The December 2005 Tsunami that ravaged Asia and Africa has made people realize that many structures didn’t stand a chance against the force of the waves. One of those people has been working hard to do something about it.
Carlo Ratti, who teaches at MIT, saw the natural disaster first hand while staying in Sri Lanka. When he returned home, he was determinded to develop housing that would withstand a tsunami. He and other researchers studied which buildings survived and which didn’t. With that data they were able to work on ideas for better buildings. Part of the goal was to create cheap housing that used materials native to Sri Lanka.
These new houses consist of a more open design. Instead of solid walls, the walls are made of bamboo. The object is to allow the water to rush through the house without destroying it. While most of the inner contents would wash away, the house itself would stand.
1,000 of the new homes are now under construction. The cost is $1,200 per home.
[Photo shows destruction from the December 2004 tsunami. Photo courtesy of Lance Muller, www.sxu.hu]