Issues Affecting the Flow of Information During the Design Phase of Affordable Housing Developments

José H. Loría-Arcila1 & Jorge A. Vanegas2

1Professor and Academic Secretary, School of Engineering, Avenida Industrias no Contaminantes por Periférico Norte S/N, Universidad Autónoma de Yucatán, Mérida, Yucatán, México, (999) 941-0195, FAX (999) 941- 0189, [email protected]
2The Fred and Teresa Estrada Professor, Construction Engineering and Management Program, School of Civil and Envir. Engrg., 790 Atlantic Dr.; SEB Building, Room 328, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA 30332-0355, (404) 894-9881, FAX (404) 894-5418, [email protected]


This paper presents the results of a research project that investigated the major issues affecting the flow of information during the design phase of affordable housing developments in Southeastern Mexico. A qualitative approach was selected for the research. Specifically, the case study mode of inquiry was chosen to investigate a contemporary phenomenon within its real-life context, based on the following sources: documentation, archival records, direct observation, and primarily, in-depth interviews. The findings indicate that the design process of affordable housing developments follows informal channels of communication, does not promote participation from other professionals involved in the process, does not incorporate lean or constructability concepts, and shows evidence of errors and generation of waste. Furthermore, the flow of information is perceived differently by each member of the design team, lacks a framework of reference, and primarily, shows substantial evidence of informality. Based on the results of the study it was possible to identify information flow patterns within the design team, and most importantly, to develop an information framework for the process, which was validated by the design team. This study provides direction for experimentation and creation of new design practice in affordable housing developments.


Information flow, Design, Affordable housing, Case study



Loría-Arcila, J. H. & Vanegas, J. A. 2005. Issues Affecting the Flow of Information During the Design Phase of Affordable Housing Developments, 13th Annual Conference of the International Group for Lean Construction , 161-169.

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