Affordable Housing and the Civil Engineer

by Ronald J. Morony, HUD, Div of Innovative Technology, and Special Projects, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Excellence in the Constructed Project


The Joint Venture for Affordable Housing (JVAH) Demonstration. Program accomplished the goal and reduced the first time cost of housing by up to 30% through the use of innovative methods and materials of construction and by regulatory relief. As part of the JVAH Demonstration Program, HUD worked with builder/developers and local officials on 34 projects in 27 states on specific subdivisions using cost reduction techniques. Civil engineers usually design many features of the site development portions of single family subdivisions and 2/3 of the cost savings were realized in the site development. The major areas of savings are: 1) rationalization of street widths to serve traffic flows instead of arbitrary widths; 2) using surface drainage wherever possible; 3) use curvilinear alignment of sewers; 4) increase manhole spacing to take advantage of modern cleaning techniques; 5) use plastic sewer and water piping; 6) use no curb or rolled curb whenever possible; and, 7) use clustering of houses to increase open space and decrease infrastructure costs. As part of the JVAH Demonstration Program 27 case studies were developed in addition to two summary reports entitled Affordable Housing Challenge and Response - Volume I Affordable Resident Land Development and Volume II Affordable Residential Construction.

Subject Headings: Construction costs | Construction methods | Traffic flow | Surface drainage | Case studies | Housing | Construction sites | Traffic engineering

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