Kamis, 06 Desember 2007


The Dancing House

An Alternative Housing System with a Humane Face.

What is it?

Tony Sargeant is the man behind the conception of “The Dancing House”.

It began after the devastating tsunami in Aceh and subsequent serious earthquake in Yogyakarta, both of which destroyed countless thousands of houses and lives as a result of the powerful effects of Nature.

“We need to figure a more sensible housing system to cope with these disasters. It goes way beyond just what happened in Aceh and Yogya but needs to be prepared to be ready to cope with reducing the negative effects on Global Warming that current building processes cause as these will most certainly contribute to more natural disasters in the future being triggered”.

Jumat, 09 November 2007

Housing as a Community Business.

Beyond that it can also build a “COMMUNITY INDUSTRY” even at the Village Level thus creating a “Self-Help Poverty Alleviation” industry.

The FRAME is designed to modern , state of the art earthquake resistance knowledge, as it is effectively a “SHOCK ABSORBER FRAME”. Not many people know that this is actually ancient knowledge in communities as that is how they built temples in China or in Japan for example, where the FRAME MOVES in an earthquake.

The Earthquake RESISTANCE energy is using the same principles as the “TAI CHI” martial art, “BE IN HARMONY WITH THE FORCE” and follow it through to save lives.

The system can be used either as a totality or as a component. It can be mixed with other building systems.

At present, a one-to-one scale mock up has already been built as a Two Storey construction with a Three Storey version currently being manufactured.

This is not only a building system for LOW COST HOUSES but it can also be for any level of houses.

The texture of the walls is handmade (by the women or the men) and is adaptable. The “sandwich” panels could also be pre fabricated in factories.

It is not only a building system proposal that is READY and PREPARED for any new disaster that may occur but, as we have said before, it is also an ALTERNATIVE SYSTEM to PUBLIC HOUSING SHORTAGES in general.

But the greatest side effect is that the COMMUNITY can also share in the benefits of the industry. In co-operation with forward thinking, environmentally aware lenders a MICRO HOUSING FINANCE LOAN SYSTEM , could be established enabling the poor to enter the “market” in an affordable manner.

Some of the questions and issues of concern that have been raised are:

§ Natural disasters are escalating in occurrence and frequency and are so much more devastating than in the past because of the large populations that live in vulnerable regions of the world.

§ Affordable Housing for the Poor is in very short supply as it is and these natural disasters are aggravating the housing problem greatly but how can Governments and individuals find an affordable alternative?

§ Brick houses are now the most common housing system for the poor in developing countries but this very process is, in turn, contributing to high emission levels of Carbon Dioxide and other pollutants and therefore is unintentionally contributing to the increased threat of some climate related disasters.

§ When many houses have been destroyed it gives an opportunity for communities and governments to rebuild using environmentally safe and economical techniques as opposed to just re-creating the same conditions for disasters to be repeated in the future.

§ On such a scale (when tens of thousands of house are destroyed or severely damaged in a short period) the effects can also greatly damage the top soil and thus deplete the quality of the agricultural land.

§ Brick and tile housing processes are actually using materials that become very dangerous in earthquakes because of the pendulum effect and also in typhoon/hurricane regions by virtue of becoming dangerously flying debris. H.eavy houses fall down and poor connections cause them to fail

§ These materials are commonly used at present because they have become favored as the “in style“ of house.

§ When we build houses, mainly of wood , they become a symptomatic problem as they cause further dramatic depletion of the forests, as has been seen in Aceh and, of course, will need replacing in the foreseeable future.

§ By using forest-originating building materials they have actually helped to “wipe out” these forest zones and have therefore increased the levels of vulnerability to even more natural disasters.

§ Flooding will carry away the top soil through increased erosion, down through the river systems to the oceans, causing drying of the land and thus denying the natural refill of underground aquifers upon which humanity depends.

§ Subsequent droughts cause losses in food production capacity and contribute to hunger. They affect land temperatures and contribute to global weather patterns.

So a vicious cycle is created and causes even worse calamities, poverty, hunger, and worsening global warming conditions.

The “devils downward cycle” is now rapidly endangering the future of the human race.

This is not a scare tactic but is simply the reality that we now face.

In response to these problems, Tony, has reacted in a very positive way and using a “nuts and bolts approach, as he calls it, has created “The Dancing House” experiment.