ODTÜ’s students to build paper log houses in quake zone

ODTÜ’s students to build paper log houses in quake zone

Umut Erdem - ANKARA
ODTÜ’s students to build paper log houses in quake zone

Middle East Technical University’s (ODTÜ) students, together with a prize-winning Japanese architect Shigeru Ban, have built a specially designed “paper log house” to be used in the earthquake zone.

ODTÜ’s Architecture Department’s students created the “Emergency Design Studio” after the twin earthquakes jolted the country’s east in early February.

Also consisting of students and academics from the civil engineering department, the team focuses on the temporary and long-term shelter solutions that can be produced with alternative materials and will not harm nature.

Accordingly, the studio carried out the design and prototype construction of the “paper log house” project in cooperation with Shigeru Ban Architects from Japan.

The paper log, which gives its name to the houses, made of recycled products such as cardboard and wood.

Ban, world-renowned architect known for his temporary housing solutions, came to ODTÜ from Tokyo last week and opened the prototype built by the students.

The students disassembled the prototype house and set it up in the garden of a primary school in the quake-hit southern province of Hatay to be used as the mind games classroom.

The project aims to meet the living space problems of the earthquake survivors by producing a large number of these temporary structures.

Providing information on the project, Prof. Dr. Neriman Şahin Güçhan, the dean of the Architecture Faculty, the paper tube material used as a column in the environmentally friendly structure is produced from recycled paper and is a reusable material.

Güçhan emphasized it also provided an advantage in economic terms.

Pointing out that the construction, disassembly and transfer to the disaster area of these structures are easier compared to the other temporary shelters such as tents and containers, Güçhan noted that even those who do not know these houses can receive adequate technical support in 10 days.

After the training, the houses can be prepared in two days, Güçhan stated, adding that the installation of the structure can be completed in one day.

The exterior of the building was insulated with special protective paints against extreme weather events.

The cost of the house is around 110,000 Turkish Liras ($5,700), Güçhan said, noting that the houses can be used for at least four years.