The Nahua community of Tepetzintan, located in the Northeastern Sierra of Puebla, had two seemingly isolated problems. On the one hand, there was a lack of housing appropriate to the site, the climate and the customs and traditions of the region. In parallel, untapped bamboo which was considered a hindrance to plant milpa and coffee plantations, so it was removed from the plots without any use, how could we connect these challenges?
From our visits and dialogues with the community, we propose a housing project that will use the two existing bamboo species in the region to design and build, in a participatory way, a housing exercise. The project started with the knowledge of the customs and traditions of the families, the understanding of the site, the construction systems used and the way of occupying the territory, being a fundamental part of the research process carried out with the inhabitants using survey files.
Once we had a clear diagnosis, we designed a home that would fit the needs of the residents, respecting the main spaces of the traditional dwelling: salon, altar, kitchen, portico, bedrooms and bathroom. The project consisted in consolidating fundamental spaces such as the bathroom, the rooms and the kitchen, as well as in integrating low-cost ecological technologies for the collection, storage and treatment of water. In addition, basic bioclimatic principles were integrated to make the home comfortable (cross ventilation, interior height, hot air exhaust chimneys) throughout the year.
Because the project is governed by "Social Production", it was of great importance to train the community with the appropriate constructive technique for the use of bamboo, which ensured three main objectives: transfer of knowledge, constructive quality and capacity of Replicate the project. A total of five technical workshops were conducted covering all stages of bamboo management, from forestry to the construction of structures.
The construction system used is prefabricated on site and modular, which allows to make efficient the time in work and to manage the materials correctly. In addition, reducing the parts to a minimum allows them to be produced faster.
The construction was done through tasks (community work) in which, in addition to the adults,
the young people of the local baccalaureate who now train other groups of young people in the nearby communities. The land and bamboo was donated by the people, the stone was obtained from the ground and the lamina used in the roof is an ecological, thermal and acoustic product generated with recycled aluminum, which maintains an appropriate temperature inside the house and avoids The formation of fungi, bacteria and damp.
The project was inaugurated in 2015 with a party where the altar was installed and the effort of the settlers was celebrated. Since then, we have been working together with the community to use traditional building materials that allows to reduce costs, increase square meters and improve the quality of life in the region.