RE:Build uses sand and gravel to make a better shelter

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Re:Build can be used to build a wide variety of buildings(Credit: Pilosio Building Peace)

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Created to ease the plight of displaced refugees, Re:Build is a basic scaffold-based construction system that can be used to build a home, school, clinic, or whatever else is required. It makes use of readily-available onsite materials like sand, gravel, and earth, and enables the refugees themselves to construct the structures.

The Re:Build project involves Pilosio Building Peace (the non-profit arm of Pilosio S.p.A, a construction and oil rig equipment manufacturer), former Architecture for Humanity boss Cameron Sinclair, and architect Pouya Khazaeli.

The system is simple and comprises scaffolding tubes joined together to build a simple frame for whatever structure is required, with fencing added to hold gravel and sand. Scaffolding platforms are used as the roof, over which earth is piled to both improve insulation and eventually create a green roof, while walls are filled by simply adding whatever's available into the empty space – sand, gravel, or the like.

The floor is made from plywood panels, and the buildings even have a rudimentary rainwater catchment system installed.

According to the Re:Build team, a group of 10 workers lacking any prior construction experience should be perfectly capable of assembling a 16 x 16 m (52 x 52 ft) structure in just a fortnight, under the supervision of one Pilosio Building Peace technician.

The project has resulted in two schools being built in the Za’atari refugee camp and Queen Rania Park, both in Jordan. Each cost €30,000 (roughly US$32,900), including all materials, transport, construction, labor and design and planning costs. The Re:Build team is now working on a project to construct a school, market, a residential area, canteen and an information center for another refugee camp in Somalia.

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