In the closing decade of this century, as the world strives for a better quality of life, millions of poor are fighting for life itself. Already more than 600 million people in cities and towns throughout the world are homeless or live in dilapidated houses. Unless a revolution takes place in solving the shelter problem, this shocking statistic will triple by the year 2025. Providing decent shelter for this huge number of people will no doubt be the major challenge of the construction sector well into the next century.
Traditionally, technological development in the construction sector has always influenced social and economic development, including human settlements development. Technological advancement has contributed to the higher productivity and lower cost of construction and has even reduced the adverse effects of construction on the environment in some countries. But the benefits of technology has yet to be fully harnessed by developing countries to enable them meet the increasing demand of shelter for their low-income population.