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THINKING GLOBAL, ACTING LOCAL: AFFORDABLE SUSTAINABLE MECHANISMS FOR REMOTE/OFF GRID HOUSING

Tatiana Londono Marulanda

A thesis presented to the faculty of the School of Engineering and Computing Sciences, New York Institute of Technology, in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science in Energy Management. 2013


Th e true sign o f in te lligence is no t knowledg e bu t imag ina tion. E in s t e in

ii


T A B L E

O F

C O N T E N T S

PAGE List of Figures

iv

List of Tables

vii

Introduction

1

Chapter One:

Choosing Locations

3

Chapter Two:

Exploring the Options & Implementing the System

25

Chapter Three:

Mungari Existing Practices

33

Chapter Four:

Mungari Sustainable Systems

42

Chapter Five:

Silvia Existing Practices

52

Chapter Six:

Silvia Sustainable Systems

64

Websites

68

iii


L I S T

O F

F I G U R E S

FIGURE

PAGE

1

World Rural Population Map (1970)

5

2

World Rural Population Map (2011)

5

3

Mozambique Location Map

6

4

Mungari Location Map

7

5

Mungari Families

8

6

Manica Landscape

10

7

Manica’s women and children

11

8

Mozambique Topography

12

9

Trachoma in Mozambique

13

10

Trachoma disease in children

13

11

Cauca Location Map

16

12

Silvia Location Map

17

13

Paez Family

18

14

Rural Dwelling

20

15

Silvia’s River

21

16

Colombia Topography

22

17

Mungari children

27

18

Mungari Women

28

iv


19

Paez Family

30

20

Indigenous Death

31

21

Silvia dwelling flood

32

22

Communitarian Water supply

33

23

Basic Dwelling Construction

39

24

PlayPum Unit

40

25

Water Filtration System

43

26

Women with Hippo Rollers

44

27

Compost basic unit

46

28

Latrine Unit

47

29

Human Dung based-paste

48

30

Clay based-paste

49

31

Dwelling New Model

50

32

Decoration Detail

51

33

Silvia’s Landscape

52

34

Paez Family

55

35

Potatoes, corn, and yucca

57

36

Basic Rural dwelling

60

37

Wall Coverage Options

61

38

Paez woman with baby

62

39

Double Seesaw

63

40

Seesaw with children playing

63

v


41

Stone made Septic Tank

66

42

Wood-framed Housing Model

67

vi


L I S T

O F

T A B L E S

TABLE

PAGE

1

Mungari Climate Chart

9

2

Average Silvia Temperature

19

3

Silvia’s Precipitation Chart

19

vii


I N T R O D U C T I O N

Dignified housing space for everyone historically has been a major interest of analysis, if not concern. Nowadays, despite government, scientific and civic efforts, a large proportion of world inhabitants are still lacking basic living standards such as having access to potable water or a power system. That is why one of the most relevant challenges of humanity is how to give them an alternative answer according to their primary needs. From an architect’s perspective, quality of life is closely linked to the space inhabited, they relate to each other. It goes beyond the physical structure; it is about the emotional benefits of comfort, where the basic services must be taken for granted plus the usage of lighting, ventilation, space proportion, colors, and materials; in order to compensate the external circumstances that impact our lives on a daily basis. For this specific proposal, a bottom line premise has been taken into consideration, where welfare and money are not proportionally related to each other, not necessarily; whereas creativity, common sense, and a behavioral approach, are key tools that can lead to welfare. The analysis of human behaviors, people’s expectations, cultural and physical contexts from a local perspective, in addition to a broad knowledge of up to date technologies that can be develop in small scale, conducts an achievable answer to be adopted and reproduce accordingly.

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Around the globe, countless human behaviors are constantly exposed and the most common activities for some may be completely unfamiliar to others. Basic human survival necessities such as shelter, grooming, or reproduction can widely differ from one culture to another. Understanding this is imperative when designing a space for living - it goes beyond basic measurement rules or square feet per person-. For this particular exercise, two different sustainable housing dwellings are designed, based on two family prototypes with different locations, weather conditions, natural resources, and culture. Based on very same technical standards, the architectural design of the shelters varies depending on their geographical conditions and the local resources available to build the units. Similar considerations are taken for the power system to be implemented (in accordance with water-source distance/quantity/quality, sunlight radiance, wind flow strength, and available disposal refuse method). “Thinking global, acting local� proposal is an alternative answer, which takes into consideration the existing physical and cultural conditions for the chosen communities to work on, with the purpose of providing them a custom-made dwelling shaped according to a specific environment, providing welfare pursuant to what technology has to offer at the present moment.

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C H A P T E R C H O O S I N G

O N E

L O C A T I O N S

Since one of the main goals for this proposal is to benefit the people who need it the most, to choose the communities some specific characteristics were taking into consideration: 

Low income or No income communities

Off grid location

Lacking one of the two: Access to potable water or no reliable power system Having in mind the vast amount of choices that can derive from this simple

equation, two rural communities with particular restrictions were chose, the first one in Mozambique-South Africa, the second one in Colombia-South America. The specific communities to be work with are the community of Mungari-Manica Province, Mozambique-Eastern Africa, and the Paeces Indigenous from Rural SilviaCauca Department, Colombia-South America. Even though the huge progress of technology during these past four decades around the world, many regions are still lacking -if not the resources- the appropriate considerations from their local governments to fulfill, or at least provide them the chance to access to their basic needs such as health care, education, shelter, nourishment. According to the World Bank, from 1970 to 2011, rural population has decrease from 94% to 69% in Mozambique and from 45% to 25% in Colombia – -3-


nearly 20 to 25% in both cases-, yet most of these rural communities survive without assistance from their authorities.

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Figure 1. World Rural Population Map (1970) Source: World Bank Website

Figure 2. World Rural Population Map (2011) Source: World Bank Website

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M U N G A R I B A S I C

C O M M U N I T Y

I N F O R M A T I O N

Figure 3. Mozambique Location Map Source: worldatlas.com/mozambique

Mungari, Manica Province Mozambique, Eastern Africa Official Language: Portuguese & Native dialects Manica has an estimated population of 1,735.351 (2012 Census), inhabitants out of nearly 24M in Mozambique. Mungari is a rural community of 14,436 inhabitants (Census 2007)

Source: Mozambique’s official website Source: http://www.ine.gov.mz/

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Figure 4. Mungari Location Map Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_cities_in_Mozambique

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G E N E R A L

D A T A

Mungari is a rural community of 14,436 people and 3,079 households

1 household has a toilet

1 household has electricity

3 households have access to potable water

4 rural hospitals for the entire province of Manica (1,735.351 inhabitants)

Approximate 5 people per household, 3 kids – 2 adults

Nearly 70% (9,854) speaks Cisena -indigenous dialect- as their mother language

Nearly 25% (3,863) speaks both Portuguese and Cisena

Nearly 48% (6,882) are completely illiterate

Livestock production and agriculture is their primary source of income (Chickens, guinea fowl, pigs, goats, peanuts, and rice) Source: official site of Mozambique government http://www.ine.gov.mz/

Figure 5. Mungari Families Source: Source: http://www.fredhoogervorst.com/photo/03845bb

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C L I M A T E

Average high in °F Average low in °F Av. precipitation inch

C H A R T

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

June

July

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

88

89

88

87

84

80

80

83

88

93

92

90

67

67

66

64

59

56

56

57

64

66

64

65

6.61

5.79

2.83

0.75

0.28

0.24

0.04

0.08

0.04

0.47

2.24

5.51

T O T A L S

A N D

A V E R A G E S

Annual average high temperature: Annual average low temperature: Average temperature: Average annual precipitation:

86.9 °F 62.7 °F 74.8 °F 24.9 in.

Table 1. Mungari Climate Source: http://www.climatedata.eu/climate.php?loc=mzzz0057&lang=en

Latitude: 17°12'S, Longitude: 33°30'E, Altitude: 1,600 ft

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I N F R A S T R U C T U R E

Figure 6. Manica Region Landscape Source: http://www.fredhoogervorst.com/photo/03930ddb

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Figure 7. Manica’s women and children, fetching water close to a local landfill Source: http://www.fredhoogervorst.com/photo/03896ddb

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G E O G R A P H I C

C H A R A C T E R I S T I C S

Figure 8. Topography Source: wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/15/Mozambique_Topography.png

Mungari area is located 1,640 feet above sea level, Middle West region of Mozambique, mostly lowland terrains. - 12 -


T R A C H O M A

D I S E A S E

Figure 9. Trachoma disease in Mozambique (Highest percentage in Manica) Source: http://www.trachomaatlas.org/maps/search/all?country=136&map_type=All&infection=226

Figure 10. Trachoma disease in kids Source: http://webpages.scu.edu/ftp/mrzhao/images/trachoma1.jpg

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C O M P L E M E N T A R Y

I N F O R M A T I O N

Middle West Mozambique has subtropical climate with two seasons. “Wet season” from October to March –not so much in Mungari-, and “Dry Season” from April to September. Due its altitude and the distance from the coast, the climate is mostly dry with an average temperature of 75°F.

One serious environmental issue to Mungari area is the drought in the hinterlands and desertification, which has caused the migration of the population to urban and coastal areas.

Although Mozambique has a rich natural resources provision such as coal, titanium, natural gas, hydropower, tantalum, and graphite; Mungari area lacks potable water supply.

It is part of their culture having women and children walking long distances to fetch water for daily basis consumption; the used of water is only for cooking purposes.

Due to lack of potable water –mainly-, Mungari community (According to the World Health Organization –WHO-) has one of the highest percentages of trachoma disease, an infection in the eyes that can lead to blindness and after some years carrying it, to death.

This infection usually appears in areas with poor personal and family hygiene. Many factors are link indirectly to the presence of trachoma including lack of water, also absence of latrines or toilets, poverty in general, flies, close - 14 -


proximity to cattle, crowding, for instance. However, the final common pathway seems to be the presence of dirty faces in children that facilitates the frequent exchange of infected ocular discharge from one child’s face to another. A serious illness easy to prevent by using potable water to clean yourself

even with a small supply (less than a liter per person a day) They do not have a reliable power source to provide electricity. The only

power system they use is burning wood for cooking. They usually gather 3 to 4 families living in each village, mostly related to

each other, and they share and assign the duties to each member (women and children house-related activities, men field activities –either agricultural or animal related-). Infrastructure is basic, primarily built with local resources (wood, straw, and

clay/mud), they construct their own houses and the spaces are usually communal. 

One space for cooking and gather together

One space to sleep

One latrine (sometimes)

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P A E C E S

I N D I G E N O U S

B A S I C

C O M M U N I T Y

I N F O R M A T I O N

Figure 11. Cauca Department Location Map Source: worldatlas.com/colombia

Rural Silvia Town, Cauca Department Colombia, South America Official Language: Paez (Nasa Yuwe) and Espaùol Cauca has an estimated population of 1’367.496 (2005 Census), inhabitants out of nearly 45M in Colombia. Rural Silvia community has 26,818 inhabitants (Last Census 2005) Source: http://www.pnud.org.co/2012/odm2012/odm_cauca.pdf

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Figure 12. Silvia Location Map Source: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Colombia_-_Cauca_-_Silvia.svg

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G E N E R A L

D A T A

Silvia’s rural community is comprised by 26,818 people and 5,364 households

Paeces indigenous represent 17% of the total indigenous population in the country.

Approximate 5 people per household, 3 kids – 2 adults.

Located in the Central Cordillera surrounded by mountains, forests and waterstreams

100% Coverage of water supply (Artisanal techniques).

Nearly 90% (24,136) speaks both Paez and Spanish, yet Paez is their mother language.

Agriculture is their primary source of income. Historically, they developed great knowledge harvesting corn, but also produce beans, yucca, peas and potatoes. Source: official site of Silvia http://www.silvia-cauca.gov.co/index.shtml

Figure 13. Paez Family Source: http://caucaculturaambiental.blogspot.com/2011/06/riqueza-cultural-caucana.html

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C L I M A T E

Annual average high temperature: 68 °F Annual average low temperature: 50 °F Average temperature: 59 °F Table 2. Silvia’s Climate Source: http://www.todacolombia.com/departamentos/cauca.html#5

Table 3. Silvia’s precipitation chart Source: http://www.crc.gov.co/files/ConocimientoAmbiental/POT/silvia/POT%20clima.pdf

Composed by two different seasons: Rain Season

(March, April, May, September, October, and November)

Dry Season

(January, February, June, and July)

Circumscribed under the category “Bioclimatic sub-Andean type” referring to: up in the mountains over 8,200 feet above sea level. Average humidity 65% Latitude: 242N, Longitude: 7,621W, Altitude: 8,200 ft

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I N F R A S T R U C T U R E

Figure 14. Rural Dwelling Source: http://paez-cauca.gov.co/apc-aa-files/37616233316166633533346365303961/CASA_INDIGENA_1.jpg

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Figure 15. Silvia’s river. Almost pure water source Source: http://images.travelpod.com/tripwow/photos4/ta-04fb-a798-66a6/rio-piendam%C3%B3-silvia-colombia+1152_13356362877-tpfil02aw-27896.jpg

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G E O G R A P H I C

C H A R A C T E R I S T I C S

Figure 16. Topography Source: http://www.tageo.com/index-e-co-v-09-d-30190.htm

Rural Silvia town is located in the Andean corridor (Colombian central cordillera), Southwest Colombia, 9,000 feet above the sea level. - 22 -


C O M P L E M E N T A R Y

I N F O R M A T I O N

Silvia territory is a mountain complex with great flora and fauna diversity. Their location goes from 5,900 feet over sea level to 9,200 feet over sea level; giving the zone a variety of climate zones (from 75 °F to 50 °F average).

They have an ancient knowledge on the corn production and rituals are part of its harvest process. The agriculture aspect of the Paeces indigenous is for Selfconsumption characterized by growing small amounts of diverse products (corn, potatoes, yucca, beans, and peas, among others).

The process they use to harvest is called “tumba y quema” or “rocería”, which means they cut everything out after the harvesting season is over, and then burn the material in a communal reunion. This “rocería” is a male activity practice as a group meeting between neighbors called “minga”, referring to a gathering.

The area has also a vast forest territory right now in jeopardy, due to indiscriminate felling of trees by some private big companies, leading to deforestation and floods, with the loses of great variety of endemic fauna and flora that come with it.

The biggest issue that keeps Paeces indigenous off grid is the guerrilla’s occupancy of these territories. Violence has forced them to move out from their own lands.

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This forced moving is dealing to greater issues since they are migrating to the cities, where their first option is being homeless because they do not own/belong anything.

Men are the head of their households. They usually live two family groups in one village, but they have independent life, meaning they have their own kitchen, their own harvest land and separate budget.

They are very respectful about family hierarchy and only get married between close village neighbors, never with white people or different indigenous groups. They do not allow getting married between first cousins.

Depend on the wealth of the group, the house can be primarily on of three: 

Rectangle small floor plan, two-sloped ceiling, one door, compressed

soil floor, and kitchen. 

Same structure as the previous; bigger floor plan, four-sloped ceiling,

separate room for the kitchen. 

“L” structure with independent doors for each space and kitchen.

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C H A P T E R E X P L O R I N G

T W O

T H E

I M P L E M E N T I N G

O P T I O N S T H E

&

S Y S T E M

For both household models, there is one premise: Through sustainable mechanisms, propose a dwelling with potable water supplied, permanent power system for their specific needs, disposal method, and sewage treatment. Both cases have specific use of materials for the unit’s structure, and a particular organization according to their standard daily activities. This is why the proposed structure is only modified in order to improve lighting and ventilation systems, but the main distribution is being kept since is implemented based on their own practices and beliefs. The research included the exploration of local sustainable practices developed in the past or currently implemented in each country, which, regarding geographic and climate conditions are adaptable to a new proposal. Adapting to their cultural heritage to design a model is necessary, but teaching new practices to improve their lives is also priority when proposing the new unit. Mungari’ model holds 15 people, including three nuclear families each, 5 people per family group (2 adults and 3 children). Paeces’ model holds 10 people, including two nuclear families each, 5 people per family group (2 adults and 3 children). - 25 -


M U N G A R I S T R E N G T H S

V S

C H A L L E N G E S

Due to location and physical characteristics of Mungari, the strongest resource to be developed is the sun irradiance. Altitude, average temperature and topography, summarize and excellent source of power to work with. As for the second strength, refers to the human force. Mungari people are very organized and respectful of their hierarchy. This an excellent resource since part of the deficiencies they are facing right now, have to do with lack of knowledge, dealing to bad practices, which results in major issues. On the other hand, the biggest challenge Mungari is facing is a reliable potable water supply system. For the past decades, due to indiscriminate use of the land, groundwater flows and green ecosystems have decreased, forcing people to abandon their territories and move closer to big cities and coastal areas. When basic welfare living standards seem to be in jeopardy, less important but fundamental practices such as hygiene, waste disposal, and sewage treatment that also become part of their life style, magnified the main necessities. Keeping in mind that heath care coverage in Mungari is difficult to get not only for the long distances but also for the precarious existing transportation system, it is fundamental to provide them the tools to prevent some of their current difficulties.

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To vanish trachoma disease, create a sustainable-permanent water supply system and to treat/dispose properly their residues/waste, is the challenge faced with Mungari community.

Figure 17. Mungari Children Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/41273563@N03/4215575928

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Figure 18. Mungari Women Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/82785527@N00/155470092

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S I L V I A S T R E N G T H S

V S

C H A L L E N G E S

The resource Silvia has aplenty is water. Cauca Department has 100% coverage of water supply, and being Silvia located between one of Colombian mountain corridors (Cordillera Central), it is not an exception. Pure water streams surround Paeces territory. Fertile soil is also one of the strengths of Silvia area. Flora & fauna are diverse and profuse, and being part of a sub-tropical climate system, makes this area a great potential land to harvest. Paeces indigenous are also a very organized and well-structured community, whit the plus that they help their close neighbors with harvesting and building activities. On the other hand, the biggest challenge Silvia town is facing right now has to do with the guerrilla groups colonizing their lands. Eviction and homicide to the Paeces indigenous has become a major issue during the past two decades. Some indigenous are moving to the big cities as homeless, while the rest are living completely off grid due to incapability from the government to vanish those groups under the law. Another major challenge Silvia is facing right now has to do with private companies exploding forests without proper practices, which is destroying Indigenous lands gradually. - 29 -


Floods and erosion are increasing exponentially during the past five years, and their lives are now in risk because of the new environmental conditions. To bring a reliable power source and to create a sustainable system to treat and dispose properly their residues is the challenge Silvia community is facing.

Figure 19. Paez Family Source: http://gcollo.comunidadcoomeva.com/blog/uploads/1.JPG

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Figure 20. Nonsense violence against indigenous to force them leave their land Source: http://cdn.elespectador.co/files/images/mar2009/fb15e3726e94a7f7399f87b41ffb135b.jpg

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Figure 21. Floods as a result of erosion and deforestation Source: http://www.elcolombiano.com/BancoMedios/Imagenes/lluvias-inundacion-invierno-medio-ambiente-640x280-26032012.jpg

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C H A P T E R M U N G A R I

W a t e r

T H R E E

E X I S T I N G

P R A C T I C E S

S u p p l y

Figure 22. Communal Water Supply Source: http://www.fredhoogervorst.com/oni.app/local/upload/04184ddb.jpg

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The most reliable way to have access to water for Mungari community is by walking long distances (It can be between 2 and 8 miles each way) and bringing some containers to fill with the limited resource.

Besides the distance, to get there does not guarantee them get it. Sometimes -Due to groundwater droughts-, there is no enough provision for everyone.

Water supply is uncertain and does not have any treatment for consumption, which is the primary, if not only, usage for among Mungari people.

Without any purification treatment, water consumption is a health risk for the community, but nonetheless the only option they currently have access to.

Water is an exotic gem around Mungari area, and maybe because of that or from their cultural perspective, water is not wasted, it only does not exist.

To clean clothes or any other requirement beyond consumption, they use sporadic water patches -after a rainy day for instance-, for those types of necessities.

Building these communal water supplies is usually a self-construction process/gathering, without technical knowledge or professional consultation.

Popular knowledge is the main tool for them to solve their own necessities, which sometimes is also crucial when new technologies are about to be implemented.

To concluded, they have water that needs to be storage and purified for consumption - 34 -


H y g i e n e S e w a g e P o w e r

T r e a t m e n t S y s t e m

S u p p l y

Being water an exclusive drinkable resource, a standard demeanor such as “taking a shower” or “cleaning the floor” or any other activity that is not related with consumption and usually requires water, is non-existent for Mungari people.

Lack of hygiene is a major concern when consider, for instance, trachoma disease and its high percentage of blind and death rates.

Historically and socially, Mungari community has suffered the vast consequences of deprivation from a vital source. Lack of water has lead to precarious living conditions among these people.

Human residues disposal barely exists. When it does, it is through an artisanal latrine.

Being water supply a privilege for consumption, there is none sewage system involved within the Mungari community.

The only source of power in a Mungari family has to do with cooking purposes. Oven and stove are heated up with branches or dry wood collected by the elder children every day. Access to electricity in Mozambique is 11.7% according to the World Bank. - 35 -


R e f u s e

D i s p o s a l

S o u r c e

o f

&

I n c o m e

Refuse disposal is also a major issue for these people, since there is not such thing as a collector system in order to avoid inappropriate practices.

Irony enough is the fact that the water supply location is usually also the communal garbage discard, with the obvious consequences of this kind of contamination not only on the surface, but also to the groundwater streams, which already is lacking potable attributes.

When Mungari people do not carry their refuse to the “communal discard”, they burn it or buried around the village (Within their own boundaries), without any technical process.

Mungari community is exclusively rural people who live from the profits of agriculture and livestock production in a small scale.

Men are heads of their households and is their responsibility to harvest the land (primarily peanuts and rice), and to grow their own animals (mainly goats, pigs, chickens, and guinea fowls; depending on the wealth of the family)

The production is through artisanal practices, and the transference of this knowledge is a family tradition that passes from one generation to the next.

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M U N G A R I A R C H I T E C T U R E

F l o o r 

P l a n

D i s t r i b u t i o n

A prototype territory for a Mungari Village (Three nuclear families) can vary from 10 Acres to 40 Acres tops.

A prototype Village consists on: 

Communal space for the kitchen

Communal space to sleep

1 Latrine

The kitchen represents a central element for a Mungari family, not only because women and children spend most part of the day in there (When they are not getting water or branches to power the heat), but because is the gathering space for the entire family after they all finish their duties after a workday.

The oven and stove are the main elements inside the kitchen, made primarily with clay, usually located in the middle of the space.

The sleeping area usually consists of a single space, but sometimes inside has divisions for each family. From outside is always only one space

The latrine room is nearby, but far enough to avoid odors to the other spaces.

Except the latrine, the plans for the communal spaces are usually circular.

Depends on the water source distance, several villages can be located nearby (From 8 to 25 Villages can be supplied from a single water source) - 37 -


S t r u c t u r e

The most common material for the main structure is hard wood, carefully shaped to build the principal skeleton of the space.

The ceiling framework is also hard wood, covered with straw.

Depends on the wealth of the Village family, the coverage options for the walls can be: 

Single rounded wood layer to fill the entire circular frame.

Double rounded wood layer to fill completely the circular frame.

Double rounded wood layer and clay based paste to cover both sides of the frame (Inside and outside).

In all cases, the floor is manually compacted soil.

The latrine room usually has the same material as the communal space, depending on the family income. Either this latrine can be at the ground level with a hole underground, or elevated 3 to 4 feet with a recipient underneath that can be easily emptying.

None of the rooms has any technical response to ventilation, besides the fact that materials are convenient to allow the airflows circulate through the space, which is consequent with tropical weathers like this one.

As for the lighting, there is not even one consideration about this matter, meaning that spaces are usually dark. This can be convenient for the sleeping area, but definitely not for the kitchen. - 38 -


Figure 23. Basic Unit double layered with clay-based paste both sides Source: http://www.fredhoogervorst.com/oni.app/local/upload/04184ddb.jpg

- 39 -


P o t e n t i a l

P a r t n e r s h i p s

Figure 24. “PlayPump” Unit being used by local children, pumping water through a group game Source: http://www.waterforpeople.org/extras/playpumps/update-on-playpumps.html

“PlayPumps” is a program created by “Water for the People”, an American non-profit organization that –in Africa- has brought water pump tools to communities in Rwanda, Uganda and Malawi.

- 40 -


C H A P T E R M U N G A R I

W a t e r

S u p p l y

F O U R

S U S T A I N A B L E

&

G e n e r a l

S Y S T E M S

R e f u s e

D i s p o s a l

After the analysis of water supply conditions for Mungari community, what is left is the understanding that a communitarian water mechanism is the answer, along with a refuse disposal project next to it, which is going to attend eight Villages maximum, in order to guarantee a permanent and reliable service. These services will provide Mungari people enough water for consumption and grooming –currently nonexistent- and also will have a solution for the waste that cannot be composted on the village. Due to the particular circumstances regarding water in Mungari area, three specific considerations were crucial: 

Lack of reliable mechanism to pump water

Lack of water treatment before its consumption

Not enough water supply during drought

Exploring local and up to date sustainable responses to these needs, Mungari New water supply and refuse disposal unit will have: 

Construction of the first tank in Mozambique, to pump water from underground sources to the surface.

Basic filter mechanism design built underground and layered with small rocks and gravel to eliminate minerals from the water. - 41 -


Storage mechanism to preserve water during droughts, simulating a pool hole, with a basic waterproof system to ensure water will not leak away from the “storage pool”.

To facilitate the carrying of the water and allow people to bring more to home without any hassle, the “Hippo Roller” is the solution. This is an innovative design by D2M group (California design group) specifically for these matters. It’s been proven and currently it is being used all over the world in rural communities. As for the refuse disposal mechanism, the principal consideration revealed after the analysis of Mungari conditions was: 

Due to a lack of waste system in the area, every time women and children come to fill their containers on the water supply location, they dump their home’s waste at that place, without any technical consideration.

As a response to this behavior and keeping in mind that educating the people can be definitive to obtain a positive output, a manual/small scale refuse landfill is proposed made by non-organic waste, where the compaction (which is crucial) will be made every week as a communitarian gathering where men are making it manually with Stone-made manual compactors. Compacted clay will be applied after the compaction process, to offset the environmental impact. The drain system made out of this landfill will ensure that all the leaking will be direct away from the water source.

- 42 -


Figure 25. Water Filtration System. Instead of these containers, the filter spots will be underground. Source: http://www.biochar-international.org/sites/default/files/waterfiltration.JPG

- 43 -


Figure 26. Women carrying water to their houses in rural Africa. Source: http://d2m-inc.com/portfolio/hippo-roller/

- 44 -


C o m p o s t

a s

a n

A n s w e r

Mungari community has a particular lifestyle due to unique circumstances such as lack of water, vital source of human living. However, through simple practices, living standards can be easily raise and something as simple as human and animal dung can be crucial to make it happen. With the use of organic waste in the house, collecting animal dung from the fields, and human dung from the latrine, a compost unit for the village is going to produce enough fertilizer for the agricultural practice and biogas to power the kitchen. Through these mechanisms, over the time the land will recover its original characteristics, the waste is going to have specific purposes and no waste is going to be unattended anymore, and at the same time not having inappropriate disposal will prevent health diseases and with time, new hygiene behaviors will be recognized in order to eradicate its derivate illnesses.

- 45 -


Figure 27. Compost Basic Unit Source: http://www.ioniacounty.org/resource-recovery/composting.aspx

- 46 -


Figure 28. Latrine Unit Source: http://blogs.worldbank.org/water/files/water/x_clts_latrine.jpg

- 47 -


P h y s i c a l

S t r u c t u r e

H u m a n

A n i m a l

&

R e d e f i n e d

t o

a

o f

t h e

U n i t

D u n g

N e w

L e v e l

Figure 29. Human Dung Based-Paste Floor http://benitathorat.files.wordpress.com/2013/03/img_2950.jpg

- 48 -


C l a y - B a s e d A s

a n d

p a s t e

a r c h i t e c t u r a l

r e s o u r c e

Preserving the original organizational distribution in the Village, such as circular floor plan and kitchen separate from the sleeping area is the main premise; as for this project a sustainable material will be added to the units with the only purpose to enhance the lightning and circulation of the air.

Figure 30. Clay Based-Paste mixture Source: http://greenbuildingelements.com/files/2008/11/201938986_6174e004b3.jpg

- 49 -


Figure 31. Sample Model to allow light and ventilation to purify interior of the unit http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2664/4073611977_653c67c7c6_o.jpg

- 50 -


Figure 32. Decoration Detail http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2665 http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2664/4073611977_653c67c7c6_o.jpg /

- 51 -


C H A P T E R S I L V I A

W a t e r

E X I S T I N G

S u p p l y

&

F I V E P R A C T I C E S

H y g i e n e

Figure 33. Silvia’s landscape. “Viejo Molino” Building Source: http://farm5.staticflickr.com/4024/4354196627_573facdcbf_z.jpg

- 52 -


Paeces indigenous have access to plenty of potable water (Being Silvia River the principal source of water), 100% coverage, even though the mechanisms implemented are artisanal and sometimes unreliable.

It is a common practice to build their village close to the streams, so the water recollection is very handy. Close enough to carry the resource, high enough from the stream level in case of rain season flood.

Most dwellings usually have a separate shower and toilet room detached from the main unit. Artisanal sewage drains the residues to the stream without any previous treatment, with the contamination consequences that come with it, even in a small scale.

Even the small type of unit (kitchen and room in a single space), has water supply inside for consumption and cleaning purposes.

Although, each family has their own kitchen, meaning that even a modest village will have two basic units with two kitchens. They share the other services related with water supply.

It is also usual to have a small surface attached to the dwelling with water supply to wash clothes, clean harvest/garden tools, for instance.

Due to Violence reasons, Indigenous families are responsible to build and bring maintenance to their own grid, which is only refers to water supply.

- 53 -


R e f u s e

D i s p o s a l

S e w a g e

T r e a t m e n t

P o w e r

S y s t e m

M e c h a n i s m s &

S u p p l y

Local agencies and government do not have access to these territories without having a small war in between with casualties among others, innocent people most of the time, these is the reason why Paeces indigenous have to implement their own practices to self-provide their own grid.

The most common practice among Paeces indigenous is to burn their useless waste and to bury organic waste.

Nearly 30% rural Silvia population has septic tanks.

Nearly 70% rural Silvia population drains all their residues to the stream.

All systems are artisanal without any technical requirement for safety disposal.

Paeces indigenous are completely off grid, and burn branches and dry wood to power their kitchen. This is the only power source they currently have.

This is very unusual since according to the World Bank 93.6% of the Colombian population has access to electricity.

- 54 -


H a r v e s t i n g

P r a c t i c e s

Figure 34. Paez Family Source: http://camaralucida.com/image/2355/001528.jpg

- 55 -


Silvia’s soil is fertile and the humid characteristics of the land, makes it ideal for harvesting, which Paeces indigenous have inherited and developed for the past couple of centuries.

How to grow corn is their pride and all the rituals involved in between are fundamental for the harvest well-being.

One of the strengths of these lands is how fertile the soil is, and how ideal for agriculture the territory is.

Men are heads of their households and is their responsibility is to harvest the land (Corn, potatoes, and yucca primarily). When the season is over, they gather with men from nearby villages (They called this meeting “Minga”) to clean the land and prepare it for the next harvesting season. The name of this cleaning process is “rocería”.

Even inside the same village, each family is responsible for their own harvesting, and the profits or loses out of it are also independent.

Artisanal practices are the base for harvest process, and the transference of its knowledge is a family tradition that passes from one generation to the next.

- 56 -


Figure 35. Potatoes, Corn and Yucca are the most representative agricultural products Source: http://www.silvia-cauca.gov.co/sitio.shtml?apc=B-xx1-&x=1366487

- 57 -


S I L V I A A R C H I T E C T U R E

F l o o r 

P l a n

D i s t r i b u t i o n

A prototype territory for Paeces indigenous (Two nuclear families) can vary from 5 Acres to 45 Acres tops.

A prototype medium-income Village consists on: 

Communal space to sleep with a division for the kitchen

This communal space usually has an extension in the ceiling creating a “porch” type space, to gather outside to eat or simply share with the family after the workday.

Separate small space with shower and toilet, usually the toilet space has a ceiling, whereas the shower only has walls.

Sometimes as a part of the grooming space or next to the kitchen, a small tank with a surface appears for washing clothes or clean tools or related pieces.

Depends on the wealth of the group, the basic composition of the village can differ in size and materials.

The floor bases for all the spaces in the village are rectangular.

Usually the villages are nearby the water source.

- 58 -


S t r u c t u r e

The most common material for the main structure is hard wood, carefully shaped to build the principal skeleton of the space.

The ceiling framework is also hard wood, with straw ceilings.

Depends on the wealth of the Village family, the coverage options for the walls can be: 

Single rounded wood layer to fill the entire rectangular frame.

Double rounded wood layer to fill completely the rectangular frame.

Double rounded wood layer and clay based paste mixed with animal dung to cover both sides of the frame (Inside and outside). This technique called “bahareque” and it is an ancient building model in Colombia.

In all cases, the floor is manually compacted soil.

The past two decades the construction processes has evolved and is usual to find villages with the used of contemporary materials such as mason bricks or concrete pieces for the main structure, although wood continues being the main source for the structure.

None of the rooms has any technical response to ventilation, besides the fact that materials are pretty convenient to allow the airflows circulate through the space. On the other hand, this can be a hassle since the average temperature is somewhat cold, especially during the night. - 59 -




As for the lighting, there is no consideration whatsoever about the matter and spaces are usually dark. This can be convenient for the sleeping area, but definitely not for the kitchen.

Figure 36. Basic Unit single layered with four-sloped ceiling Source: http://gcollo.comunidadcoomeva.com/blog/index.php?/categories/10-municipio-de-paez,cauca,-colombia

- 60 -


Figure 37. Coverage options for the walls depends of the wealth of the family Source: http://www.blookiwi.com/construccion/bahareque/

- 61 -


Figure 38. Paez woman with baby, working in the kitchen Source: http://osvaldo1.galeon.com/imagenes/social.JPG

- 62 -


P o t e n t i a l

P a r t n e r s h i p s

“Centro Experimental Las Gaviotas” (http://www.centrolasgaviotas.org), is a Colombian laboratory for sustainable techniques among other projects, which creates/develops innovative local solutions in response primarily to modern necessities for remote locations.

Figure 39. “Balancin” is a double seesaw where children will pump water to a tank while playing Source: http://www.centrolasgaviotas.org/Fotos.html#44

Figure 40. “Balancin” with a children pool Source: http://www.centrolasgaviotas.org/Fotos.html#49

- 63 -


C H A P T E R S I L V I A

P o w e r

S I X

S U S T A I N A B L E

S u p p l y

&

R e f u s e

S Y S T E M S

T r e a t m e n t

Supply water is the biggest strength among Paeces community. Although the mechanisms they are currently implementing to bring it to their dwellings and the processes through which they are disposing their residues, are suitable to major changes in order to make them sustainable. After exploring the Paeces community lifestyle, what is left is the fact that they are willing to work together in order to keep their lands and to make them as sustainable as their possibilities are. Is not about changing their living behaviors, but bring them some tools and technical practices to develop a new sustainable and environmentally friendly model they can keep from now on. After analyzing their physical conditions, some specific considerations were crucial: 

Lack of techniques to make sustainable refuse disposal and sewage treatment.



Lack of permanent energy power system.

- 64 -


Exploring local and up to date sustainable responses to these needs, Paeces community new sewage system and refuse unit will consists of: 

Stone made septic tank.

Compost some of the organic refuse, in order to produce fertilizers for their own land.

Filter system construction, to strain sewage water before bringing it again to the stream.

Usage of the remaining organic refuse (i.e. corn, potatoes, and yucca’s residues after harvesting), to produce methane that can be storage to be used anytime for cooking and heating purposes.

Although bringing water to the dwelling has never been a problem, the usage of the seesaw will give the village a new and fun face, having a distraction for the kids, while they help to bring the water home. It will be also built a storage tank so there is no need to be pumping water every time is being used.

- 65 -


Figure 41. Stone made septic tank http://www.elcerrito-valle.gov.co/sitio.shtml?apc=I1----&x=2661013

- 66 -


N e w F o r

S t r u c t u r e a n

A n c i e n t

S y s t e m

Being respectful with the original distribution and floor plan of the dwellings that Paeces community have had for centuries, a more aesthetic technique to enhance lighting and preserve the heat inside the unit is being proposed.

Figure 42. Wood-framed housing model Source: http://blogs.worldbank.org/water/files/water/x_clts_latrine.jpg

- 67 -


W E B S I T E S

http://www.ted.com

http://www.centrolasgaviotas.org/

http://www.waterforpeople.org/

http://www.worldbank.org/

http://www.silvia-cauca.gov.co/index.shtml

http://www.todacolombia.com/departamentos/cauca.html#4

http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silvia_%28Cauca%29

http://gcollo.comunidadcoomeva.com/blog/index.php?/archives/118-todo-sobrelos-indigenas-paeces-del-departamento-del-cauca,-colombia,-sur-america.html

www.etniasdecolombia.org/indigenas/paez.asp

http://www.crc.gov.co/files/ConocimientoAmbiental/POT/silvia/POT%20usoagua. pdf

http://www.crc.gov.co/files/ConocimientoAmbiental/POT/silvia/POT%20clima.pdf

http://www.icanh.gov.co/Introducción-a-la-Colombia-Amerindia,-ICAN,-1987,

http://www.waterforpeople.org/extras/playpumps/update-on-playpumps.html

http://sustainablenicafarming.wordpress.com/tag/lagartillo/

http://worldatlas.com/mozambique

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_cities_in_Mozambique

http://www.climatedata.eu/climate.php?loc=mzzz0057&lang=en

wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/15/Mozambique_Topography.png - 68 -


http://www.trachomaatlas.org/maps/search/all?country=136&map_type=All&infec tion=226

http://www.pnud.org.co/2012/odm2012/odm_cauca.pdf

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Colombia_-_Cauca_-_Silvia.svg

http://caucaculturaambiental.blogspot.com/2011/06/riqueza-cultural-caucana.html

http://www.todacolombia.com/departamentos/cauca.html#5

http://www.crc.gov.co/files/ConocimientoAmbiental/POT/silvia/POT%20clima.pdf

http://www.biochar-international.org/sites/default/files/waterfiltration.JPG

http://www.tageo.com/index-e-co-v-09-d-30190.htm

http://d2m-inc.com/portfolio/hippo-roller/

http://www.ioniacounty.org/resource-recovery/composting.aspx

http://gcollo.comunidadcoomeva.com/blog/index.php?/categories/10-municipio-depaez,-cauca,-colombia

http://www.blookiwi.com/construccion/bahareque/

http://www.elcerrito-valle.gov.co/sitio.shtml?apc=I1----&x=2661013

- 69 -

Thinking Global Acting Local  

Final Term project to achieve the title of Master of Science in Energy Management at NYIT

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