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How to

Construct The

Heritage Foundation E-6, Fourth Gizri Street DHA 4 Karachi Voice: (92 21) 35834215
UN Recognition Award 2002 for promotion of Culture and Peace.
<info@heritagefoundationpak.org> www.heritagefoundationpak.org
The Green KaravanGhar

TAble of Contents


Setting up camp

Volunteers’ Instructions





Feedback Form

Layout and Compilation by Mariyam Nizam

Drawings by Heritage Foundation and Amin Tariq Associates
Demo Unit Construction and Photography by Naheen Shah
Sketches by Marvi Mazhar
The Green KaravanGhar

Green KaravanGhar
Guided Self Help Shelter

The floods in the country have played havoc with lives of millions of people. Not only have they
been rendered homeless, losing everything they ever had, without food and proper shelter,
along with lack of clean water, there is likelihood of even a greater catastrophe than seen so far.

Heritage Foundation has had experience in working in post disaster Earthquake 2005 affected
areas and maintains its presence in the area to this day. Beginning with emergency shelters –
the popular KaravanGhar- when almost 1200 units were built through guided self help from the
debris and local materials, its programme Heritage for Rehabilitation and Development pro-
gramme carried out through the support of Nokia and Nokia Siemens Network over the last four
years has enabled women to begin their earnings through their craft skills and are now being
provided help for marketing their agro based products such as makari tandoori naan, Destiny
googies (maize cookies) and organic farm produce.

During 2009, Heritage Foundation provided relief to a large number of families particularly wom-
en and children, in the Shaikh Shahzad Camp in Mardan for IDPs from Swat.
From February 2010 to June 2010, in partnership with UNESCO and DFID, Heritage Foundation
trained 500 women in crafting products based on their craft skills for income generation. Under
the programme the handloom work was revitalized through provision of a large number of small
looms that women could install and use in their homes, thus providing income generation op-
portunities within their homes.

Heritage Foundation is poised to play a key role in identifying requirements and implementing
post disaster assistance. It has already begun the process of providing immediate relief by dis-
tributing packages of food in Swat.

Among urgent needs is the need for shelter. Due to experimentation carried out in the last few
years in the use of local materials and techniques, Heritage Foundation has developed the shel-
ter component as part of incremental housing that can be constructed through guided self help.

This manual has been prepared to provide detailed information to guide the process of shel-
ter construction. The document provides construction drawings and details for construction of
Green KaravanGhar.

Yasmeen Lari, Sitara-i-Imtiaz

Honorary Project Director, Green KaravanGhar
Chair & CE, Heritage Foundation
Karachi, 30th August 2010

The Green KaravanGhar

Setting up Field camp

1. General Features of Plot for Field Camp
• Plot measuring 500 sq yds located on comparatively high ground
• Area to be as level as possible in order to avoid excessive cartage
• Plot to be easily accessible from main road
• Should have high visibility for demonstration purposes

2. Setting up
• Field Camp to be set up for one to four months depending upon the number of
Green KaravanGhar to be built. 100 units are expected to be constructed in a
• Provision of electricity through main line or generator
• Installation of project banners to encourage the community to begin interaction
with Heritage Foundation staff and volunteers

3. Components
• Construction of Demonstration Unit – Construction time 4 days including toilets
• 2 nos. Tents for volunteers/supervisors , 1 no. tent for building material storage
• Office in Demo Unit
• ToolKits
• Messing Arrangement
• Camp staff

3.1 Demonstration Unit

• Erection and completion of one room
• Structure only of veranda to demonstrate the techniques of jointing
• Completion of one WC and shower unit

3.2 Tents
• 2 nos. tents to accommodate 3-4 persons/tent
• Provision of electricity

3.3 Office in Demo Unit

• One laptop and one printer, copier etc.
• One wireless phone (including internet connection)
• 2 no. tables, 6 nos. chairs

3.4 Toolkits
• 12 nos. toolkits according to list

3.5 Messing Arrangement

• Arrangement for cooking i.e. stove, fuel, pot for meals for 10 persons
• Dry rations

3.6 Camp Staff

• Camp Incharge
• Chowkidar/Attendant
The Green KaravanGhar

Tools, Materials
and Precautions
Bamboo as a Construction

List of Tools and


• Saw 2 nos.
• Drill 1 no. with
bits of 1/8”, 1/4”,
• Hammer 2 nos.
• Trowel (gurmala)
steel 1 no.
• Trowel (gurmala)
wood 1 no.
• Alignment cord 50’
• Gaz tool for plas-
tering 1 no.
• Measuring tape
steel 10’ length
• Taghari (container
while working
for mortar mix) 2
• Shovels 2 nos.
• Trolleys 2 nos.
• Wrench/pilas 2 nos.
• Wooden ladders
8’0” high 2 nos.

The Green KaravanGhar

Volunteers’ Instructions
The main task of volunteers is to supervise the construction to ensure that the structure has
been built according to the drawings and specifications. The Green KaravanGhar is mainly a
bamboo structure and relies extensively on the use of local materials. It is a green structure
with low carbon footprint. The volunteers should:

1. See that centre lines are marked with stakes

2. Check the layout to ensure that all the dimensions are correct.

3. Check the foundation pad 1:4:8 (1 lime, 4 sand, 8 coarse aggregate)

4. Ensure that the wall in foundation and plinth is laid with cord for alignment
of each stone/brick course and that pockets for grouting bamboo posts are
made in the correct locations. Also check the height of foundation and
plinth masonry wall as per drawings.

5. Check that the bamboo for posts are 4” dia. and of correct height.

6. Ensure that the 3/8” m.s. bar is vertically placed in the grouting within the
foundation and the bamboo post.

7. Make sure that anti termite compound has been added to the grout.

8. Check that the work on fabrication of bamboo ring beams and joists has
been taken up according to schedule and as per details of drawings
i.e.bolting, nailing and tying with m.s. strips at specified intervals. Check all
heights i.e. 9’6” at the rear, 9’0” at the front.

9. Ensure that 2-bamboo ring beams on the

Kit for each
long sides are tied to the bamboo post with
volunteer bolt grouted in the post.
• Measuring tape
10. Ensure that all the 3-bamboo joists are
• Plumb
secured to the ring beam as shown on the
• Spirit level drawings, and the 2-bamboo short side ring
• Wooden triangle beam is also firmly secured.
for checking
11. Complete the roof and plinth (dassa)
square corners
bamboo lengths. In all cases they must be
• One log book properly secured to the each other.
for noting
progress and 12. Complete the cross bracing in walls before
adding load to the roof. Ensure that 2-bam
making sketches
boo dhijji element is placed on the front
• Feedback form length to receive verandah joists later
The Green KaravanGhar

13. Add bamboo diagonals or straw matting to

the roof.
Volunteers to
14. Add filling to the cross bracing in walls bring with them:
either stone fillers in lime/sand mortar
or matting neatly fixed between bamboo
posts. • Sleeping bag
• Blanket
15. In case of matting dhijji filler, apply mud/ • Towel
sand/lime plaster between the posts. After • Soap
plaster has been applied, secure the
matting by placing ½ bamboo bracings • Tooth paste
on cross bracing to secure the matting. and brush
• Plates, mug
16. In case of stone fillers, insert nails at and cup
regular intervals on the bamboo frame
to hold the stone fillers in place. • Fork, knife and
17. Internally on walls, use lime/sand/mud • Scout’s knife
plaster to finish the interior surfaces. • Mosquito
• Camera
• Sketch book/
writing pad
• Pen and pencils
• Torch
• Battery light

Groups Schedule (Three Members per Group)

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31
Group 1
Group 2
Group 3
Group 4
Group 5
Group 6
Group 7
Group 8

Stay at HF Field Camp
Depatrure 6
The Green KaravanGhar

Architectural Sketches
Stage One

4’6” 4’6” 4’6” 4’6”

18’x 10’3”

12” overhang
Mud Plaster on Dhijji Infill or Stone Infill


The Green KaravanGhar

Stage Two



The Green KaravanGhar

Stage Three


Plan 9
The Green KaravanGhar


Cross-Section at Stage One

Cross-Section at stage THree

The Green KaravanGhar

Engineer’s Drawings
Foundation Plan for Room and veranda

The Green KaravanGhar

Plinth and Dhassa Plan for Room and veranda

The Green KaravanGhar

Roof and Beam Plan for Room at Stage One

The Green KaravanGhar

Roof and Beam Plan for Veranda at Stage Two

The Green KaravanGhar


Roof and Post Jointing Details

Foundation and Dassa Cross-Section Bamboo Bundling Detail

Foundation and Dassa Detail

Jointing Detail of Joist, Ring Beam Dhijji Bracing Detail

and Post DETAILS

The Green KaravanGhar

• Site Leveling (By Com-
Day -1

• Excavation of Foundation
(By Community)
• Foundation Pad (By Com-
Arrival of Volunteers (evening at Mardan University, Transport to field camp by HF)
• Stone masonry in
Day 1

• Anchoring Bamboo Posts

• Assembly of Bamboo
Beams and Joists

• Erection of Bamboo
Day 2

Beams and Joists

• Completion of Roof

• Diagonal Bamboo
Bracing in Walls and
Day 3

• Assembly of Doors
and Windows

• Completion of Structure
• Dhijji Filling, Fixing
Day 4

Matting on Walls and


• Dhijji Filling, Mud Plaster

or Stone Infill
Day 5

• Fixing Doors and

• Roof Completion

• Dhijji Filling, Stone Infill

Day 6

• Laying of Hardcore, Sand,

Plastic Sheet, Mud layer on

• Inspection of completed • Completing Log Books,

units Sketches, etc.
Day 7

• Completion of Shelter • Signing out from field

Report camp, returnings tools
• Filling FeedBack Forms provided by HF

Departure of Volunteers (Mid Day to Mardan University, Transport provided by HF)

The Green KaravanGhar

FeedBack Form