Habitat for Humanity's current recovery efforts in Haiti
Read letter from Mark Andrews, Vice President, Haiti Recovery
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What Are Habitat Houses Like Around the World?
Democratic Republic of Congo (formerly Zaire):
Bricks for this house are made from a Cinva-Ram press, which compresses a mixture of cement and dirt or clay in a metal box to form bricks. The bricks dry in the shade for about two weeks. Spaces are left above both the interior and exterior walls to improve ventilation.
Average house cost: $2,545 (U.S.)
Papua New Guinea:
Due to heavy rains, houses are built on stilts to keep the house dry. The area under the
house is used for storage, community gatherings and livestock. Concrete is expensive and not widely used in PNG, so wood is treated to prevent decay and termite infestation.
Average house cost: $2,304 (U.S.)
House-building materials differ from region to region. In some areas, houses are built with 6-inch hollow concrete blocks for walls and micro concrete roof tiles. Similar to blocks used in Guatemala, the hollow blocks have holes for steel rods to help the structure resist
earthquakes. In other places, houses are built with dry stacked interlocking compressed earth blocks on a stone rubble foundation with corrugated roofing sheets. A lime wash on top of the blocks offers weather resistance. The house design includes a cooking area, gable roof and pour flush toilet.
Average house cost:$2,436 (U.S.)
Meals and socializing occur on the porch. The high entry step is believed to keep snakes from entering, and the bars on the windows protect from thieves and monkeys. Houses are built of fired bricks for walls and steel-reinforced concrete roof slabs. Some houses are made with hollow-core concrete blocks and tile roofs.
Average house cost: US$1,793 (U.S.)
The traditional construction block construction in Romania takes at least a year to build, but with a plentiful supply of wood, affiliates are choosing to use wood frame construction which is quicker, more volunteer friendly and more energy efficient. With rigid foam insulation placed on top of the OSB board on exterior walls, and fiberglass insulation used in the stud cavity in the wall, an R value of 35 has been achieved. A similar combination of insulation is used in the roof. Stucco protects the house walls from weathering and locally made clay tiles finish the roof.
Average house cost: $24,843 (U.S.)
The Csepel Project was a ten-unit townhouse development completed in two phases in 1998 and 1999. The first four units were built in traditional 2x4 wood frame style. The next six units were also wood frame houses, but a more advanced prefabricated panel type technology was used which allowed for a faster, more efficient construction. Both phases were completed in about 6 months each.
Average house cost: $25,516 (U.S.)
Houses made of hollow concrete blocks are designed to resist earthquakes. Steel rods reinforce the wall every meter. The spaces around the rods are filled with concrete. Horizontal rods are run through U-blocks at the foundation, window sill and top. The window coverings and door in this photo are wood; however, metal is used in some areas where wood is more expensive.
Average house cost: $2,100 (U.S.)