The Pitak Project — 11 Comments

  1. Looking at building there in the past until now. Bamboo huts were replaced after being destroyed after big storms. Personally, I like building with bamboo, done right its very strong. How did the Pitak project building do in the typhoon? A double roof, the bottom being steel or some sort of latex concrete covering, with the palm/grass roof as a top layer for insulation/shade on the bottom roof. Whatever material you use, yes you need openings for a breeze, and the ability to shut the place up for storms. I like round or dome type buildings for the ability to not catch the wind so much. I hope this last storm is not a preview of what to expect in the future. The PI are just in a bad location.

  2. Hi Owen,I’m one of the members of The Pitak Project. We want to thank you for featuring us on your awesome site. We’re deeply honored. Thanks also to those who commented and shared their opinions on our build project.

    We know that this is really not an ideal structure for a country like ours, which is not only in a typhoon belt but also in an earthquake belt. After the recent natural disasters we just had (7.2 earthquake and supertyphoon Haiyan), we’re now on a quest to build in our site risk/disaster resilient homes (at least 2) with sustainability in mind, that will serve as a model/prototype home for us Filipinos. It should be a structure that can easily be replicated by anybody especially poor rural communities, and affordable. This endeavor is part of our advocacy to provide alternative and sound solutions to our current situation. We plan to influence as many as we can, individuals, organizations, govenment units, and especially those devastated by the recent disasters.

    We’ve considered building a dome earthbag structure. But we don’t know how. We’ve done a lot of research already, but it’s not enough. We hope you can guide and help us on this. Please do contact us.

    Thank you so much.

    • I recommend something like this earthbag roundhouse:

      This design works perfectly in our mild climate, but you’d want to modify it some. Use fewer or smaller windows in earthquake zones. Reinforce the roof better in hurricane zones. Ex: strapping that goes over the rafters and under the wall. Add shutters, etc.

      Domes are not the best choice in tropical climates. They’re prone to roof leaks and you can’t add enough windows to get ideal ventilation. Plus, roundhouses are easier and simpler to build.

  3. For some reason I thought this was getting built in the Philippines. My mistake. The Philippines is in a typhoon belt and gets wacked all the time.

  4. Easy to add small amounts of cement to a earth mixture.
    I guess you well find out when a typhoon hits your place.
    My wife watched NIPA huts fall apart or blow/wash away.
    Its your life and home, I wish you the best of luck.

  5. I think there’s no problem with that because its not that in the open area. If it’s in the open area maybe it’s not possible. Why not visit the house?

  6. The main problem with the Philippines is that its in a typhoon belt. People in Guam build a concrete roof to deal with it. I think a dome building has a better ability to handle wind.

  7. I wonder how typhoon proof this would be? I would think a cement clay mixed dome would be a better idea. The cement dosent have to be that thick.

  8. As you can imagine, a home like this can be built practically for free if you live in a mild climate, Anyone can build this way. Very few skills are required.

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