Seismically Resistant Sustainable Housing

On the morning of October 8, 2005, an earthquake measuring 7.6 on the Richter scale devastated Pakistan’s North-West Frontier Province and the Pakistani-administered entities of Azad Kashmir and Northern Areas in the Jammu and Kashmir region, remote areas characterized by rugged, mountainous landscapes and scattered rural communities. The eventual death toll was estimated at between 70,000 and 80,000, and the quake left upward of 3 million people homeless. The victims’ homes, often poorly constructed or sited near hazardous slopes, were vulnerable not only to the tremor and its aftershocks but also to landslides triggered by the quake. Article 25, a London-based charitable disaster relief organization, has designed and overseen the ongoing reconstruction of 82 homes in the affected regions, using local materials, employing local labor, and educating the local population on sustainable and seismically resistant construction techniques.

Kirinda Project

In 2004, the small fishing village of Kirinda, located on the southeast tip of Sri Lanka, was ravaged by the great Asian tsunami that killed more than 225,000 people in 11 countries. The community was devastated: hundreds of villagers were killed or left homeless, and over 90 percent of the village’s fishermen lost their livelihood in a single wave. After hearing of and viewing the effects of the tsunami, Philip Bay, the regional director of Colliers Southeast Europe, was compelled to act. Identifying Sri Lanka as one of the hardest-hit regions, Colliers International commenced discussions with the Sri Lankan government, offering to contribute its real estate expertise to the relief effort. Kirinda—one of the most thoroughly devastated communities of the island nation— was identified, and Colliers was asked to lead the reconstruction initiative. Colliers International used its expertise to finance and coordinate the effort to rebuild destroyed homes in Kirinda.