A new Community House for Bai Giua
Hanoi, Vietnam
image: © all rights reserved
i
Location:
Hanoi, Vietnam
Category:
housing
Phase:
design development
Updated:
25 November 2021

The project aims to rebuild a Community House for the 30 low-income households living in the floating village of Bai Giua. The construction will be the occasion to train the local people in better construction techniques, as well as providing a sustainable model of floating house with low-cost technologies and design solutions that they can apply to the renovation of their own floating houses, in this area of high environmental vulnerability.

follow
share on:mail linkcopy link to clipboardShare via LinkedInShare via TwitterShare via FacebookShare via Facebook
Introduction

Banana Island (Bãi giữa sông Hồng in Vietnamese) is an island located in the Red River adjacent to the city of Hanoi and is home to the city’s most marginalized community. Currently, 30 low-income households, mostly domestic migrants who lack identification papers or stable jobs, struggle to make a living. Adding to this community’s vulnerability is a lack of access to public services such as waste management, running water, electricity, and healthcare. 

To avoid land conflicts with the local government, residents build floating homes of scrap materials. The one floating community house that provided space for meetings, education, and emergency shelter has recently sunk into the river following a storm.

The proposed project will have a double mission in (1) providing residents with a new Community House where they will be able to gather, and  (2) building capacity for the community to improve their own floating houses and surrounding public spaces by opting for a community participatory design+construction model.

Rather than repairing each individual floating house, the team wishes to build a more long-term and resilient capacity of self-repair and house-upgrading from the residents by providing them with both a replicable model (the community house) and new skills and training in basic construction but also sanitation and waste management.

Current condition of Xom Phao

image: Francesco Montresor | CC-BY_black.png some rights reserved
i
Impact


In the long term, the goal is to improve living conditions for the vulnerable floating community on Banana Island through more sustainable practices and cooperation that includes community participation. 

With sustainable practices in mind and clear construction processes, the new community house would also serve as a prototype model for floating houses. This would allow residents of the community to learn to improve their respective houses through a better use of materials, assembly, construction, and house organization (in relation to waste management notably, but also water treatment and hygiene).

A more immediate result would be to build communities' capacity to design and repair their floating houses and public spaces in a more resilient and sustainable way, while inspiring new practices to change living habits and contributing to improving quality of life in the long run. Using the construction of the community house as an opportunity to train residents in simple but effective construction methods to improve resiliency of their own home (slower degradation, better resilience to weather conditions, etc.)

We strongly believe that community participation also improves community cohesion around a shared project. The experiences and results of this project will be used as a model to share with other organisations, and urban residents to mobilise their participation and contribution to make Hanoi more livable for all.

sdgs
Core team

Think Playgrounds  is a social enterprise working on providing safe public spaces through community participation. Think Playgrounds has facilitated changing perceptions of public space design, construction and space management as well as promoting The Right to Play in various communities across Hanoi, including the floating community of Bai Giua, where work has already been done since 2016 in setting up an adventure playground and working with poor and low-income communities with effective workshops around co-design with community participation and capacity building.

Keep Hanoi Clean (KHC) is a social enterprise which aims to solve environmental problems and improve Hanoi’s urban sustainability by leading and inspiring the community on critical environmental challenges, raising awareness, and collaborating with citizens, organizations, and the government. Programs now address air, land, and water pollution and include plastics and solid waste impacts mitigation, beautification (cleanups, revegetation, artwork), and broad public awareness raising.

ECUE is a social enterprise with expertise on research, communication, advocacy and campaign on topics of public spaces, air quality, and inclusive city. ECUE has been working with local government, universities, NGOs, creative spaces and marginalized groups such as female migrant workers, ethnic minorities, LGBTIs and people with disability to encourage them to take part in the city development.

ThinkPlaygrouds team

image: ThinkPlaygrounds | CC-BY_black.png some rights reserved
i
Image gallery
Xom Phao Site Assesment 01

image: ThinkPlaygrounds | CC-BY_black.png some rights reserved
i
Xom Phao Site Assesment 02

image: ThinkPlaygrounds | CC-BY_black.png some rights reserved
i
Site Assesment 03

image: ThinkPlaygrounds | CC-BY_black.png some rights reserved
i
Site Assesment 04

image: ThinkPlaygrounds | CC-BY_black.png some rights reserved
i
Technical drawings
Preliminary design (in progress)

image: ThinkPlaygrounds | CC-BY_black.png some rights reserved
i
Preliminary design (in progress)

image: ThinkPlayground | CC-BY_black.png some rights reserved
i
Preliminary design (in progress)

image: ThinkPlaygrounds | CC-BY_black.png some rights reserved
i
Help bring our project to life!
25 November 2021
Workshop 04
Presentation of the updated community house design and feedback from community
share on:mail linkcopy link to clipboardShare via LinkedInShare via TwitterShare via FacebookShare via Facebook
25 November 2021
Workshop 03
Presenting references and other floating house project, getting feedback on existing designs and exploring solutions through existing case studies
share on:mail linkcopy link to clipboardShare via LinkedInShare via TwitterShare via FacebookShare via Facebook
25 November 2021
Workshop 03
Presenting references and other floating house project, getting feedback on existing designs and exploring solutions through existing case studies
share on:mail linkcopy link to clipboardShare via LinkedInShare via TwitterShare via FacebookShare via Facebook
25 November 2021
Workshop 02
Reflecting on the structural frame of the floating community house
share on:mail linkcopy link to clipboardShare via LinkedInShare via TwitterShare via FacebookShare via Facebook
25 November 2021
Workshop 01
We received a grant for 5 workshops with the goal of training capacity for the community. These 5 workshops won't be sufficient to build the community house yet, but we plan to use them to co-design the main aspects of the house with the community, and build awareness in design related aspects as well as environmental aspects. Workshop 01 is about presenting the idea to the community, presenting the results of the house survey, and getting feedback from the topics they want to focus on during the workshop.
share on:mail linkcopy link to clipboardShare via LinkedInShare via TwitterShare via FacebookShare via Facebook
14 September 2021
OPTIONS UNDER CONSIDERATION FOR BLACK WATER TREATMENT
We are currently weighting options for the wastewater treatment of the community house. 4 options are being discussed, with their cost, financial impact on the community, and efficiency carefully evaluated.
Nonetheless, we are still looking for skilled technicians or engineers with deeper knowledge of these solutions to help us.

OPTION 1: Floating Biogas Plant
- water from a floating toilet enters the HDPE biogas plant (floating).
- 3 or 4 shared floating community toilets
- Methane gas from the floating biogas plant can be used for cooking purposes (potential of community kitchen)
- Slurry coming out from biogas plant can be effectively used in agricultural fields nearby. As a soil enhancer, bio fertilizer.

- Does it function in heavy monsoons periods?

OPTION 2: DRDO Bio Toilet & Biodigester
- The bio toilet and biodigester have to be constructed on a floating platform. 
- Biodigester is smaller than conventional septic tank systems AND reduceS the pollution load by 99% (because of bacterial inoculation).
- So maintenance free and no need to clean the tank.
 
OPTION 3: Dry composting toilet
- Latrine that collects faeces and allows urine to go out into the river (Urine is pathogen free)
- Collected faeces is decomposed in a tank fitted under the toilet and emptied manually every 45 to 60days
- In order to get odour free faeces and allow decomposition it have to be covered with sawdust or wood ash every time.
- Toilet and faeces collection tank can be on a floating platform.

- Is it the most sustainable solution to have dry toilets on a floating platform above water?

OPTION 4: Pod Blackwater Treatment
- Blackwater treatment system that uses floating “PODs” that are positioned under the toilets of the households along with anaerobic digester (drum).
- The Pods are filled with water hyacinths, and the bacteria that reside on the plant roots are capable of breaking down contaminants and making the water significantly cleaner.
- Pod system consists of two parts. The Primary anaerobic digester and the Floating pods.
- Black water coming out from the toilet connects to a drum where the anaerobic digestion takes place. From here overflow of digested waste passes through the floating pod, where roots of water hyacinth further breakdown waste before it passes into the lake. 
- Similar to a handypod system
share on:mail linkcopy link to clipboardShare via LinkedInShare via TwitterShare via FacebookShare via Facebook
Help bring our project to life!
Where are we now

We are currently conducting on-site surveys with the residents in order to assess each house's damages, repair status and general living conditions. How is water and waste treated for example, but also how often their house needs repair, what are the most common damages and their probable causes.

In parallel to the site assessment, we are in the preliminary design phase of the new community house. The complete design will be done with the community but the preliminary design serves as base for budgeting, and preparing punctual design solutions (rainwater collection system for example).

Both the survey and the preliminary design will help us structure the design workshop with the community.

An indication of our team’s capacity:
20% funding already raised
60% expertise already found
10% materials / equipment already found
90% builders already found
Finance: € 2,710

Our current raised funding covers the site assessment and 6 training workshops with the community on participatory planning, sustainable architecture, carpentry, water management, waste management, and community house design.

The house will be built by the community with support from trained workers from ThinkPlaygrounds. we still have to find fundings for the materials, as well as additional technical expertise on low-cost systems we would like to integrate such as a rainwater collection system, a wastewater treatment system (similar to Handipod system), and a way of generating electricity (solar panels, Wind turbines). The design being still in development, the budget below is approximated.

  • HDPE barrels
230
  • Handipod (or equivalent)
100
  • Wood
1,000
  • roofing sheet
280
  • wood (depending on design)
1,100
Skills: Design, Technique

We are looking for skilled engineers or people that could help in the design, cost estimation and installation of:

  • Low-cost DYI wind turbines or water turbines
  • Rainwater collection solutions
  • Wastewater treatment systems such as the Handipod system or other
Stuff: Materials

The project aims at being as cost effective as possible, as well as providing replicable solutions for the low-income community of Bai Giua to improve their own houses. Therefore used and recycled materials will be mostly used:
- used oil barrels (HDPE prefered)
- bamboo and wood
- car tires

Help bring our project to life!
Location
show earth plate boundarieshide earth plate boundaries