PAKSBAB offers creative green building solutions using local labor and renewable materials to provide affordable permanent housing especially suited for seismic and severe temperature regions of developing countries, such as Pakistan. Our building methods are about two times more energy efficient and almost one-half the cost of conventional low-income housing.
THE PROBLEM: Since 2005, over 400,000 people have tragically died in devastating earthquakes in developing countries, mostly due to building collapse. Experts predict that a million people will die in a single earthquake in this century. In post-disaster reconstruction programs and in building codes, there is an emphasis on building materials and methods such as concrete and masonry construction. These methods are deadly when improperly constructed and require the use of high cost, energy intensive materials and skilled labor, largely unaffordable for the poor. Concrete and masonry construction also perform poorly in hot and cold climates, and their production, transportation and use are harmful to the environment.
THE SOLUTION: Straw bale construction uses straw, an agricultural byproduct, compressed and tied into bales, as building blocks for walls. As currently practiced in many developed countries, straw bale construction offers numerous benefits, including energy efficiency, the use of natural non-toxic materials, and resistance to earthquakes, fires and pests. Straw bale buildings have proven to be durable, some lasting more than 100 years.
The challenge is that the cost of typical straw bale construction is as high as modern standard construction, as it utilizes many similar components and materials. In response, PAKSBAB has developed unique straw bale building methods providing exceptional structural capacities at about one-half the cost of conventional low-income housing in Pakistan. We are able to accomplish this with simple load bearing designs, in which the straw bale walls support the roof load and resist earthquake and wind loads. We also utilize renewable and locally available materials as well as local labor.
Gulzar's family survived in a tent for 4
following the 2005 Kashmir earthquake
Gulzar's family now lives comfortably
in a safe and warm PAKSBAB straw bale house