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SEVAI Shelter Projects

SEVAI Shelter is not a hand-out but a “hand-up” program. In the village building programme, we select the poor, small and remote villages which are interested in development in all aspects with the help of SEVAI. House construction costs skyrocketed making building construction almost unaffordable to the masses. The energy crisis followed adding to the problem. During later half of 20th Century, there was also greater awareness about the environmental damage due to material manufacturing processes. construction for the homeless and those affected by catastrophe like cyclone, floods since 1976. SEVAI has also participated in the construction of solid house scheme, Samathuvapuram Projects, apart from housing and overseas projects supported by DESWOS, Germany, and Swiss FPV and FdnF. SEVAI has promoted a building material production centre and also construction management and masons training centre in Arumbuhal nagar, Trichy.SEVAI has developed various housing models for schools, farmers market, Police stations, and Police control rooms in Trichy over the years. SEVAI has trained over 600 masons over the years. SEVAI has the capacity of mobilizing the areas of masonry, carpentry, barbendry, house wiring, plumbers and building multi mechanics. The shelter delivery system works through two Building Material Services Banks which are building mate for 5 houses per day. The two main products building cement Blocks and window frames will be locally produced in Poovam in Karaikal. These materials can be chosen because they were both cost planning steps will be implemented to ensure that the end product would really target the design workshop with the village the core houses and secondly, a process will be included a list of the villages, other putting the list reconstruction cross-check. The house takes into environmentally unsound SEVAI has been working in the field of house 500 construction skilled workers a day for masonry in material production  centres, producing material cost-efficient and could be produced locally. Two crucial poorest. Firstly, a will be held together communities to design with the beneficiarie step by step screening introduced. This all damaged houses in cross-checking with programmes and to the village committees for a final design of the core consideration speed of ronmentally houses under IAY rial e beneficiaries, to offer appropriate solutions under the community/NGO-based approach able to respond quicker, it was also more targeted and offered less costly solutions for rehabilitation efforts than the slow bureaucratic government set seeking middlemen (builders/masons) used in the government set been replaced by more accessible village construction teams.

• Standard Method of Measurement of Building Works;
• Basic documents, specifications, type of clauses, sources of information, specification
structure/content, preliminaries specification, typical trade specification, cross
referencing and coordination of consultants.
• Statistics, discount cash flow, probability.

• Setting up software package accounts, access procedures, basic data entry, rates
buildups, rates entry and practical application of knowledge to applied measurement.
Construction management
• Construction management, management functions, delegation and authority,
motivation, leadership, communications.
• The property development process
constraints, marketing, occupation costs, property management.
studies on project management Construction.
• Project management, procurement methods, design management, builder selection
techniques, project planning control techniques, claims and dispute management,
negotiation techniques, partnering.

Non-structural elements
• Non-structural elements in cost environment, suspended ceilings, partitions and cost finishes.
• Acoustic and lighting fundamentals.
• Measurement and calculations.
• Noise control.
• Integrated thermal, visual and aural design.
• By-laws and regulations.

Civil Technology
• Civil engineering technology.
• The movement of people, communication and Organization systems.
• Maintenance of buildings.
• Facilities management.

production and construction, ease of transportation of building elements and ease of construction by local village masons, besides incorporating structural aspects of tsunami resistance. The design and detailing process will be a continuously evolving one with input and feedback from users and implementers being incorporated into the design and new details will be Community and NGO-based shelter delivery systems

The approach outlined here will have an extremely tight time schedule. Not only was set-up. Another obvious advantage is that the opportunity set-up has effectively thod ion - site selection, market research, finance, Interactive

• The general economic theory, the price mechanism, supply and demand analysis, firms and industries, economic systems.
• Labour, wages and employment. The employment scene in rural areas was grim and that was followed by heavy migration to urban areas which caused numerous civic and social problems. From the moment SEVAI Started its housing project way back in 1977, SEVAI has been involved with homes of many dimensions and categories. And around the late '70s we got involved with mass housing for flood and cyclone victims. The designs were well-detailed; we understood that Government can only act at best as catalysts. Over last two decades, considerable work has been done in the field of alternative construction technologies. The knowledge and the experience gained have the potential to impact the construction scenario in the country. But, unfortunately, the knowledge dissemination has been largely inadequate. The human resource development in the field is also limited. The end users also are not adequately aware of the alternatives that are available. Hence, there is an urgent need to reach out to various stakeholders and potential change makers. SEVAI works in partnership with local, grass root community based Organizations such as Self Help Groups, Panchayat Level Federations to reach people in need of decent housing. The cost of construction is equally borne by three stakeholders i.e. Beneficiary, Local Government and SEVAI. Before we select a village, we explain the conditions to the villagers, and put them to tests and their participation in the programme is assessed. It is along process of learning for the villagers, including youth and women. The villagers submit an application to SEVAI requesting to develop their village and are interested to learn village development activities.

Every week the village representatives attend the meetings and learn the programme. They also visit the old villages which, were built by SEVAI to see and to meet villagers as to how they worked hard and developed their village. The testing process takes a few months. Meanwhile, we prepare a detailed project proposal and send it to the sponsors abroad. The common site also will be cleared and made into one plot, fix the village boundaries, prepare a systematic layout with clear roads, common plots, house plots, etc,. We also explain the conditions during the construction programme and make the villagers understand it. The village council is also trained in that period. After the process is over we lay the village foundation stone with the visitors, if any or with the local govt. officials. Then the villagers start making roads, dig drains as per the new village layout, also start preparations for tree plantation. If there is not much water facility in the village, we drill a bore well or two for starting the programme. Meanwhile, we collect the details of materials availability, take quotations and arrange materials for starting the work. During construction, one person from each family should work in the village. The beneficiaries do not know where their house is, we build the village in a learning aspect. The youth from the village should learn construction skills like carpentry, rod bending, centering, masonry, etc., during the construction.

SEVAI Cost Effective Housing is a re seeks to reduce the cost construction through better management, appropriate use of local materials, skills and technology but without sacrificing the performance and life of the structure. It needs to be emphasized that low cost housing does not mean houses constructed by utilizing cheap building materials of substandard quality. A low cost house is designed and constructed as any other house with regard to foundation, structure, strength etc. the reduction in cost is achieved through effective utilization of locally available building materials and techniques that are durable, economical, accepted by users and not requiring costly maintenance, Economy is also achieved by postponing finishing and/simple them in phases. Further, it aims at increasing the efficiency of workers, minimizing wastage in design and space and applying good management practices, so that shelter can be provided at prices which people can and write their names and small words. During the construction time we take the attendance of the beneficiaries for the days they present in the work. After completion of the village, basing on the presence in the work, we allot the ho prepare a detailed file for the process of village building programme and fix a date to inaugurate the village with the presence of the sponsors or by the local government officials.The people during inauguration; the village part in maintenance and improvement of the village in all aspects.


SEVAI Principle applied to CONSTRUCTION:
SEVAI Construction to be truly Village building
1. should provide security
2. should be linked to learning
3. should be community work
4. should reveal newness
5. should fit in with the natural environment
6. should offer better future work opportunity
7. should have equally sharable results.

1. Architecture is the best and perfect science because it needs all other sciences like Physical science, Environmental science, Social science, Climatology, Geology and so on. And building is learning. Architecture is also a safety/security factor. For instance, after a cyclone we build houses for safety. So also, a house is a safety measure against fire. A house is an asset, too.
2. A house is a factor of dignity. A person is judged in accordance with the house he or she owns. The One can always make improvem
3. A house also gives a sense of freedom. The owner of a house feels that he/she is not relative concept and has more to do with budgeting and it  unction afford. The adults in the village should be able to read houses for the beneficiaries. We villagers make an oath saying that they take ould ance, improvement on it. a beggar, is not on the streets.

4. We build a house normally for a family. Livelihood and Housing:

The focus on the role of sustainable habitat technologies and their contribution to livelihood creation in various contexts of social housing programs, reconstruction in post disaster situations and setting up supply of affordable technologies while catalyzing demand in the lative implementing ould uses rs zing markets of the rural poor. A typical example in case is the initiative of SEVAI, a nongovernment Agency in association with Econ Industries - a sister private sector company. SEVAI (Society for Education, Village Action and Improvement) is a voluntary service organization working for the integrated development of the rural poor in the villages and slums of Trichirapalli, coastal Nagapptinam, Karaikal and Pondichery through empowerment of the rural poor and active involvement of target community in all phases of program like planning, decision making, implementation and evaluation. One of SEVAI’s significant achievements has been the consolidation of women’s self-help groups for saving and group enterprise activities. More than 6000 SHGs now operate under the SEVAI umbrella. Econ Industries produces and sells building materials and provide skills for housing and other building activities in the region. SEVAI set up a revolving fund to finance the housing needs of its members. Loans, which are available at a small rate of interest, are linked to the products and services available from Econ. Econ on its part is committed to the production of 'Energy Efficient Cost Effective Materials'. With a 100% recovery rate, the SEVAI – Econ partnership is set to demonstrate a viable and profitable approach to habitat upgradation of the poor.


SEVAI recognizes the need to provide shelter at the times of disasters.

Devastating natural disasters happen often. Families left homeless by disasters face uncertain futures; often confronting dire housing needs as they struggle to rebuild their lives. SEVAI recognizes the need to provide shelter and housing solutions to help these families recover. SEVAI Disaster Response program works with the community in the areas of disaster mitigation, preparedness, shelter and long-term recovery initiatives to address the housing needs that arise from natural disasters and humanitarian emergency conflicts. The mission of Disaster Response is to develop innovative housing and shelter assistance models that generate sustainable interventions for people vulnerable to or affected by disasters. Disaster Response also builds the capacity of the community in the areas of disaster mitigation, preparedness and recovery through education, training and partnerships.SEVAI understands that supporting families affected by disasters and conflicts requires immediate, comprehensive and collaborative actions. SEVAI recognizes the need to develop long-term shelter and housing solutions for disaster-affected families and to help communities protect themselves against future threats in disaster-prone areas.


Reconstruction of 1280 permanent Houses for tsunami victims.
The Tsunami of December 26, 2005 wreaked havoc on the coastlines of several countries. It caused serious loss of lives and livelihoods to the coastal communities of India. The Tsunami inflicted irrecoverable damages on human lives. In India alone, 10,672 lives had been lost and 5,711 persons were listed as missing. 647,000 persons had lost their homes/household assets and had been relocated into temporary shelters. Building was not considered separate from designing, rather an evolving relationship through the construction process. It was hence, seen as essential, that the design team is locally situated and that the building process is not handed over to any big builder who would enforce centralized decisions. Instead, labour teams were recruited and trained in quality construction work. The teams of house owners, cluster committee members, volunteers and modern master craftspersons (architect-engineer-community development officer) worked in tandem, making micro-level changes as they went along within a broader macro framework of quality construction.

A distinctive feature of SEVAI housing policy has been the model houses that it has constructed in real dimensions to give a range of options to house owners in keeping with their needs and aspirations for their future dwelling. This was very well received by the community and led to a participatory approach towards housing wherein the community members knew from the outset about the house which belonged to them and in turn induced their participation right from customisation of design, to engaging with masons, contributing to the curing and discussing the progress of their houses and concerns in weekly and monthly meetings with SEVAI. The community participation and ownership stands amply vindicated by the house occupancy rate and the post occupancy feedback provided by the house owners. It is not only the volume and scale of the SEVAI reconstruction project that makes it ambitious but also people's participation being attempted on an unprecedented scale in such a housing project. In fact, the idea has been to go beyond mere participation and to actually make it a people owned and managed process. SEVAI played a crucial role in making available information and analyses that could help the people make the best choices. As a result the project ensured strong anchorage of technological and managerial decisions on community input derived through sustained consultation around issues such as settlement location and planning, desirable common facilities and spaces, house designs and technology choices. The realization of these principles crucially hinged on appropriate capacity building initiatives targeted at beneficiaries as well as technical personnel. The underlying objective of SEVAI’S approach has been to avoid the use of contractors. The envisaged beneficiary participation implied that they have sufficient knowledge to make the right decisions. A series of training programmes were carried out so as to enable them to make informed decisions about various options and choices available and stringently supervise observance of safety guidelines and quality control. Maintenance manual and extension guidelines have been evolved to create awareness among beneficiaries so that extensions do not compromise the structural stability of houses. Moreover, the project has supported documentation of numerous exercises undertaken such of as manual for site engineers and supervisors; Poompuhar; water and sanitation baseline survey and a process documentation of the project has attempted to capture in detail the processes and lessons learnt through the reconstruction project for future interventions in housing in general and in post-disaster reconstruction projects in particular. Allur includes working with local people to replace all thatched huts using cost-effective and innovative building materials, as well as providing basic infrastructure. The poor housing conditions in Allur have been identified as one of the problems faced by the villagers. Fifty- per cent of the village population is dalits (untouchables) and these and other poor households live in small thatched huts made of wooden sticks, mud and palm leaves, with inadequate lighting and ventilation. The smoke produced by cooking creates a health hazard and high winds or fires frequently destroy the huts. Social inequality within the villages is increased by the stigma associated with living in huts.

The Social Rural Housing project was initiated by SEVAI, involved the training of village groups in a range of livelihood and construction skills, the development and dissemination of innovative, cost-effective building materials as well as encouraging social integration. The Allur housing program Village aims for total habitat development through the construction of homes using innovative, costeffective building materials and methods. Unlike the thatched huts that would need replacing every three years, the new homes built to last and have improved lighting and ventilation. The elimination of thatched huts in the village has significantly reduced the vulnerability of villagers to the previously high risk posed by fires and high winds. Health risks associated with poor hygiene have also been reduced through the construction of toilets and reduction of open defecation. Village people have contributed land, labour and materials. Many residents have received training as masons and/or in the production of Hollow cement blocks. The skills of young people and women’s self-help group leaders in particular have increased through training and capacity building. Unemployment rates have been

• The elimination of thatched huts from the villages.
• Capacity building amongst villagers including the most vulnerable members of society. Interest shown by other villages in learning from the experience and the potential for wide spread adoption of the programme. Social inequalities being overcome through education and empowerment. Foundations are built using available granite rubble, thus avoiding mining and the use of explosives.. Small businesses have been set up that are not capital intensive, for example dairy farming, baking, poultry which employs a large number of people. Small scale production units have also been attracted to the village. The project currently provides employment for 180 persons. The elimination of thatched huts has helped to increase confidence amongst the poorest families and reduce inequalities. The residents have an opportunity for greater participation in planning and decisionmaking. Women have been empowered through leadership training and the formation of self-help groups. An initial resistance by the local village community towards the new building techniques. It is important to make use of the SHGs to discuss and take collective decisions and encourage local people to take ownership of the process of development. Rural Housing project in Allur has dramatically improved the health and well-being of the village residents. They now have more confidence, better skills accompanied by livelihood opportunities and greater social integration. Allur Housing has become a model village in the region.

• SEVAI Cost reduction
• Normally the foundation cost comes to about 10 to 15% of the total building and usually foundation depth of 3 to 4 ft. is adopted for single or double store building and  usually foundation depth of 3 to 4 ft. is adopted for  single or  double store building and also the concrete bed of 6"(15 Cms.) is used for the foundation which could be avoi It is recommended to adopt a foundation depth of 2 ft.(0.6m) for normal soil like gravely soil, red soils etc., and use the uncoursed rubble masonry with the bond the foundation width is rationalized to 2 ft.(0.6m).T formation in foundation the masonry shall be thoroughly packed with cement mortar of 1:8 boulders and bond stones at regular intervals. It is further suggested adopt arch foundation in ordinary soil for  effecting reduction in construction co foundation will help in bridging the loose pockets of soil which occurs along the foundation. In the case black cotton and other soft soils it is recommend to use under ream pile foundation which saves about 20 to 25% in cost over

• It is suggested to adopt 1 ft. height above ground level for the plinth and may be constructed with The plinth slab of adopted can be brick on edge can cost. By adopting of plinth reduced by about necessary to take impervious slabs or stone building for erosion of soil exposure of crack formation.
• Wall thickness of for adoption in all-round the building and 41/2 " for inside walls. which are immersed in water for 24 hours and then shall be used for the walls
• It is a cavity wall construction with added advantage of thermal comfort and reduction in the quantity of bricks required for masonry work. By method of bonding of brick masonry compared to traditional English or Flemish bond masonry, it is possible to reduce in the material cost of bricks by 25% and about 10to 15% in the masonry cost. By adopting rat aesthetically pleasing wall surface and plastering can be avoided.
• In view of high energy consumption by burnt brick it is suggested to use concrete block (block hollow and solid) which consumes about only 1/3 of the energy of the burnt bricks in its production. By using concrete block masonry the wall thickness can be reduced from 20 cms to 15 Cms. Concrete block masonry saves mortar consumption, speedy construction of wall resulting in higher output of avoided. stones and good packing. Similarly cost up to 40%.This kind of the conventional method of construction. a cement mortar of 1:6. 4 to 6" which is normally avoided and in its place be used for reducing the this procedure the cost foundation can be 35 to 50%.It is precaution of providing blanket like concrete slabs all round the enabling to reduce and thereby avoiding foundation surface and 6 to 9" is recommended  the construction of walls It is suggested to use burnt bricks adopting this rat-trap bond method one can creat duced To avoid cracks st create labour, plastering can be avoided thereby an overall saving of 10 to 25% can be achieved.It is an alternative method of construction of walls using soil cement blocks in place of burnt bricks masonry. It is an energy efficient method of construction where soil mixed with 5% and above cement and pressed in hand operated machine and cured well and then used in the masonry. This masonry doesn't require plastering on both sides of the wall. The overall economy that could be achieved with the soil cement technology is about 15 to 20% compared to conventional method of construction. It is suggested not to use wood for doors and windows and in its place concrete or steel section frames shall be used for achieving saving in cost up to 30 to 40%.Similiarly for shutters commercially available block boards, fibre or wooden practical boards etc., shall be used for reducing the cost by about 25%.By adopting brick jelly work and precast components effective ventilation could be provided to the building and also the construction cost could be saved up to 50% over the window components. The  traditional R.C.C. lintels which are costly can be replaced by brick arches for small spans and save construction cost up to 30 to 40% over the traditional method of construction. By adopting arches of different shapes a good architectural pleasing appearance can be given to the external wall surfaces of the brick masonry. Normally 5”(12.5 cms) thick R.C.C. slabs are used for roofing of residential buildings. By adopting rationally designed insitu construction practices like filler slab and precast elements the construction cost of roofing can be reduced by about 20 to 25% are normal RCC slabs where bottom half (tension) concrete portions are replaced by filler materials such as bricks, tiles, cellular concrete blocks, etc., These filler materials are so placed as not to compromise structural strength, result in replacing unwanted and nonfunctional tension concrete, thus resulting in economy. These are safe, sound and provide aesthetically pleasing pattern ceilings and also need no plaster are easy to construct, save on cement and steel, are more appropriate in hot climates. These can be constructed using compressed earth blocks also as alternative to bricks for further economy. provide an economic solution to RCC slab by providing 30 to 40% cost reduction on floor/roof unit over RCC slabs without compromising the strength. These being precast, constructions are speedy, economical due to avoidance of shuttering and facilitate quality control. The cost of finishing items like sanitary, electricity, painting etc., varies depending upon the type and quality of products used in the building and its cost reduction is left to the individual choice and liking.The above list of suggestion for reducing construction cost is of general nature and it varies depending upon the nature of the building to be constructed, budget of the owner, geographical location where the house is to be constructed, availability of the building material, good construction management practices etc.










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