Design and implementation of a sustainable housing system in Honduras
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Developing nations are facing many comparable issues: unemployment, lack of housing, erratic or nonexistent utilities, and a growing sanitation challenge. This research examined the process of building a sustainable home in Honduras from conception to construction. A new roof framing system using reinforced concrete filled polyvinyl chloride (PVC) tubing was designed and implemented. Socio-economic aspects such as skills acquisition, alternative construction approaches, community involvement and building cost were evaluated. Local norms and practices were respected to ensure the home was acceptable and maintainable. An important part of this research was the involvement of engineering and architecture students through Service Learning. Students designed and constructed various aspects of the home and studies were conducted to evaluate how their in-country experience impacted their technical, social and professional skills. This research demonstrated that it was possible to utilize local resources to construct a low-cost sustainable home that promotes on-going research in sustainable living.