Dwelling Unit Prototypes for Rural Bangladesh for Greater Adaptability to Changing Socioeconomic and Environmental Need
Almost eighty one percent (81%) of the housing stock in Bangladesh is in the rural areas, of which sixty nine percent (69%) are of informal sector construction. Because of its geographical location, the traditional housing stocks are vulnerable to periodic flooding, cyclone, and other natural disasters, including riverbank erosion. These houses built with organic materials and metal sheets are vulnerable to natural disasters and agents of decay. Comparatively resilient housing stock for the large rural population is a precondition to the growth and improvement of the socio-economic conditions of the people. With the introduction of Modern lifestyle amenities (television, radio, electric lighting and mobile telephone) in the rural areas, the demand for electricity has risen for which neither the informal energy technologies on which these households have traditionally relied upon, nor the rural energy supply from the national grid appeared to be adequate. The health and sanitation conditions of the traditional homesteads, in many cases, are inadequate and have scope for improvement. This study was undertaken under a Housing and Building Research Institute (HBRI) project where six (6) dwelling prototypes were developed to address these challenges with the objective that these prototypes could be replicated in the rural settings on a larger scale. Of the six (6) units designed, four(4) are discussed in this paper. The general improvements proposed in these prototypes were divided into three categories – constructional improvement for better resilience, supplementary energy technologies to meet growing energy demand and improved health and sanitation of the occupants.