Palaces For The People
Sunday, September 21, 2003
Yahoo! Groups : Palaces4People Messages : Message 87 of 87

The ORISSA Budget -- Part #1
Orissa weblog #1
ORISSA weblog #2

Using published figures available from the internet, there is a price range for rebuilt housing following the Orissa, India, Super-Cyclone disaster of 1999.

The prices range from $632 to $1,600. A figure of $1,302 is mentioned for Habitat for Humanity (HfH) houses. The houses range in size from 12 square meters (129 sq.ft.) to 25 square meters (269 sq.ft.). The houses do not have provisions for pressurized tap water of sewer-piped toilets, no electricity or gas utilities, one door and usually one window only is provided. The portland cement fraction varies: 5% by weight for stabilized compressed earth blocks; sometimes a concrete floor slab (but not always, as rammed earth flooring is mentioned for some houses); and concrete roofing as modules or tiles. Reinforcing steel wire for the concrete is mentioned in some budgets.

Based on these figures, a comparison to Palaces for the People using the low figure $632 and the HfH figure of $1,302 is calculated on housing the same number of people: 118 housing units of one family each. The Orissa average is five persons per family unit, or 590 population total per 118 dwelling units.

The 12 m2 units are sometimes described as 10' by 15' (3m x 4.57m). All of the photographs show housing which is not squared, but rectangular with a narrower front than side lengths. For purposes of this comparison, square housing is used, although square houses get more internal space per outer perimeter walls than do non-square rectangles.

(Don't believe it? -- an exaggerated example is 12 meter by 1 meter rectangle has two 12 meter walls plus two 1 meter walls, for a total of 26 meters of built walls, but a square encompassing 12 m2 has four walls of 3.46m for a total of 13.86m of built walls, just over half as much walls in the square to enclose the same amount of inner spaces.)

EXTERIOR WALLS -------------------------

The 12 m2 houses then are given a best case of 13.86 m2 of walls per house, for a total of 1,635.48 meters of walls for 118 houses. These walls enclose a total of 1,416 m2 for 118 houses, or one-seventh of a hectare of inside spaces.

The 25 m2 houses are given a best case of 5 meter walls times 4 = 20 meters per house, for a total of 2,360 m of walls to enclose 118 houses.

Palaces For The People have six floors: 100m per side for floors 1 & 2, plus 80m per side for 3rd floor, 60 m/side for 4th floor, 40 m/side 5th floor, and 20 m/side 6th floor. The total length of sides for Palaces is 1,600 meters. The total number of meters of walls for Palaces For The People is 35.48 meters LESS than the total walls of the smaller houses, and 760 meters less than the larger houses.

Before anyone gets hysterical, let me say that I know that the cost of the inner walls for subdividing the Palaces into individual dwelling units has not been incorporated yet in the figures. The process of step-by-step working to final comparison totals involves intermediate calculations which are not complete.

The Palaces enclose 32,000 square meters on six floors inside walls. The outer walls which must withstand the battering of super-cyclones to come, are built from a higher cost material than the inner walls, so just comparing outer walls of one style of construction to another style of construction is a fair comparison.

ROOFING ISSUES ------------------------

The big difference is between roofing. The Orissa houses have a footprint, floor and foundation area, which is the same size as the roof covering area. A 12 m2 house has a 12 m2 roof area, and a 25 m2 house has a 25 m2 roof area. Palaces have a one-hectare (10,000 m2, or 107,639 sq.ft) of footprint, but enclose 3.2 hectares (32,000 m2, or 344,445 interior area floorspace, all under one-hectare of roofing area.

Unlike the Orissa housing, the Palace roofing is meant to be used for outdoor living space for 100+ years, and requires exceptionally strong and leakproof roofing.

Orissa housing budgets buys 1,416 m2 and 2,950 m2, for the small and large houses, respectively. This 14% and 29% of the 10,000 m2 roofing needed for Palaces, respectively.

Since Palaces need 3.3 times to 7 times as much roofing, this is an area of prime focus in deciding on roofing materials and construction methods.

FLOORING ISSUES -----------------------

Floors in Orissa models vary from concrete slabs of assorted method of constructions, to rammed earth floors of unfinished quality. While these types of floors might be satisfactory, or adequate for the purpose in detached single-family dwellings, they are not suitable for multi-story buildings such as Palaces.

Comparing costs of floor structures and surface finishes is very difficult. The website pages are not specific enough on the flooring to make good comparisons.

INTERIM CONCLUSIONS -------------------

Palaces have advantages on total floorspaces made available, and on total exterior wall structures needed to keep hostile weather outside from coming inside. They have significant disadvantages, from a purely housing focus, in the areas of roofing and flooring.

Additionally, Palaces have functional systems which have no direct equivilents in Orissa housing construction budgets: Palaces include power, water, sewerage, cooking gas, hot water, space heating and cooling utilities delivered to the occupied dwelling units. There is no budget to compare to in Orissa housing.

Orissans purchase kerosene for cooking fuels, and the collective annual budget for 118 families for kerosine may be compared to the the Palace utility costing. Additionally, a large amount of space in Palaces can be rented/leased/sold to government buildings or other community center structure budgets. For example, one webpage notes that cyclone shelters were built by the German government and the Red Cross, at a budget of $80 per life saved in the 1999 super-cyclone event. With 2,000 people cited as sheltered, US$ 160,000 was spent providing that shelter.

Adding the two together: $160,000 plus the small housing costs (US$ 632 per house times 118 dwellings =) US$ 74,576 totals US$ 254,576. The Palace easily offers substantially more protection and more space as emergency shelter, with 32,000 square meters under roof, and 22,000 of that five meters above the ground for flood retreat.

The larger 25 m2 housing model at US$ 1,302 per dwelling times 118 houses equals US$ 153,636. Adding the US$ 160.000 Red Cross community shelter budget comes to 313,636.

The Red Cross shelter combined as a tenant in a Palace, is only one of several synergies possible. Government offices, NGO offices and supplies warehousing, workshops, offices, shops and other activities can share "luxury" spaces, each contributing their share to the overall construction fund.

All of these issues will be explored further in forthcoming documents. At this point, solicitation of website links and data which corrects or confirms or extends the database collected so far would be helpful. Comments are welcome at every point of this exploration process. Hard data on supplimentary budget items, like the installation costs of wellbores and maintenance, the medical costs of seweage contamination causing diarrhia illnesses (and worse), the costs of annual workhours to provide substitutes for Palaces utilities (carrying water jugs for hours, gathering twigs or dried animal dung for cooking fires) should be gathered for a true cost comparison to determine if living in poverty is really cheaper than living in "luxury" Palaces.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Sincerely, Lion Kuntz
Santa Rosa, California, USA
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Yahoo! Groups : Palaces4People Messages : Message 81 of 86

ORISSA Weblog #1

Date: Fri Sep 19, 2003 2:53 pm
Subject: The Orissa, India, case study budgeting Palaces

The following weblog shows a range of prices for
replacement housing in the poorest section of India.
Also included is webpage citations for design criteria
and local indigenous materials.

This collection asks the question: how much Palace For
The People can be built for $75,000 (the lowest of the
range in prices for cyclone-replacement housing

In non-PV-Breeder situtations, this total is
one-twentyfifth of the retail US prices for PV panels
used in a Palace...

"Building decent houses for God's people"

Cost estimate
Approximate cost estimate for one Habitat house (In
Indian Rupees)

Stage of completion Materials used Rate Cost

Foundation level Sand one load 3000 .
Concrete One load 3500 .
Cement 30 Bags 4000 .
Steel 10 and 6 mm (400 kgs) 5000 .
Concrete 1/2 load 1500 .
Labour 3000
subtotal = 20000

Wall level Sand one load 3000 .
Bricks one load 3000 .
Steel 10 & 6 mm (450 kgs) 6000 .
Cement 25 bags 3500 .
Electric pipes & wire 1500 .
labour charges 3000
subtotal = 20000

Roof level Sand one load 3000 .
Bricks one load 3000 .
Cement 18 bags 2000 .
Labour charges 2000
subtotal = 10000

Plastering, Flooring, Sanitary level Sand one load
3000 .
Cement 15 bags 2000 .
Rings, basin, pipes 2000 .
Flooring stones 2000 .
Labour Charges 1000
subtotal = 10000

Cost upon completion:
Total = Rs 60000
US$ exchange value = US$ 1,304.35


Current Exchange Rates
As of Sep 18, 2003, the exchange rates are:
45.996 India Rupees per United States Dollars
0.0217 United States Dollars per India Rupees


Low cost housing for Orissa’s cyclone hit areas
Christoph Luethi,

Development Alternatives (DA) in collaboration with
CARE India is currently implementing a rehabilitation
project for 1400 households in the areas worst hit by
cyclone in the state of Orissa.

The cyclone that hit Orissa on 29th.October 1999, has
left over 10,000 people dead and damaged 1.9 million
houses and 18,000 schools and colleges in 12 districts
of the eastern Indian state. Orissa is the second
poorest state in India with an average GNP of $ 38 per

The disaster relief operation that got underway at the
end of 1999 also was to include the rebuilding of
houses for the most destitute and hardest hit by the
cyclone. In a community managed process involving
intermediary organisations like DA and local
implementing NGOs like AKSS, CARE is carrying out a
unique rebuilding effort which will deliver large
numbers of cyclone-resistant core houses using
cost-effective appropriate building materials.

Core funding for the project comes from the British
OFDA and DEC agencies and beneficiaries are expected
to contribute sweat equity during the house
construction process. The project is expected to
rebuild 1400 homes, train 1500 village masons and
expose over 30,000 households to the new building
The table below gives a breakdown of the costs
involved for one house, including labour and material
inputs. At Rs.29,000 / $632.- (Rs.2420 per m2) the
core house is a good low-cost solution that provides
protection from future cyclones. This cost is expected
to come down further, once all building banks will be
working at full capacity. Another added advantage of
the building materials used: construction time is
brought down to only 7 days (excluding foundation

Total costs for 1 housing unit as per the 1st set of
20 constructed houses in $632. Cost is expected to
reduce as the delivery is streamlined. ...


The ACT members plan to build 1,500 such cyclone safe
houses along with hundreds of traditional homes. The
villagers build the houses themselves but LWS-India,
UELCI or CASA provide essential building materials
along with food for the villagers while they build the

A "cyclone safe" traditional house costs less than a
third of the price of the new brick houses, which the
Orissa State authorities recommend. A basic
traditional house costs about a quarter of a new brick
Box 1.4 Shelters save lives and livelihoods

On an October night in 1999, India's worst disaster in
living memory engulfed the villagers of Kurantatuth in
Orissa state. Windspeeds reached 300 kilometres an
hour. Tidal waves seven metres high crashed inland.
Whole villages vanished.

As warnings reached the local Red Cross office,
volunteers went door to door urging people to
evacuate. When visibility dropped to less than five
metres, the rescue team tied a rope to a tree and ran
it to the Red Cross cyclone shelter.

Before the tidal wave engulfed the village, over 2,000
people were squeezed into a structure meant for no
more than 1,500. After the storm subsided, villagers
looked out and saw nothing but water, and hundreds of
floating corpses, among them the neighbours who had
chosen to stay at home. Virtually nothing remained of
Kurantatuth but the cyclone shelter.

Similar stories could be heard from Orissa's 22 other
cyclone shelters, all built by the Indian Red Cross
with German government support. According to the
Orissa government they saved 40,000 people. Based on
the shelter project's budget, that works out at around
US$ 80 per life saved.

But numbers are just part of the equation. Between
cyclones, Red Cross shelters provide a focal point for
rural disaster preparedness, education, first-aid
training and self-help savings groups run by local
women – all inseparable elements of living with, and
recovering from disasters.

Cost-effective Technologies


Brick arch foundation
Rat trap bonded brick masonry
Stabilised and compressed earth block masonry
Interlocking cement stabilised mud block masonry
Precast/Hollow Concrete block masonry
Flyash-Lime-Gypsum (Fal-G) products (environment
friendly, energy efficient and cost effective
Autocalved aerated Concrete
Cellular light weight concrete
Stone concrete block masonry
Filler slabs
Precast brick panels
Precast RCC planks and joists
Funicular shells over edge beams
Ferrocement Channel/shell units
Micro concrete roofing tiles
Pyramidal brick Roof
Jack arch with bricks and precast RCC joists
Corbelled brick arch roof
Opening supports
Pre-cast RCC lintels
Brick corbelling
Brick arch
Doors and Windows
Pre-cast RCC door and window frames
PVC doors, window frames, shutters and partition
Moulded, compressed wood fibre doors
Timber substitute through agricultural waste
Particle boards and bamboo ply for panelling, false
ceiling and partition panels.
Ferro cement water tanks can be manufactured in any
shape and size at site.



The cyclone affected are a covers most of the coastal
belt of Orissa where the devastation has occurred
because of three main causes:

(1) Very high wind velocity of the order of 250
km/hour (70 m/s) causing tremendous pressures and
suctions on the building roof and walls resulting in
their destruction;
(2) The storm surge upto 7.5 m height coming from the
sea as a result of the high wind velocities, the water
first flowing from the sea towards the land as a wall
of water and then flowing out from the land to the sea
taking away everything that came in its path; and
(3) Very heavy continuous rain producing flood
conditions in the flat coastal plains, particularly in
the basins of River. Baitarni and Budhabalang

In the reconstruction of houses all these parameters
must be accounted for if the reconstructed buildings
have to survive the cyclones in future.

Safety from Water

(a) To save the population, their cattle and household
possessions, the first priority will be to protect the
buildings from the onslaught of water, whether from
the sea or from the flood due to heavy rains. This
could be done by raising the ground floor of the
buildings in one of the following three ways:

(i) to choose the site on high grounds above the
highest water level that could be reached during flood
or during high storm surge and tide;
(ii) to construct the buildings on raised mounds so
that their plinth level is above the highest water
level; or,
(iii) to construct the buildings on stilts, again
keeping the floor level above the highest water level.

The safest solution from this point of view will be to
raise the base level of the whole village.


The design wind pressure at height z above ground
level on a surface normal to the wind stream is given
Pz = 0.0006Vz2

Where Vz = design wind velocity, m/s
Pz = design wind pressure, kN/m2

The value of wind pressure actually to be considered
on various elements on aerodynamics of flow around
buildings the windward vertical faces being subjected
to pressure, the leeward and lateral faces getting
suction effects, and the sloping roofs getting
pressures of suction effetcs depending on the slope.
The projecting window shades, roof projections at eave
levels are subjected to uplift pressures several times
the intensity of Pz. These factors play an important
role in determining the vulnerability of given
building types in given wind speed zone. For example.
Fig. 4 shows the various cladding areas of building,
which will have different pressure coefficients.

Figure 5 and 6 show typical effects of openings in the
walls for a given angle of attack of wind a indicated;
only one large opening in a wall cause very large
internal pressure say +0.7pz which combined with
external suctions will increase the wind effects on
cladding and their connections immensely. A building
with all windows and doors locked. will have zero or
very small internal suctions or pressure <0.20 pz. If
a room has openings distributed in all walls or at
least in opposite walls and the overall porosity is
less than 5%, the passage of air will cause only low
internal pressure say only 0.2pz. Effects of wind
uplift on roof projections can also be seen in Fig. 5
and 6. For a design pressures will be 1.5kN/m2 and
3.65kN/m2 respectively. The design pressures could be
obtained by multiplying with the coefficient as given
in Fig.5 and 6 for the specimen cases shown. For other
dimensions of length, width and height and direction
of wind, reference may be made to I.S.:875 Part
Table 3-Aerofoil Effect of Wind
Wind Speed m/sec. (km/h) Typical Movement
10-15 (36-54) Loose galvanised iron sheets fly
15-20 (54-72) Loose fibre cement sheets fly
25-30 (90-108) Loose concrete and clay tiles fly
30-35 (108-126) Roof sheets fixed to batterns fly
35-40 (126-144) Small aircrafts take off speed
40-45 (144-162) Roof tiles nailed to batterns fly
45-50 (162-180) Garden walls blow over
50-55 (180-198) Unreinforced brick walls fail
55-60 (198-216) Major damage flying derbies
60-65 (216-234) 75 mm-thick concrete slab fly
65-70 (234-252) 100 mm thick concrete slabs fly
70-75 (252-270) 120 mm thick concrete slabs fly
>75 >270 150 mm thick concrete slab fly
Orissa's Unnatural Disaster
UK - In the November '99 New Scientist, journalist
Fred Pearce, environmentalist Vandana Shiva, and
several coastal geographers attributed much of the
death and devastation from India's October 1999
supercyclone to the destruction of India's coastal
mangrove forests. Orissa's mangroves were cleared to
make way for shrimp farms. India has lost more than
half its mangrove forests in the past 40 years. The
cyclone ripped the coastal state with
300-kilometer-per-hour winds. A tidal surge and
torrential rains flooded up to 13 kilometers inland
with five feet of water. Poor communities 50
kilometers from the coast were washed away. About
10,000 people died, and 10 million were left homeless.
"In the past," says Tom Spencer of the Cambridge
University Coastal Research Unit, "the mangroves would
have dissipated the incoming wave energy." In addition
to providing habitat and fish nurseries, mangroves
trap sediment in their roots, creating shallow
shorelines that slow waves, while their leafy canopies
shelter the land from wind.

Section I. Minimizing and Tolerating Soil Movements
6-1. General. Development of society leads
increasingly to construction on
marginal (soft, expansive, collapsible) soil subject
to potential volume changes.
Sufficient soil exploration and tests are necessary to
provide reliable
soil parameters for evaluating reasonable estimates of
total and differential
a. Exploratory Borings. Exploratory borings should be
made within soil
areas supporting the structure and sufficient tests
performed to determine upper
and lower limits of the soil strength, stiffness, and
other required parameters.
Depth of borings should be sufficient to include the
stressed zones of soil from overlying structures.
These depths should be
twice the minimum width of footings or mats with
length to width ratios less
than two, four times the minimum width of infinitely
long footings or embankments,
or to the depth of incompressible strata, whichever is

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Sincerely, Lion Kuntz
Santa Rosa, California, USA
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Powered by Blogger