Taking care of the communities'
immediate need was important,
but far more critical is the
sustainability of the construction over time.

A floating home in Mekong Delta, Vietnam.

A floating home in Mekong Delta, Vietnam.

In addition to community programs and projects, we undertake community work in direct response to emergencies and disasters. This work is often based on our understanding of steel building materials and design. The provision of relief housing is a typical example.

Banda Aceh - Power to the People

Soon after the Boxing Day tsunami in 2004, BlueScope Steel mobilised its local teams to provide on-the-ground assistance to rebuild the communities. Working with the various relief agencies, the Company developed housing solutions to ensure the rebuilding was culturally appropriate and considered the lifestyle of the communities. This work continued throughout the 2005/06 year.

Light weight steel framing made its way into remote areas – staked on bicycles, dropped in canoes, hand carried to sites – to provide emergency relief shelter and housing for the displaced.

To speed up the rebuilding effort, BlueScope Steel also delegated a project team to Aceh to help train up to 100 local Aceh people in steel building erection. The initiative to train local people to be self sufficient in the construction and maintenance of their new homes and buildings has gone a long way to help the community regain its sense of pride and self-esteem as they rebuild their lives.

Already, over 4,500 steel homes from BlueScope Steel have been erected in Aceh.

Taking care of the communities’ immediate need was important, but far more critical is the sustainability of the construction over time.

Pre-engineered structures that can be constructed and maintained by the local people, an understanding of cultural behaviour and home use needs, and materials that will be available for the long-term are all key considerations in the provision of emergency housing solutions.

Steel is the material of choice for rebuilding disaster-torn communities. Unlike traditional building materials and methods of construction, steel framing has guaranteed strength properties that can meet the load requirements for nearly any type of building site.

Its light weight not only contributes to ease of transportation, but also contributes to savings in construction and foundation costs. It is durable, can’t be destroyed by termites or rot, and it is corrosion resistant. Buildings can be designed for fire, earthquake and wind resistance, and pre-engineering makes on-site assembly quick and easy, even under the worst of conditions.

BlueScope Steel has combined the versatility of steel building solutions, planning and sensible design to bring long-term improvement to devastated communities.

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Rebuilding in Thailand - Steel Homes on the Andaman Coast

Children in front of relief housing in Phuket.

Children in front of relief
housing in Phuket.

Among the villages destroyed during the 2004 tsunami on Thailand’s Andaman Coast was a small fishing community in Phuket called Baan Andaman.

The tiny coastal community was rebuilt in steel homes provided by BlueScope Steel, that were specifically designed for the hot, wet, tropical weather. The design included sloping roofs for good rain runoff and plenty of awning-covered windows to keep the worst of the tropical heat out, while providing good cross-ventilation.

Once again, pre-engineering played a big part in providing a solution that was quickly and easily assembled, bolted together on-site. Assembly was easy enough and with simple training, the local technical engineering students completed the job in short order, putting people back on the banks where their families have fished and lived for generations.

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Hope Floats - A Flood Resistant Design

This uniquely designed house incorporates a floating floor: an adjustable steel frame that allows it to be raised above water level in the event of a flood.

The house has an average area of 20 square metres and is designed to withstand monsoon-strength winds of up to 160 km/hr. An important feature of the "floating” home is that it can be assembled in two days with just a screwdriver and a wrench – particularly important in disaster-struck areas with limited resources and urgent housing needs. As well, the design gives the owner flexibility to choose a cladding material that is indigenous to the community, like palm fronds or thatching, and is therefore easily available. Over 15,000 floating homes, supplied by BlueScope Steel, have been built in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta area.

This unique design has also been adopted for use in buildings such as medical centres, schools and community halls.

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Flood Resistant Schools and Kindergartens in Vietnam

Every year, the Vietnam Mekong Delta’s muddy waters overflow its bank, wiping out entire communities.

To rebuild quickly, BlueScope Lysaght Vietnam developed pre-engineered structures that could be bolted together easily on-site, in a short timeframe.

After one of the floods, the structures were used to put students back in the classroom at over 400 schools that had been swept away.

Installation videos and other training materials were prepared and used to train local teams in construction and installation know-how. These eager trainees went on to build many of the pre-engineered schools on their own, long after the trainers headed home. The structures were built in high-tensile strength galvanised steel to resist the onslaught of the annual floods.

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