Saturday, March 15, 2008

Safe Homes above Water

The Bangladesh Cyclone in 2007 damaged over 920,000 houses in 39 districts
of the country. Most of the houses were damaged as a result of water levels
rising over five feet.)

In response to the damage, Humanity in Habitat (HFH) proposed to build
houses on stilts that would raise the houses above water levels. Bamboo
columns were inserted in the foundation of the houses. The emphasis was on
using recycled and indigenous materials such as bamboo reinforced with
recycled tires, a fill with adobe blocks and sand for stability against
running water.

The houses were elevated on pre-cast stilts to as much as 2.30 meters above
the ground. Bamboo panels were used for the walls and thick bamboo strips
for the deck of the house. Wall panels were made of jute attached to bamboo
and covered with earth plaster or stabilized mortar mix. Implementation of
these houses were done through mobile Habitat Resource Centers (HRCs) which
provided guidance on construction technology, repair/renovation support and
worked with local communities. These mobile centers were successfully used
by the organization for reconstruction work even in Pakistan after the 2005

These houses which have been constructed in Bhuapur, Bangladesh are now
safe from flood. It just takes three days to build a bamboo house over a
stilt. In no time 120 bamboo houses were completed.

For further details:

This has been contributed by Habitat for Humanity,Bangladesh.

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