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On Saturday April 16, 2016, an earthquake with a moment magnitude of 7.8 struck the coast of Ecuador. More than 1 million people were affected, 28.775 people lost their houses and were forced to seek shelter, 6.274 people were injured and 671 people died. A first group of volunteers traveled to the affected areas to provide temporary shelters for people who not only lost their families but also their homes.
Three months later, our team completed the construction of the first model of permanent housing called CasaOE and aims to develop a technical manual to spread a project that will help people to have access to a safe, technically studied and low budget home.
The project was planned within technical, human and environmental processes that support the proposed design, achieving a multidisciplinary project (architecture and engineering) that meets national standards for construction in Ecuador.
One of our main objectives is to create links with the community and we believe this will be possible by building together
One of the main problems evidenced in the area is there is not proposals for teamwork. Each person solves their problems in individual way, not everyone has the same amount of resources or opportunities. Our main challenge is to expand the CasaOE model not only as housing but as an experience of participation, commitment and responsibility.
We believe Architecture is only one part solving needs of communities, working together with other technical and social branches is important to have a satisfactory aim of the projects. Architecture should be the mean by which the community is satisfied with what was planned but it should also be responsible for the safety of the structures proposed.
As housing is a basic need of affected communities can take the CasaOe model as a replicable way to provide a safe space and easy construction, creating a support network within the affected areas revaluing aspects of identity, economy, ownership and community.
Reconstruction of the affected areas generates jobs and helping in the economic growth of the people. The CasaOe model as a first experience opened new doors for new and future programs of greater scope at community level.
The project was developed by a team made up of professionals from various branches (architects, civil engineers, structural engineers, journalists, economists, artists, construction workers and doctors).
The team has specific tasks to do: Design the house and structure, get funds, identify a land suitable for construction and identify beneficiaries.
Identifying beneficiaries is one of the most important aspects. Beneficiaries are going to be part of the construction team and in the future are the ones who will get the community involve replicating the CasaOE model. Besides that, beneficiaries will provide camping space and food for volunteers during the construction. The idea of this agreement is to create a shared responsibility in order to generate the commitment of beneficiaries on the construction of their new home.
The skin of the structure and the interior design is open to the needs and requirements of the beneficiary. Being part of the design and construction team gives identity to their new home.
The first house is located in Campamento – Jama city, a rural sector of Manabi Province, which mostly engaged in agriculture and livestock in the population. A great percentage of homes were lost after the earthquake.The team decided to build this first house in Campamento, after identifying a family that owned a piece of land and accepted the agreement to participate in the construction and to motivate the community to replicate the project.
After completing this first house, the team contacted a group of volunteers located in Canoa (40 Kms south from Campamento) that has been working with the community since the day after of the earthquake. They want to be engaged in the project and help us in the identification of new beneficiaries. So the next steps of the project might take place in Canoa.
There are no updates yet.