Description

The journey towards sustainable green construction began in 2005 after a massive 7.8 Richter scale earthquake hit Hazara and Kashmir in Northern Pakistan. Since 2005, the Lari vision requires elimination of materials that contribute to global warming, and methodologies for its propagation in the form of Mobile Barefoot Karavan Teams (MBKT) utilizing student volunteers, local trained artisans and villagers. The Lari strategy of involving the youth and capacity building of the local communities will provide effective communication and economical and speedy construction without depletion of critical resources of the country.

Shelter for All in Pakistan

The Green KaravanGhar (GKG), built in Swat and Khairpur in 2010-2011 as well as the adobe/mud walls and KravanRoof have been designed as low cost low carbon footprint shelters. Using local materials and local technologies these sustainable structures have been designed after a great deal of experimentation carried out since 2005 Earthquake.

This sustainable green construction can provide shelter at a very economical cost to the disadvantaged population all over Pakistan. The methodologies tried out since 2005 and during 2011 and 2012 in Sindh demonstrate that if good technical advice can be provided, through a participatory mechanism, shelter construction can take place at a rapid pace. This is true not only in disaster-affected areas but all over the country. The combination of adobe/mud walls and strong bamboo KaravanRoofs is suitable for rural areas of Pakistan, the bamboo cross braced structure with KaravanRoofs employs a very economical footprint and is thus suitable for the urban areas as well. The size of the house could vary from a single room shelter (as being carried out by Heritage Foundation in Lower Sindh) to one with a 10’x18’ room (suitable for 5 persons), verandah, kitchen, WC and bath (as in Khairpur and Swat) and even in the form of two storeys structures (as seen in Women’s Centre, Khairpur).

Deployment of Mobile Barefoot Karavan Teams (MBKT)

The MBKTs are already in the field in Sindh. Each team is able to build 50 shelters within a month. With large scale deployment and low costs it would be possible to spread the message to all parts of the country.

Emphasis on training and capacity building will be essential for successful implementation of the programme.

The following training programmes are envisaged:

  • Workshops for master trainers, master artisans, and artisans.
  • Workshops for Mobile Barefoot Karavan Teams.

  • Workshops and mentoring arrangement for other partners.
  • Workshops for Heritage Control Centre Personnel

KaravanGhar in Northern Pakistan

The first emergency shelters that became known as KaravanGhar were designed by Yasmeen Lari for those affected by the Earthquake 2005. During 2005-2006 over 1150 units were built in 75 hamlets in Hazara, and another 300 were built by Japanese NGO NICCO in Kashmir, all above 5,000 feet.The design utilized material such as stone and wood from the debris of collapsed houses, along with the use of lime (instead of cement) in mortars, with provision for bond stones, g.i. sheets in corners and horizontal bracing in stone masonry walls. Galvanized sheet roofs were used due to scare of mud roofs that had collapsed during the earthquake. Structural advice was provided by Engr. Amin Tariq.

While studying local techniques of construction, the value of dhijii (cross bracing) had become clear as an effective and seismic resistant structural technique. From 2007, Lari decided to first use this technique in small structures such as bathrooms for executive accommodation at the Heritage Foundation Base Camp in Hazara and later in household kitchens and almost 140 household bathrooms that were built in Kodar villages in the Siran Valley.

Elimination of Galvanized Iron Roofs

By 2007 it had also become clear that galvanized iron sheets, that had been officially promoted, had been playing havoc with the environment and must be discouraged. The local technique of mud layers over wooden planks was far more suitable to the mountainous environment. The application of lime and mud layers on roof provided a weather resistant roof. From then on, all construction by Heritage Foundation began utilizing lime-mud roofs and several structures, including the Research House, where Lari lives when visiting the area, were built with this technique at the base camp.

Elimination of Use of Wood

Even though sustainable materials had been used, the use of wood in construction needed to be avoided. The turning point came in 2009. By this time sufficient research in mud mortars and mixes had been accomplished. The displacement of communities due to army action to curb militancy in Swat (North Pakistan), resulted in camps being set up in Mardan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Sitting in the camp, in a tent under intense heat of Mardan, Lari designed the first bamboo structure for community kitchens. The speed (it took 3 days to construct) and the insulation value of the combination of lime and mud (8-10 degree temperature difference) was extraordinary.

The Green KaravanGhar in Swat and Khairpur

It was decided then to pursue the path of construction without wood, cement or steel. The experimentation carried out for all-bamboo construction has resulted in Green KaravanGhar as well as many other green structures for community use.

The techniques of construction had been tried out when the 2010 floods struck in Pakistan. The first project undertaken was in Swat where 300 Green KaravanGhar were constructed in remote mountainous areas from October 2010 to February 2011. These have been published as Green KaravanGhar: Swat Implementation Report.

Over 100 Green KaravaGhar were also built in the katcha area (the perennially flooded area) in Khairpur and an implementation report has been published regarding the methodology.

Green Community Structures

More innovation was brought here by construction two-storey floating bamboo structures on stilts, first as women’s centres and later for school and health facility as well. These structures have performed well during the 2011 floods by providing refuge to the community on the upper levels while the waters flowed through the stilts.

Research in Vernacular Methodologies in Sindh

In October 2011, field work was undertaken for surveying existing vernacular construction methods. The cataloguing of traditional methodologies utilized in Lower Sindh yielded rare data from all tehsils/talukas of 8 priority districts. The data consists of sketches, notes and photographs of different kinds of structures and other related information regarding selected villages. It is available in the form of Reports.

Advantages of Green Construction

This approach makes people part of working out their own solution with added benefits in fostering pride and encouragement to take charge of their own lives.

  • The involvement of communities in construction of their own 
shelter and other buildings, on the one hand fosters pride, on the other hand en- gages them in productive work, forestalling a culture of apathy and dependence.
  • Since indigenous materials or locally produced items are utilized, this results in quick economic regeneration within affected communities.
  • The main material, the clay soil, is available in abundance. It
is at no cost and can be used either as layers of mud or sun dried brick, both of which can be made by families themselves.
  • Lime is available in abundance.
  • The bamboo for DRR-driven KaravanRoof is a fast growing 
reed, and is widely available in the country at a reasonable cost. By training local artisans the production of these roofs provides local workforce with livelihoods.
  • The DRR-driven KaravanRoofs, because of their strength have been designed for accessibility and refuge.
  • The resultant products are economical and will help in providing accommodation to many times more than possible through conventional methodologies.
  • Mud structures, especially with the use of lime renderings become well insulated and provide comfortable habitat.
  • The use of local materials ensures that women are able to 
continue to contribute in home-making. Thus, each structure can be 
personalized and acquires its own identity.
  • Extensive use of lime, bamboo and mud provides eco-friendly 
habitat, providing comfort in extreme climates.

Reports/Publications

  1. icon Green KaravanGhar and Beyond
  2. icon Swat Implementation Report

Project News

3 Nov 2015

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Women’s DRR & Green Skills Training - Heritage Foundation of Pakistan

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1 Oct 2015

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COMMUNITY VOLUNTEERISM AND GREEN SKILLS TRAINING, KIRAT TRAINING CENTRE

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28 Aug 2015

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DRR-Driven Green Vision Narrative

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28 Aug 2015

Zero Carbon Footprint Program 23rd August 2015- HF

http://www.heritagefoundationpak.org/BlogPage/68/Newsblog/1

26 May 2015

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Finalists for World Habitat Awards HF - Update

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4 May 2015

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Memorial Library for Peshawar’s Innocent Martyrs at Kot Diji, Sindh

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4 May 2015

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Community Outreach at WHS Makli

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5 Jan 2015

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Kot Diji, Khairpur, Upper Sindh - Foundation Laying of Memorial Library and Opening of Sayani DRR Training Park

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24 Oct 2014

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Third UNESCO World Forum on Culture and Cultural Industries, Florence - HF Update

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25 Sep 2014

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Livelihood Restoration & Sustainable Empowerment of Vulnerable Communities - HF - ILO Green skills Certificate Distribution Ceremony

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7 Aug 2014

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ILO PROJECT - Livelihood restoration & sustainable Empowerment of vulnerable communities - TOT at Moak Sharif

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23 Jul 2014

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DIFD - Humanitarian Strategy Workshop

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10 Jul 2014

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EMIRATES PROJECT – Greener Tomorrow Village Hashim Machi, Tando Allahyar Training of Trainers

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10 Jul 2014

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EMIRATES PROJECT – Greener Tomorrow Village Hashim Machi, Tando Allahyar Trainings by Trained Village Trainers

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16 Jun 2014

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ILO PROJECT - Livelihood restoration & sustainable Empowerment of vulnerable communities Skills Development Training - Karavan Latrine

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16 Jun 2014

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ILO PROJECT - Livelihood restoration & sustainable Empowerment of vulnerable communities Skills Development Training - Karavan Swissopak Chulah

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16 Jun 2014

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ILO PROJECT - Livelihood restoration & sustainable Empowerment of vulnerable communities - TOT for Karavan Latrine

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16 Jun 2014

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ILO PROJECT - Livelihood restoration & sustainable Empowerment of vulnerable communities - TOT for Karavan Swissopak Chulah

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29 Mar 2013

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Growing vegetables on KaravanRoofs

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27 Mar 2013

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Progress on zero-carbon footprint mud brick vaults

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27 Mar 2013

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Swiss Pakistan Society Vice President visits CEO, HF

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27 Feb 2013

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Site Instructions : Humanitarian Aid - FEB 2

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15 Feb 2013

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Site Instructions : Humanitarian Aid - FEB I

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15 Feb 2013

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Site Instructions : Humanitarian Aid - JAN

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8 Jan 2013

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7th Eco-Build Workshop, Mohak Sharif, Tando Allahyar

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22 Oct 2012

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Paper - Urban Identity through Heritage and Sustainable Architecture by Yasmeen Lari (Key Speech on World Habitat Day organized by UN Habitat, Islamabad 1st October 2012)

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22 Oct 2012

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Site Report - Fourth Eco-Build Workshop at Mohak Sharif, Tando Allahyar

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8 Oct 2012

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Presentation - Urban Identity through Heritage & Sustainable Building (World Habitat Day 1st Oct 2012, Islamabad)

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18 Sep 2012

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Site Report - Mohak Sharif after the 2012 Monsoon

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13 Jul 2012

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Site Report - Making Mohak Sharif greener

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13 Jul 2012

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Site Report - Mobile Barefoot Karvan Teams

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29 Mar 2012

Green Community Centre, Islampur, Swat

As of February 18th, the Green Community Centre, consisting of three circular modules each 16’ diameter, has been completed. The use of bamboo in the cross bracing and multiple bamboo joists, and filling with lime, mud and stone has provided suitable accommodation in order that basic services could be provided to the community.

The land has been gifted by a notable of the area. Services by a paramedic have been arranged, who at a minimal cost is providing primary healthcare to the surrounding areas.

One of the modules is dedicated to women’s assembly and a craft centre. A local woman has been asked to train other women in the area.

The third module will be used as a display centre for craft products that are being made by women, particularly those who had been trained under the HF-UNESCO-DFID programme during 2010. Most participating trainees are now able to earn their livelihood by working at home. Notable among those are the ones who were given handlooms. Most of them are able to market their products and have begun to earn at least 3 times of their earlier earnings.