Extensive research and development works have been taken place at various research centres to use local materials, waste materials and prefabricated structural components to reduce the cost of construction.
Some of the improved cost effective technology are listed below:
1. Foundation: Under reamed piles for foundations have been developed for housing in black cotton soil area.
2. Damp Proof Courses: Use of polythene, bituminous materials and cement mortar with water proofing agents have been suggested for damp proof courses.
3. Walls: Fly ash bricks, precast hollow concrete blocks (without plaster), brick panels and precast wall panels may be used to get reasonably good comfort with little cost.
4. Doors and Windows: Precast R.C.C. frames can save 25 to 30 per cent cost when composed with wooden frames. Instead of wooden shutters particle board shutters may be used.
5. Lintels and Chejja: Locally available stones and slates can serve as lintels and chejja.
6. Precast Structural Elements: In mass constructions works precast members may be used for columns, beams, reapers and stair cases. One can think of using wall panels also.
7. Roof Units: A.C. sheets, cement bonded fibre sheets, paper corrugated sheets, lime and fly ash cellular slabs, solid planks, slates, ferrocement roof units etc. may be used for low cost housing roofs.
8. Flooring: Low cost housing flooring may be with soil cement base, thin clay tiles, bricks on edges or with flagstones.
If group housing is taken up automatically there is cost reduction, since mobilization of men, material cost is reduced and continuity of labour work is maintained.