The use of Mass Customization to Improve Environments in Social Housing Neighbourhoods in Brazil

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This research examines how mass customization can contribute to promoting better environments in social housing developments in Brazil, both within the units and for the neighbourhood. It focuses on developments of house units for the lowest income range of social housing programs seeking to propose processes and systems that could facilitate the provision of customized house units, allowing the needs of different families to be met as they change over time, without creating problems for the city. The research analyses the ecology of the system of social housing provision, from the proposal of new developments to post-occupancy renovations, in concert with the concept of mass customization, its tools and processes. From this analysis, a practical solution of how mass customization could be implemented in this context is proposed. This mass customization system considers the interests of the stakeholders, their capabilities, and the need for the least amount of changes to current policy and regulation. As part of the mass customization system, this study outlines the necessary functionality of a co-design system to be used with the families in this context. This co-design system is essential to allow the families to visualize, manipulate and validate the design of their units. From the analysis and solution design for this specific social housing context, broader conclusions are drawn contributing to the advancement of knowledge in the areas of social housing in Brazil and mass customization in housing more generally. This research shows how the concept of mass customization could bring benefits to the context of social housing neighbourhoods of the lowest income range. It also shows how a shift in perception, including post-occupancy construction as an integral part of the process of provision of social housing, could result in significantly better environments in these neighbourhoods over time. More generally, this research contributes to the field of mass customization in housing by showing that it can be advantageous for the mass customization strategy to focus on differentiating the houses post-occupancy. The research also shows that mass customization can be applied with the goal of bringing broader benefits to society by providing individual customization.
mass customization, housing, social housing
Felix Dalla Vecchia, L. R. (2021). The Use of Mass Customization to Improve Environments in Social Housing Neighbourhoods in Brazil (Doctoral thesis, University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada). Retrieved from