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About the website

There are many facets to reconstruction after a disaster. Knowledge management sites often try to cover as many important issues as possible, only to end up with too much information. People potentially interested by the information get lost. In order to keep this website simple and straightforward we decided to focus exclusively on the technical, i.e. construction aspects of disaster resistant (re)-construction of dwellings.

Despite the fact that RC based construction methods are not our favorite, Confined Masonry has a prevalent place on this site. This is due to the fact that we often operate in urban environments where the cheapest and

most commonly used building material is cement and steel despite its negative impact on the environment. And, because our "clients" are mostly the poor, the choice of the most appropriate construction material can mean that it has to be the most affordable.

Our heart is with traditional construction material and methods, whether they are timber, stone or adobe. Timber especially is THE building material with the

greatest potential for the future. Wherever possible we try using our position for lobbying institutions to reforest and promote a responsible use of timber in construction.

Some legal considerations


Apart from the material developed during our humanitarian aid missions with SHA-SDC and which is protect by a CreativeCommons license, all documents presented on this website have been found on the internet. We therefore understand that this material is freely available and that making it accessible on this

website is in the interest of the original authors (which are always indicated). Should anybody not agree with our understanding of the legal situation, please let us know and we will remove the document in question immediately.

About the team

We are a group of architects with extensive experience in training and knowledge transfer in the domain of construction. Most of us are or have been working with the Swiss Humanitarian Aid Unit SHA which is part of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation SDC. We have all been working on medium term missions (anything between six months and several years) in disadvantaged countries, frequently in remote locations but also in the capitals to ensure cooperation and trust building with national institutions and authorities. 


Our work focuses on the training of workers and self-builders in the wake of post-disaster reconstruction. Through our assistance we not only want to help rebuild damaged or destroyed buildings, but to make them

fitter to withstand future catastrophes.


Each one of us has an expertise in one or more fields, ranging from the creation of training concepts and strategies to providing training to specific target groups, and from fine-tuning the training content to preparing the graphic and physical training material.

Working for SHA on an on-off basis allows us to offer our experience to other organisations or institutions whenever needed.

Our team may change over time, depending on where and how our team members are involved in projects. For the moment we are still "team-building" so please check in regularly to meet additional team members.

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