Bamboo & Teak Huts Offer Temporary Homes to Thai Refugees

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Huts made of local bamboo and reclaimed teak wood offer temporary accommodation to refugees arriving in Thailand from across the Burmese border. Thai studio Agora Architects offered up their services pro-bono to design these low-cost, quick-to-assemble dormitories that incorporate as many recycled materials as possible.


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The thatched roof is made of layers of dry leaves, and bamboo makes up the walls and floors. While the construction won’t last more than two years, these semi-permanent dwellings are easy enough to build that they can be re-constructed as necessary by unskilled local workers.

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 Reclaimed wood has become much more popular in Thailand in recent years as deforestation and illegal trafficking drives up the cost of timber. In this case, the natural materials used for much of the construction are virtually free, making the reclaimed teak 70% of the total material cost.

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Each dormitory can house up to 25 people, and costs just over $2,000 USD to complete. The first of the five completed buildings, which feature a long, open-air central walkway for optimal air flow, was constructed in four weeks.