Architecture for Humanity has been working with a number of construction professionals in Myanmar and Thailand the to respond to rebuilding after Cyclone Nargis. Working with ASEAN, a design team will engage in community design workshops in the village of Nyaung Wine to do preliminary site analysis and develop designs for several community structures. This work will begin in February 2009, in the hopes of developing plans for the construction phase, to start in spring of 2009.
We did not enter the country for the first few months as we find that non-essential personnel get in the way of the emergency relief effort. An assessment was done by a couple of in country Architecture for Humanity members who traveled into the regions worst hit. We realized that our primary impact would be to elevate construction standards and incorporate disaster mitigation into existing buildings to prevent future destruction.
After raising funds we decided to respond twofold;
1. Elevate construction standards by developing an open source directory of bamboo details that would be written in Burmese then printed and distributed locally.
2. Partner with local and NGO organizations (with shelter divisions) and offered technical support and design services.
In mid-September 2008 our design team (made up of regional professionals) visited prospective sites and partners to establish a long term plan for our involvement in the reconstruction phase.