WHAT WE DO | RESEARCH

PHD AND POSTDOC

JOSE VALLEJO

Sustainable housing for all: alternative financial mechanism technologies for low income housing finance in Latin America. (PhD)

This study will investigate household behaviour around risk, financial decision-making and finance technology acceptance within households with formal or informal income and no credit history. In addition, it will explore societal attitudes and the acceptance of mobile technologies for measuring risk and monitoring payments, as well as the acceptability of alternative materials. The latter is in relation to alternative financing models related to carbon credits. This project will develop case studies in Quito and Sao Paulo through gathering relevant information from surveys and focus groups. Trials of household behaviour with alternative mobile technologies, materials and financial mechanisms will be carried out through experimental analysis. The study aims to contribute to the bodies of knowledge in credit risk, household behaviour, information systems and materials disciplines. It is aim that the findings add value for decision making to political, financial and design practitioners. The research is predominately field-based, conducting experimental research into financial models, new technologies and innovations with communities in Quito and Sao Paulo.

ELIZABETH WAGEMANN

Flexibility and adaptation. Transition from temporary accommodation to permanent housing after natural disasters. (PhD)

Among many requirements that must be met after a disaster, the gap between short-term necessities and long-term requirements is one of the most critical. The approach of this research is based on the understanding of adaptation processes in post-disaster reconstruction, and the learning from people’s modifications to their temporary houses. Additions and changes made by users in real cases will be the starting point for designing new strategies, focusing on the concepts of flexibility and adaptation, and considering the uncertainty of future needs.
Fieldwork was conducted with the objective of identifying steps, similarities and patterns in the process from temporary to permanent housing, through transitional shelters built by TECHO in Peru and Chile, as case studies. The fieldwork was divided into four parts: taking pictures on site, making drawings from measurements taken on site, applying surveys to users and conducting interviews to people involved in design/construction of houses.

MAXIMILIAN BOCK

Materials and construction
for energy efficient buildings
in developing countries.

(Postdoc)

This project focuses on renewable materials for construction. Work to date has included studies on the micro-structure of chalk-clay composites as “green tiles”, visits to bamboo plantation and processing facilities in Ecuador, and life cycle analyses on processing renewable materials in factories in Colombia. These projects are strongly tied to both current and future EcoHouse research areas and have helped expand the repertoire of materials currently envisioned for construction, as well as providing in-depth knowledge and context for future designs. Bamboo panels are currently being tested as a viable alternative for concrete panels for the permanent housing design.