Familia del Tío Beto
Familia del Tío Beto is a permanent house for disaster relief that uses pallets, straw and soil.
Familia del Tío Beto is a permanent house design that uses pallets, straw and soil in an old technique known as “Quincha” in South America. Three units were constructed after a fire episode that affected Valparaiso in 2014. Voluntee
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~3,255 USD(2.500.000 CLP) converted on August 2021
Primary competitors in the region include housing that can be self-constructed by the community, Fábrica Social de Viviendas’s Modular Houses, Vivienda Social Rural FNH, and Elemental Quinta Monroy.
Dwellers affected by the 2014 fire in Valparaíso, Chile.
The building design was developed by Minga Valpo in Valparaíso (Chile) for three different families that lost their houses after a fire episode in 2014. It was constructed using dwellers and volunteer labor led by the architects team. Education in technical construction skills were provided through workshops led by experts in bioconstruction.
The building is one of three dwellings constructed under the Minga Valpo Project.
The building’s materials were recycled or came from donations through Minga Valpo.
As of 2016, 3 houses were constructed under the Minga Valpo.
Indication of whether design can be replicated in multiple locations
Number of individuals. 1 family = 5 persons.
Number of days from start of construction to completion
Surface area of footprint
Number of occupiable floors (ground floor only = 1)
Primary materials used
Composite estimated R-value
As calculated by designer
As calculated by designer
Based upon primary structural system as per the International Building Code
Based upon Structural Occupancy Category and soil conditions of site; as per the International Building Code
List of suitable climates for use of this design
The building uses an old construction technique known as “quincha” in South America. The walls were made using 2″ x 6″ pallets for the wooden frame and filled them with straw for thermal insulation. The exterior is covered with a mixture of mud and straw to give the wall thermal mass. After a scratch coat is applied to the exterior mud layer and dried, a layer of lime plaster is applied to make the wall waterproof. Recycled glass bottles can be integrated in the open window elements of the building for decoration. All materials are easily found locally and were used to build all the walls of the three houses. The roof is made of corrugated metal panel. The house measures 36m².
The building can be maintained by local labor with earth construction experience.
Local materials used in construction can be replaced if needed.
A well-constructed and maintained quincha building can last decades.
Minga Valpo states that the building is energy efficient, can be constructed from sustainable and recycled materials, and can be self-constructed by its users.
No testing has been completed.
Builders should wear appropriate protective equipment such as hardhats, gloves and safety glasses while working to protect against physical injury commonly associated with heavy construction.
Jorquera Silva, N., 2014, Aprendiendo del Patrimonio Vernáculo: tradición e innovación en el uso de la quincha en la Arquitectura Chilena. Revista de Arquitectura V.20 N.29, Universidad de Chile.
Marín, S., 2019, Mercado Puerto Valparaiso (MPV): modelo de gestión cooperativa para la regeneración de la identidad barrial dentro del área portuaria del Sitio del Patrimonio Mundial en Valparaiso, Chile. Universidad Politécnica de Cartagena
The project complies with the Valparaiso Masterplan: Normativa Nº 2013 del 1981.
This video is about the fire in Valparaíso and the neighbourhood reconstruction process.
Valparaíso Fire / Chile 2014-2016
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