| View Thread | Return to Index | Read Prev Msg | Read Next Msg |

Wise Coastal Practices for Sustainable Human Development Forum

Using locally available materials for construction

Posted By: Hari Baral
Date: Thursday, 3 February 2000, at 4:50 p.m.

In Response To: Economic aspects of sand mining / Kosrae (Douglas Ramsay)

For sustainable construction practices, one should look at materials that were traditionally used by local people on the islands.

In Yemen, traditional materials were reinforced mud which was used to construct multi-storied buildings until we introduced the modern building materials which are neither climatically nor ecologically suitable to the country’s conditions. Not a bucket of sand or cement was used in the construction of the Taj Mahal in India, the materials used were stone, burnt brick and an agglomerate of lime and powdered brick, assuring a century of life to the building.

Most of the volcanic islands are of volcanic origin. Volcanic materials mixed with volcanic mud and burnt shells are good construction materials. Removing beach sand will hasten coastal erosion, especially on beaches exposed to wind and ocean currents.

We have to look for an integrated approach. However, when development activities do not correspond to local resources/conditions, this inevitably leads to unsustainable development which puts the whole ecosystem in the area at risk. Many island countries are facing this situation, namely uncontrolled tourism development which is not in balance with local resources, and technologies which are not sustainable with the local resource base.

Moderator’s note: this response also relates to another contribution in this Forum: “Changing attitudes to traditional houses / Sardinia Island-Italy” by Maria Luisa Gentileschi.

Messages in This Thread


| View Thread | Return to Index | Read Prev Msg | Read Next Msg |