Humanitarian Timber

A guide to timber as a construction material in humanitarian relief

About the book

In most emergency and reconstruction projects timber and bamboo are used as construction materials. However, mistakes are often made when specifying or using timber, leading to delays in response, costing extra money to put right and putting people’s safety at risk.

“Timber as a construction material in humanitarian emergencies” is a response to the need for guidance in complicated local and global contexts.

The project was completed in 2009 and was supported by IFRC, OCHA and CARE International. The book is the result of inputs from over 100 international peer review attendees and dozens of individual contributors.

Given the diversity of local building practices and cultures, this book is not intended to be a definitive how-to building guide for using timber as a construction material. Instead it highlights key issues to be considered by teams of program, technical and logistical staff when making decisions in construction projects involving timber or bamboo. It also provides some basic construction and specification information for times when expert help is hard to find.

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