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introduction Edit

On Saturday April 16, 2016, an earthquake with a moment magnitude of 7.8 struck the coast of Ecuador. More than 1 million people were affected, 28.775 people lost their houses and were forced to seek shelter, 6.274 people were injured and 671 people died. A first group of volunteers traveled to the affected areas to provide temporary shelters for people who not only lost their families but also their homes.

Three months later, our team completed the construction of the first model of permanent housing called CasaOE and aims to develop a technical manual to spread a project that will help people to have access to a safe, technically studied and low budget home.

The project was planned within technical, human and environmental processes that support the proposed design, achieving a multidisciplinary project (architecture and engineering) that meets national standards for construction in Ecuador.

One of our main objectives is to create links with the community and we believe this will be possible by building together

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the core team Edit

The project was developed by a team made up of professionals from various branches (architects, civil engineers, structural engineers, journalists, economists, artists, construction workers and doctors).

The team has specific tasks to do: Design the house and structure, get funds, identify a land suitable for construction and identify beneficiaries.

Identifying beneficiaries is one of the most important aspects. Beneficiaries are going to be part of the construction team and in the future are the ones who will get the community involve replicating the CasaOE model. Besides that, beneficiaries will provide camping space and food for volunteers during the construction. The idea of this agreement is to create a shared responsibility in order to generate the commitment of beneficiaries on the construction of their new home.

The skin of the structure and the interior design is open to the needs and requirements of the beneficiary. Being part of the design and construction team gives identity to their new home.

The first house is located in Campamento – Jama city, a rural sector of Manabi Province, which mostly engaged in agriculture and livestock in the population. A great percentage of homes were lost after the earthquake.The team decided to build this first house in Campamento, after identifying a family that owned a piece of land and accepted the agreement to participate in the construction and to motivate the community to replicate the project.

After completing this first house, the team contacted a group of volunteers located in Canoa (40 Kms south from Campamento) that has been working with the community since the day after of the earthquake. They want to be engaged in the project and help us in the identification of new beneficiaries. So the next steps of the project might take place in Canoa.

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what is still needed and why Edit
Design input:

We need guidance in the development of technical manual and its possible applications to digital level.

Work force:

In this type of project it is always welcome all the help. If anyone is interested in helping in any way possible will always be welcome.

Funding support:

For funding the project, $3.500,00 US dollars are needed per house. However, the cost of the first house was covered with donations of material, money and tools.

So far all donations have been achieved thanks to people that was interested in helping, but there is more to do and the best way to find new potential financers is showing the project itself.

There is not a limit on the quantity of houses we want to build, the limit will be the founds we can raise. Money could help but we are interested in all the possible ways we could get resources.

In return, for people interested in support the project we can only offer to mention them in social media: CasaOE official website, Facebook and other social networks. OE team will always be grateful for their support.


The main problem during the construction process was to get the earthquake victims involve in the project. We need support in socialization processes in order to get people be more interested in being part of the project.

Developing the construction manual is something we would like to work deeply, in order to give other people a clear idea and a simple way of building housing.

In both cases we would like the support of more experienced teams that could guide us in these aspects.


For the project, the most important is the spread, the main idea is to replicate the housing with the generation of the manual. That's why we need is advertising the same through various digital media and communications. If the project is known it is possible that they can build more homes in the affected area.

impact Edit

One of the main problems evidenced in the area is there is not proposals for teamwork. Each person solves their problems in individual way, not everyone has the same amount of resources or opportunities. Our main challenge is to expand the CasaOE model not only as housing but as an experience of participation, commitment and responsibility.

We believe Architecture is only one part solving needs of communities, working together with other technical and social branches is important to have a satisfactory aim of the projects. Architecture should be the mean by which the community is satisfied with what was planned but it should also be responsible for the safety of the structures proposed.

As housing is a basic need of affected communities can take the CasaOe model as a replicable way to provide a safe space and easy construction, creating a support network within the affected areas revaluing aspects of identity, economy, ownership and community.

Reconstruction of the affected areas generates jobs and helping in the economic growth of the people. The CasaOe model as a first experience opened new doors for new and future programs of greater scope at community level.

external links Edit


Project details
Project name: Casa OE
Description: Low-budget housing alternative for Ecuador's earthquake victims.
Category: housing
Design: Emergency architecture
Building status: proposal (Buildify submission)
Construction period: June 2016- August 2016 (6 weekends)
Needs: design input, work force, funding support, advice, promotion
Location: Campamento -Jama , Ecuador
Coordinates: 0°12'52'' S, 80°19'2.6'' W
Tags: community, bamboo, earthquake, hands-on, low budget
Project ID: 655
Published: 23 September 2016
Last updated: 12 October 2016
(images have individual licenses)
CC Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike
CC Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike
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