|Self-Help Construction of 1-Story Building (Peace Corps, 1977, 235 p.)|
|Construction in earthquake areas|
Generally, the safest materials in earthquake areas are the lightest and most flexible.
In foundations concrete footings reinforced with iron or bamboo, and concrete or block foundation walls are good. Avoid rock foundation walls because the large amounts of mortar used to bind the rocks are easily weakened in earthquakes.
For walls, where climate permits, bamboo and wood are the best because their flexibility keeps them from cracking or collapsing, and because they are less dangerous if they do fall. Walls made from bricks or blocks of any material are fine but should be made as light and as thin as possible. Rammed earth walls and rock walls are unstable and dangerous in earthquakes: they should be avoided.
Roofe are safest when made of bamboos and grasses (thatch). Woodbeam supported roofs are also fine, provided the material they support is light, such as shingles or corrugated metal. Adobe and tile roofs should be avoided.