A Conceptual Decision Tree for the Automation of Architecture Applied to Housing





Automation of architecture, adequate low-cost housing, decision tree, housing problem, knowledge management, knowledge power


In 1994, the Nelson Mandela government identified the lack of housing as the most severe social problem faced by South Africa. However, housing information is often inaccessible to those affected by inadequate low-cost housing. The right information at the right time has the potential to not only address the inadequacy of low-cost housing but also to address, in part, other social ills such as unemployment, poverty and government corruption, as well as larger issues such as the climate emergency. This paper presents a conceptual decision tree to govern the knowledge management of architectural information for the possible automation of architecture. Knowledge management, big data and machine learning are the precursors of artificial intelligence, a technology that could further aid in addressing the inadequacy of low-cost housing. A decision tree is the first step. For this paper, the information within frames forms the nodes on the conceptual decision tree. This decision tree is presented graphically and tested hypothetically on a low-cost housing unit. The research findings indicate that there is a noteworthy overlap in architectural information of low-cost housing information presented thereby validating the possible benefit of architectural information knowledge management.

Author Biographies

Francine van Tonder, University of Pretoria, Department of Construction Economics

Francine van Tonder is an academic with two master’s degrees and is currently a Doctor of Architecture candidate. As a Qualified Architect, Specification Writer, and Lecturer, Francine is a self-proclaimed lifelong student, aspiring researcher and author, who is happiest living their purpose working with architects and students.

Pierre Brink

Pierre Brink completed a Bsc Architecture at the University of Pretoria in 2016. After which he gained experience working at an international Architecture firm in Cape Town. Pierre complete a BArch Honours in 2019, and a Masters in Architecture in 2020. Pierre is currently a co-founder and Director of Realm Studios.