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A SOLID ROOF- The focus of R&D in 3rd world architecture
Building medium span roofing which is in itself can handle live loads and withstand the vagaries of differing geographical and climatic terrains, in my view, should be given much more attention,because it is the core of the basic "shelter".Load bearing walls have a plethora of options and are the "easier"component,but when the roofing options are deliberated upon,we as architects using sustainable & indigenous solutions have our hands/minds strained at coming up with economical solutions to do the right stuff!!I've been working in various millieus of the rural kind and working with the local craftsmen have come up with solutions with varied results. In the urban setting,pre-fabrication preferably subsidised could be one way,where the economies of scale could make the cost affordable to quite an extent. Nevertheless,its definitely some direction we should partake in seriously,if priority is given to the rural roofing in context to affordability.
Aali Qayoom
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A SOLID ROOF- The focus of R&D in 3rd world architecture
Aali, Do you mean (a) sloping roofs without access for people, or (b)flat roofs accessed by people, or (c) both?
Frank John Snelling
A SOLID ROOF- The focus of R&D in 3rd world architecture
Frank,
Are you trying to quiz me or what?!! Obviously, it depends on what climatic conditions we are building in!! A flat roof is preferable in dry, arid areas with minimal rainfall which covers the area between the two tropics from India to Morrocco, where the need is greatest for roofing solutions and covers a population of at least 1.5 billion most of whom are lacking this very basic essential!! Sloping roofs could be for upper levels of the last, and for areas of high rainfall/snowfall. A combination of the two options could also be used, because flat roofing which is load bearing as well is a necessity considering the lifestyles,culture and agriculture of this area of interest that I'm focusing on i.e.between the Equator and the Tropic of Cancer@ 23 degrees north of it.I think you get my drift.
Aali Qayoom
A SOLID ROOF- The focus of R&D in 3rd world architecture
Aali, The reason I asked whether you meant roofs used by people or roofs not used by people is because the dead and live loads will be different.

A classic case is the roof at Tehran Airport which collapsed under snow.

Personally, I am more interested in the design of safe structures in earthquake regions, because flat roofs (used by people) are (a) fairly heavily built and (b) made without any consideration for sideways forces and so tend to collapse in an earthquake causing much death and injury.

But the issue is not simple, because dry-climate flat roofs are used by cultures who value these open-air spaces for the privacy of women.
Frank John Snelling
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