In cities, structural design and construction follow established building regulations and design standards. However, village housing in developing countries incorporates traditional materials and detailing, which do not have the resilience implicit in modern regulations. This paper examines village housing in Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Cook Islands, and suggests an approach to achieving acceptable resilience.
Two levels of improvement are applicable.
1/ Anchor points with temporary tie ropes. The anchor points are permanent and may be constructed cheaply. The tie ropes may be positioned and tightened at the commencement of the cyclone season (if not already in place). This is a cheap “quick fix”, but is reasonably unattractive and provides only modest improvement.
2/ Additional roof fixings and cyclone washers, roof framing anchors, timber diagonal bracing, steel diagonal bracing and/or sheet bracing. These are permanent structural features that should be installed as part of the construction of new buildings, but are often missing. They may be retro-fitted to existing buildings.
Partner Housing Australasia (Building) Incorporated1 offers pro-bono design services, project management and some funding to organisations involved in the construction of housing and village infrastructure. It is particularly suited to rebuilding in the wake of damage caused by cyclones, earthquakes and tsunamis.
In particular, Partner Housing offers to implement a program of systematic improvements for housing and village infrastructure, by incorporating external roof anchors and tie ropes, cyclone washers, internal anchors and bracing and subfloor bracing.
The proposed program would be integrated into the general building program funded by other NGOs and aid programs.
The proposed program is modelled on the successful roof anchorage scheme currently being implemented in the Cook Islands by Partner Housing, Cook Islands Red Cross and Australian Red Cross.