Research Focus Areas

The Department’s research concentrate on the research focus areas listed below. 

All research focus areas apply to MSc research but only those marked with a (*) applies to PhD research.


Project and Facilities management *

This field is about:  Project- and Facilities Management, communication and communication skills in the construction industry related to land and property development management and project- and facilities management, including leadership in construction project management.

Researchers / Supervisors:  Prof Benita Zulch:  [email protected]


Decision-making, real estate, feasibility studies, shopping centres *

This field is about:How to make decisions about the development of and investment in property generally and in shopping centres specifically.

Researchers / Supervisors:  Prof Chris Cloete: [email protected]


Construction cost data bases, escalation and indices; Life cycle costing; Standard documentation in construction *

This field is about:  The compiling and use of cost data bases in cost modelling of different building types; forecasting of the movement of building cost; whole life costing of building elements and components over time; the use of standard documentation in the SA building industry.

Researchers / Supervisors:  Prof Hoffie Cruywagen: [email protected]


Profiling and Well-being in the Built Environment * 

This field is about:The well-being of individuals, organisations and communities within the built environment.  It is a multi-disciplinary approach incorporating the built environment, behavioural science and positive psychology

Researchers / Supervisors:  Dr Michelle Burger: [email protected]


Green Buildings

This field is about: Analysing the cost of green building; Considering the green cost premium over conventional building, in SA and abroad; Investigating trends in green design strategies; Investigating participation trends in Green building; Evaluating financial performance of green building; Evaluating progress in green leasing progress; Evaluating advances in green residential building.

Researchers / Supervisors:  Danie Hoffman: [email protected]


Short term building insurance, building cost modelling and construction cost databases

This field is about:  The use of building cost modelling, different types of building cost indices and whole life costing in the built environment. This includes the forecast of movements in building cost, cost modelling of different standard building types as well as the whole life costing of building elements and components over time and how this may impact on and influence real estate investment decisions.  Departmental research in this field aims to improve our understanding of the role of building costs in the South African built environment and how this knowledge could be used to the betterment of our profession and the built.

Researchers / Supervisors:  Inge Pieterse:  [email protected]


Contracts and Property Law

This field is about:  Contractual and property law aspects in the Built Environment.

Researchers / Supervisors:  Vita Wilkens:  [email protected]


BIM, VR and AR applications in construction

This field is about:Exploring the applications of BIM, VR and AR in the curricula for students in the Department of Construction Economics and exploring the applications of the said in the construction industry in SA.

Researchers / Supervisors:  Derick Booyens: [email protected]


Construction Innovation and Construction Procurement

This field is about:  The use of alternative building technologies, methods and systems in the building industry. This includes the construction cost, market penetration, procurement, supply and demand, lifecycle costing and the modelling of innovative building systems.  Departmental research in this field aims to develop a model to evaluate construction innovation based on pre-identified systems criteria; to play a more pertinent role in the decision making process, provide guidelines to end users, financiers and decision makers in the private as well as the public sector.

Researchers / Supervisors:  Riaan Jansen:  [email protected]


Teaching, Learning and Human Capital in the Built Environment

This field is about: Educational aspects of Built Environment students and soft skill issues of Built Environment Professionals.  This includes exploring ways to improve teaching and learning excellence of University students and research on soft skill issues of professionals such as workplace happiness, motivation and job satisfaction. 

Researchers / Supervisors:  Elzane van Eck: [email protected]


Construction Programming, Construction Management, Implementing 4IR

This field is about: Programming of construction projects, management of construction projects and implementation of 4IR in the construction process

Researchers / Supervisors:  Michael Bosch: [email protected]

Published by Thandeka Dlamini

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