In most emergency and reconstruction projects timber and bamboo are used as construction materials. As they are natural materials, they have unique properties and require special environmental, supply, logistics and construction considerations. Often humanitarian organisations are not aware of all of these considerations and mistakes are frequently made, leading to delays in response, costing extra money to put right and putting people’s safety at risk.
This book is a response to organisations' and practitioners' need for guidance in complicated local and global contexts, as well as providing the timber industry with some understanding of the kind of issues the humanitarian community is dealing with.
As part of their organisational commitments to encourage more effective and coordinated humanitarian aid, the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN/OCHA), and CARE International have collaborated on the production and distribution of “Timber as a construction material in humanitarian operations”.
The book is based on a scoping study published by UN/OCHA in May 2007.
Subsequent drafts were discussed at peer reviews in Indonesia, Kenya, the UK and the USA. The final version is the result of inputs from more than 100 people from a wide range of organisations. IFRC, UN/OCHA and CARE International are extremely grateful for their contributions.
Given the diversity of local building practices and cultures, this book is not intended to be a definitive how-to building guide for using timber as a construction material. Instead it highlights key issues to be considered by teams of program, technical and logistical staff when making decisions in construction projects involving timber or bamboo. It also provides some basic construction and specification information for times when expert help is hard to find.
UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs:
To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.