Feeds

Afghans to benefit from polystyrene houses

What would the Big Bad Wolf make of it?

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

SANS - Survey on application security programs

A group of engineers has come up with an unusual plan to rebuild areas in Afghanistan damaged by the decades of war or shaken down by earthquakes: they want to use polystyrene.

The Washington-based Federation of American Scientists (FAS) said it became interested when the US government committed to rebuilding many of the damaged homes, the BBC reports. It set out to design a house structure that was cheap, energy efficient and earthquake resistant, and went for polystyrene as its building material.

The FAS is now testing foam panels made by an Alabama man, H H Haddock. He says he used the foam panels in a house of his own in Alaska. The property was built in 1984, and Haddock says it is still performing perfectly, despite wind, rain and earthquakes.

The group says it is keen on the polystyrene idea because the material is so widely available. The panels would be made in Pakistan, then shipped to Afghanistan where they'd be wrapped in chicken wire and covered in a thin layer of concrete. At this point, the panels are tough enough to take the weight of a pick-up truck, Haddock says.

FAS has asked Harry van Burick, and architect with Shelter for Life International to design a two room home to be built from the foam panels.

The organisation says the political instability in the region makes it difficult to put a start date on building, but hopes to have its first foam building up in Kabul this year. ®

Related stories

Your data online: safe as houses
Researchers build gadget to see through walls
Taiwan recovers from earthquake

Top three mobile application threats

More from The Register

next story
Red-faced LOHAN team 'fesses up in blown SPEARS fuse fiasco
Standing in the corner, big pointy 'D' hats
KILLER SPONGES menacing California coastline
Surfers are safe, crustaceans less so
LOHAN's Punch and Judy show relaunches Thursday
Weather looking good for second pop at test flights
Discovery time for 200m WONDER MATERIALS shaved from 4 MILLENNIA... to 4 years
Alloy, Alloy: Boffins in speed-classification breakthrough
Curiosity finds not-very-Australian-shaped rock on Mars
File under 'messianic pastries' and move on, people
Elon Musk's LEAKY THRUSTER gas stalls Space Station supply run
Helium seeps from Falcon 9 first stage, delays new legs for NASA robonaut
Top Secret US payload launched into space successfully
Clandestine NRO spacecraft sets off on its unknown mission
New FEMTO-MOON sighted BIRTHING from Saturn's RING
Icy 'Peggy' looks to be leaving the outer rings
Melting permafrost switches to nasty, high-gear methane release
Result? 'Way more carbon being released into the atmosphere as methane'
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a defence for mobile apps
In this whitepaper learn the various considerations for defending mobile applications; from the mobile application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies needed to properly assess mobile applications risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.