The material used is renewable and has been tested for sufficient strength as required by professional calculations. The technology uses timber framing and mulberry branches as the structural reinforcing elements on the walls. The technology has been based on the native Mulberry tree which is widely spread in Tajikistan and many other countries. Scientific research, certified by Tajikistan’s Institute of Seismology has shown that Mulberry twigs can withstand earthquakes up to a magnitude of 8-9 on the Richter scale.
Mulberry twigs can be harvested easily, coupled into grids and attached to internal mud walls using a plaster mixed with straw and wool. As a result, this seismically stabilizes the walls and thus provides much needed structural protection for the inhabitants. The technology can be implanted into the construction of new homes or added to existing homes, even to those already having suffered from earthquake damage.
Tajikistan is a highly disaster prone country and the majority of the population lives on very little income. Especially in rural areas with predominantly adobe buildings, there is a huge basic need for affordable earthquake resistant buildings and especially building reinforcements. The mulberry twig technology by Habitat for Humanity is a local, innovative, affordable, low-tech and environmentally sustainable solution. It offers low-income communities the opportunity to build or reinforce their homes against earthquake damage. It is easily replicable and applicable throughout Central Asia and any other region with similar need and where mulberry or trees with similar properties grow.
Meeting Basic Need – The rural population doesn’t have the financial capacity to use standard rebar reinforcements
Innovative –harnessing the strength of available Mulberry twigs as opposed to rebar reinforcement
Affordable –The twigs are free and the total reinforcement costs are 33% less than the rebar alternative; it is 6 times cheaper to reinforce an existing house with this technology as opposed to rebuilding it with standard reinforcement technology
Low-tech – promotes local material
Environmentally Sustainable – mulberry twigs are naturally and renewable material
Locally applicable – installed in over 300 rural homes
Organization: Habitat for Humanity Deutschland e.V.
Contact: Gereon Fischer, Manager International Projects
Used by: Tajikistan