Rebuilding Resources

Architecture for Humanity HQ has been working to collate resources on various rebuilding methods to assist our Manila Chapter and other Filipino architects and builders and they begin the long road to recovery post-Typhoon Haiyan. Concentrating on previous disaster recovery efforts, resilient construction methods and ecological building materials, our research has dug up some interesting and potentially useful publications. Listed here are just some of the many resources we’ve found so far, along with a few of our own reports.

  • Rebuilding 101 Manual. Rebuilding Strategies for Haiti: Originally prepared for groups and individuals taking initiative in the reconstruction of Haiti, this Architecture for Humanity produced report includes globally relevant basic information on construction techniques and principles, building materials and job site safety. Download it in English (or French, Spanish or Creole!) here.
  • General Recommendations for Improved Building Practices in Earthquake and Hurricane Prone Areas: Another useful resource prepared in response to the 2010 Haiti earthquake, this document by Rima Taher provides construction guidance for disaster affected areas. Download it here.
  • The Handbook on Design and Construction of Housing for Flood-Prone Rural Areas of Bangladesh: This publication provides practical and useful guidelines for areas at risk of flooding. Published under the Asian Urban Disaster Mitigation Program (AUDMP) of the Asian Disaster Preparedness Center it is available to download here.
  • Rebuilding After Disaster: The Biloxi Model Home Program: An Architecture for Humanity publication, this book documents the post-Katrina rebuilding process in Biloxi, MS, USA. Download it here or order a printed copy here.
  • Guidelines for Earthquake Resistant Construction of Non-Engineered Rural and Suburban Masonry Houses in Cement Sand Mortar in Earthquake Affected Areas: Produced by the Government of Pakistan’s Earthquake Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Authority (ERRA) following the 2005 Kashmir earthquake, this publication includes site-selection guidance and seismic design and construction information for communities and local construction workers. Download it from here.
  • The Post-Sandy Neighborhood Assessment Project: A comprehensive example of post-disaster assessments, this project was undertaken by Architecture for Humanity’s New York Chapter following Hurricane Sandy, which hit the east coast of America a little over a year ago. Download it here.

  • The Handbook on Good Building Design and Construction in the Philippines: Closer to ‘home’ this best-practice guide is a clearly illustrated UNISDR, UNDP and GTZ (now GIZ) produced document. It provides simple information to home owners, designers, builders and building monitors on the principles of good design and good construction in the Philippines. Download it here.
  • Indigenous Knowledge for Disaster Risk Reduction: Good Practices and Lessons Learned from Experiences in the Asia-Pacific Region: A further UNISDR supported publication, this document promotes existing local knowledge as an effective tool for reducing risk from natural hazard-related disasters. It presents a collection of 18 indigenous practices from across the region, including the Philippines. It is available here.

  • Building with Earth?: Based in India, the Auroville Earth Institute researches and develops cost and energy efficient earth-based technologies, with an emphasis on disaster resistance. Lots of information and guidance on construction methods, soil testing and materials, including hollow interlocking compressed stabilized earth blocks, is available on their website.
  • Building with Bamboo?: The use of bamboo as a building material is common in some areas of the world. One interesting project, by Architecture for Humanity Design Fellow Pouya Khazaeli Parsa, is shown here. Another great resource comes from the work of Komitu Architects who designed the Kouk Khleang Youth Center in Cambodia using bamboo. Read about it and download more information here.
  • Building with Masonry?: Edited by Marcial Blondet of the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú, the publication Construction and Maintenance of Masonry Houses includes guidance on earthquake resistance using masonry via simple and clear illustrations. It is available here.

  • Rainwater Harvesting? International non-governmental organization Practical Action have a wealth of post-disaster reconstruction information in the download area of their website, including some useful guidance on sanitation and water such as this technical guide on Rainwater Harvesting During Reconstruction.