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]


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]


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: danie.h[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: . Aspects relating to soft skills and human capital in the Built Environment as well as innovation in teaching and learning of construction professionals and grauduates.

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


Future Proofing the Real Estate/Construction industry, Mobile applications (apps) in the property industry, Nanotechnology in the built environment, Blockchain in the property industry, Drone technology in property development, sustainability and green building

This field is about: The theme “Proptech”, namely how new technologies and digitalisation impact and bring about improvement in real estate development and construction. It includes Fintech due to the impact on property investment and financing.

Researchers / Supervisors:  Laetitia Cook: [email protected]


Cost Prediction, Artificial intelligent strategies in Quantity Surveying

This field is about: Application of technology to Quantity Surveying Practise competencies. Focusing on cost prediction models, the use of software and technology in Quantity Surveying.

Researchers / Supervisors:  Faith Dowelani[email protected]


Real Estate, Green Building and Life Cycle Costing

This field is about: Property law aspects in Real Estate.  Investigating participation trends in Green Building.  Whole life costing of building elements and components over time.

Researchers / Supervisors:  Tebogo Nglele[email protected]

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