image from The Times
A new paper house has been developed that can be used for people in disaster areas, the urban poor and refugees. The Swiss inventor says that the "the number of migrants, refugees living in improvised housing, is going to grow with climate change, and we offer an alternative." His house is a response to the shanty-town sheds with corrugated roofs, often seen in third world countries.
It is pre-fab, light (weighs 1,746 lb.), waterproof and easily assembled. And it's cheap, made out of resin-soaked cellulose from recycled cardboard and newspapers, it costs $5,000 per house.
image from capetown.dj
The inventor is a co-owner of a large Swiss company which holds the patent to the materials. The material used in the construction of the houses mimics the honeycomb pattern used in the manufacture of aeroplanes and other products for which both weight and strength are important factors.
The architects were from Bauhaus University in Weimar. Their design responds to the needs of people in hot countries. The floor plan is flexible, with a veranda and 8 built-in single and double beds. There is a sealed off separate area with a shower and toilet. The kitchen wall can be opened to let in air, the verandah and shower can be used for slaughtering and cleaning animals.
They are hoping to build some parts in Germany and send the raw materials to the location where it will be put together on the spot. This will create local jobs and reduce transport costs.
Orders have come in from oil companies in Nigeria and Angola. One of the first settlements will be built in Zimbabwe in conjunction with the German aid organisation World Vision. Nigeria has ordered 2,400 of the houses. Development agencies are considering them for Zimbabweans fleeing the cholera epidemic. The Times
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