Architectural design defects and their impact on housing in the private sector: case study of Aboabo residential area, Kumasi

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The government of Ghana has over the decades made attempts to improve the housing delivery system through the setting up of the framework of rules and regulations. The public sector provides less than 20 per cent of the housing stock of Ghana. The contribution of the private sector in making up for the average annual housing deficit of 70,000 housing units is therefore significant. In a bid to complement the efforts of government by the private sector, aspects such as development control by planning authorities are overlooked and in the process building regulations are also not followed. These situations result in defects in the architectural design of housing units. In Aboabo, a suburb of Kumasi, 131 housing units were selected using random sampling out of 830 of the 2000 Population and Housing Census. The compound was found to be the predominant type, which constitutes 62 per cent of the housing units studied. Over 60 per cent of landlords were above 60 years while over 70 per cent of them had either never had formal education or had only attained basic level of education. Architectural design defects in the housing units were identified under the classification of climate control and the floor plan. Only 17.6 per cent of the housing units studied were designed by professional architects. The limited influence of the architect had exacerbated the difficulties faced by the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA) in the promotion and the enforcement of planning laws. Among the recommendations provided is the need for the planning authorities to be conversant with the annual list of registered architects from the Architects Registration Council (A.R.C.). This action will place the authorities in a better position, to recommend them to landlords as part of periodic and sustained educational campaigns.
A thesis presented to the Department of Architecture Faculty of Architecture and Building Technology College of Architecture and Planning Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi In fulfillment of the requirements for the Master of Philosophy Degree In Housing Studies, 2005