Disrupting the current process for building Affordable Housing in Africa

iLima Digital Foundary: Disrupting the current process for building Affordable Housing in Africa

While most industries are well advanced in their digital transformation, the construction industry is still in its infancy. Current construction processes are not capable of addressing Africa’s booming construction needs of >500million homes and buildings in the next 30 years (this equates to >45 000 homes per day, Source Shelter Afrique). Traditional construction is known for its exorbitant costs, significantly high levels of waste (>35%), lengthy construction times, insufficient quality, and unsustainable materials.  Covid19 acts a key catalyst to accelerate change in construction in terms of technological investment and social distancing.

Africa has additional challenges:

  • Scepticism of people to change (designers, project developer’s, contractors, governments, etc.)
  • No-one is addressing the end-to-end construction lifecycle holistically – primarily a fragmented and siloed approach
  • Conglomerates are resistant to change
  • A lack of “Africa-ready” technologies
  • The use of Digital technologies and Data are still very scarce in the construction industry

Technology is fast entering the construction world including new procedures, processes and practices designed and copied from JIT and advanced manufacturing practices. Here are 5 Megatrends quoted from “Future of Work in Construction” by RICS.


  • Prefabrication, Formwork and offsite construction
  • Additive manufacturing
  • Robotics and automation
  • Big data, artificial intelligence (AI), and predictive analysis
  • Internet of Things (IoT)


iLima is closely following these technology trends and is ready to address the Africa-specific construction challenges head-on. We are a pioneer and disruptor start-up company of industry experts based in San Francisco and South Africa and passionate about Affordable Housing for Africa. Collaborating with various “like-minded” strategic partners, iLima provides a holistic “end-to-end” building solution (design – build – operate) with a much-needed focus on data, analytics and predictivity which places the end-user in the center of the construction lifecycle. Many of these new construction technologies, combined with new platform-based business models, promise to build houses faster, cheaper with higher levels of quality and sustainability.

As an initial proof of concept, iLima will lead a pilot project using iLima’s Africa Construction Innovation Platform (ACIP) ,  iLima’s  Smart Building Advisor , iLima’s Single Source of Truth Data concept as well as iLima’s platform-based business model for the construction of Affordable Housing in Africa.

Once the initial proof of concept is demonstrated, iLima intends to rapidly scale the process and, together with its core partners, promote the ACIP adoption inside Africa enterprises and expand the skills capacity around ACIP to democratize the construction of innovative, affordable homes.

 “He will win who knows when to fight and when not to fight” Sun Tzu. Sound decisions are made on good intelligence.  During the conceptual and design phase of the asset, the best source of intelligence is the digital data. During the construction and operation phase the best source of intelligence is the physical data. The best data is maintained as a Single Source of Truth (SST) to make sound decisions.


The iLima core Products include:

The Auriga Cloud Processing together with Oryx Data Collection Agents collects as-built data in real time to build the SST. It uses this data to maintain a contextualised 3D model accessible for decision support to all stakeholders. The data is collected, transmitted and stored with efficient and secure methods. Confidence indicators are used to SST improve the quality of the model. The model is used to navigate robotic and tele-operated platforms which continuously collects additional data while performing their tasks. The data is used for the integrated, Afrika ready Building Information Modelling. It is based on the Autodesk Industry standard.  Auriga maintains this model in GIS and BIM reference systems.

The iLima Africa Construction Innovation Platform (ACIP) is a distributed architecture data storage and processing platform that manages the data collected and disseminated for the end-to-end construction process. The ACIP is an integrated family of databases and processing resources, that follows the Platform of Platforms (POP) philosophy. The ACIP is configured as a hybrid platform to support both the transactional and the developmental activities.

The ACIP is supported by Producer Side (PS) Capability Suppliers and User Side (US) Capability Consumers that are linked through Portals according to data type generated and transactions performed. Partners can operate on both the PS and the US. A number of Strategic Partners deliver services that are essential to the ACIP integrity, and their capabilities are deeply integrated into the platform architecture.  

The iLima Smart Building Advisor uses the aggregated intelligence of the ACIP platform to support the user with instructions and advice through the Smart Building Advisor User Interface. This UI/UX continuously collects and tracks requirements and parameters to continuously provide available advisory assistance to the User. This advice is available on workstations, mobile sensor devices, phones and Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality devices.


iLima is disrupting the current process of building Affordable Housing in Africa.  Our Core IP creates a single source of truth accessible to all stakeholders (government to user) in the construction lifecycle, delivering significant benefits to Africa’s construction industry, economy and, ultimately, the people of Africa.  The time is ready, The Technology is ready, Africa is ready….  contact iLima to start now www.ilimafoundary.com

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