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Nicaragua Project Description -
High Quality Low Cost Housing
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Other Regions:

This house should not be duplicated in every region. Rather the principles used can be applied in many different places. The house itself is an example of the application of these principles. Some of them are:
  • Use local materials.
  • Use traditional building systems employing the best known methods as well as recent improvements.
  • Start with traditional designs of the area.
  • Emphasize high quality with these systems. Work with the best local craftspeople.
  • Use small power tools not heavy equipment. Otherwise use tools that are made in Nicaragua.
  • Educate the labor force. Don't look for systems that only need unskilled labor. Create a skilled labor force.
How can this be done? This report will not address that question in detail. However, some initial steps are: identification of materials available in the zone, identification of traditionally used construction systems in the zone (especially those employed by the poor), observation of traditional local designs, locating best craftspersons in the area with respect to these materials and building systems.

In any given region some of the materials from the San Dionisio house may be applicable while others will not be. For example, in this area we found a very nice flat stone for floors. Another region might not have such a stone and it might be necessary to use more irregular field stone or to look for another floor material altogether. Most regions have the earth and wood used in the reinforced adobe walls so these walls may be applicable in a large number of places. The east coast has much more wood so wood walls might be used in place of adobe. Wood shingles might be used for roofs instead of clay tile.

In short, the design will vary depending on the materials available in the local area, traditional designs for the area, climatic variations, etc.


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