urban Agenda. More specifically, the objective of the research is to identify why the implementation of IBT has not been successful in low cost housing within the Gauteng Province of South Africa to date.