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close this book Appropriate building materials
close this folder Examples of building systems
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Ferrocement housing units


Special properties

Thin but very rigid wall construction

Economical aspects

Low to medium



Skills required

Average construction skills

Equipment required

Simple construction tools

Resistance to earthquake


Resistance to hurricane


Resistance to rain


Resistance to insects


Climatic suitability

Warm humid climates

Stage of experience



• A simple ferrocement house was constructed in 1977 on the Caribbean island of Dominica by Richard Holloway.

• Readily available round-wood poles were used for the load-bearing framework. Chicken-wire was stretched between the poles and plastered with cement mortar, first a rough layer, then a smooth finish. The timber frame remained exposed.

• Care was taken to protect the timber from rainwater and termite attack, by mounting the vertical members on galvanized pipe supports, embedded in exposed concrete footings.

• The roof was made of galvanized iron sheets with a gap left at the top of the wall plate for ventilation. The floors, doors and windows were made of reject quality wood and old boxes, which after painting showed no great difference from new wood.

Further information: Bibl. 24.09.

Construction Details (Bibl. 24.09)

Details of footing