KitoOnlus Blog

How to build typhoon-resistant houses

IMG_5023Dear followers,

People living in San Francisco (Camotes Islands, Philippines) are rapidly rebuilding their lives thanks to the “Cash for Work” project implemented by Kito Onlus in partnership with ICLEI – South-East Asia.

This project aims to contribute to the environmental rehabilitation of the city through mangrove reforestation and coastal cleanup, while providing temporary employment to local people. The cash injection is helping to restart the economy and the “ordinary life” in the area heavily hit by typhoon Haiyan, generating a long-term impact. We just received some photos of the rebuilt houses: an amazing example of traditional architecture characterized by light construction materials derived from the natural surroundings, such as wooden planks, boards, bamboo and straw. These structures represent a step forward in the reconstruction of the life of this community; however they are not strong enough to resist typhoons or other natural disasters.

Kito Onlus is part of Architects Sans Frontières International, so we are strongly committed to the dissemination of best practices in architecture and we are now considering the opportunity to introduce a new training course on how to build typhoon-resistant houses to create lasting-development and resilience.

Here are some tips to build safe houses:
1. Chose the location carefully to avoid the full force of wind and/or floods.
2. Use building layout with a simple regular shape to avoid concentration of pressure, and build reinforced foundations.
3. Make sure foundations, walls, and roof structure are all fixed together and reinforce junctions.
4. The roof is the most important protection of the house: it should be build at an angle of 30° to 45° to prevent it being lifted off by the wind, and the roofing should be firmly anchored to the structure.
5. Use doors and shutters that can be closed in case of emergency.

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