Flexible Design and Construction Strategies for Self-Help Housing in Botswana

K. Jobe*, C. J. K. Williams
Architecture & Civil Engineering Department, University of Bath, Bath, United Kingdom

© Jobe and Williams; Licensee Bentham Open.

open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial 4.0 International Public License (CC BY-NC 4.0) (, which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Architecture & Civil Engineering Department, University of Bath, BA2 7AY, Bath, United Kingdom; Tel: +44 (0)1225 385394; E-mail:


In an effort to coordinate the housing schemes from different departments, Government of the Republic of Botswana took a decision to establish Single Housing Authority (SiHA) through a Presidential Cabinet Directive CAB20 (B) 2010 in July 2010. Previously, these schemes were designed and built by the local councils, with the help of the local builders and house owners. A review of the architect designed and contractor-led housing projects under this scheme, demonstrate the shortcomings of a standardized housing design approach and the need to develop a flexible design strategies that can respond to the inevitable changes associated with low-income housing. A qualitative case study research of Self-Help Housing Agency (SHHA)’s built houses was conducted in Mochudi (Botswana) to explore potential strategies of improving the current self-help housing design processes. Using case study examples from Mochudi, a systematic and flexible design framework is suggested as an economically viable approach to improve the quality of self-help housing design processes that reduce costly changes which are associated with the current government-funded housing schemes.

Keywords: Botswana, Flexible design, Low-income, Self-help housing, SiHA.