PAGER - Common Building Types

Guatemala

Adobe with sawn timber roof framing and corrugated iron sheeting

Buildings of this construction type can be found in Guatemala, mostly in the highlands. The traditional construction is bajareque, which is similar to Wattle and Daube. Vertical and horizontal timber poles hold a core of stone and/or mud, and the outside is plastered with mud mix. Timber dowels at the top brick course help to secure the ring beam or timber roof framing to the walls. The roof can be corrugated iron or clay tiles. There are some historic towns, such as Antigua, which are almost completely composed of adobe dwellings relying on this romanticised past of adobe architecture to draw tourists. This type of housing construction is commonly found in both rural and urban areas.

Reference: EERI and IAEE\'s World Housing Encyclopedia (Report #136) - Matthew A. French

Building Image
Adobe with sawn timber roof framing and corrugated iron sheeting image
Adobe with sawn timber roof framing and corrugated iron sheeting image

Vivienda de Adobe (adobe brick houses)

Buildings made of adobe brick masonry can still be found in all parts of Guatemala both in rural and urban areas. Generally adobe houses are characterized by only one story, no basement, and sometimes an irregular plan shape. The main uses are residential or small commercial (retail trade) purposes. In the 1970s, adobe buildings represented the prevalent construction type in the Republic of Guatemala with a share of more than 39%. More than half of these buildings (54.3 %) were located in rural settlements, while the rest (45.7 %) was located in urban areas, e.g. Guatemala City (Marroquin and Gándara, 1976). Surprisingly, the percentage of adobe buildings at that time was higher in urban areas than in rural regions. Today, circumstances have changed and adobe structures prevail in rural areas while only remainders of this traditional construction technique can be found in the cities. Based on a more recent statistical survey in the municipality of Guatemala City conducted by ASIES (2003), around 4% of the building stock is either adobe or bahareque buildings.

Reference: EERI and IAEE\'s World Housing Encyclopedia (Report #144) - Dominik Lang, Lisa Holliday, Omar G. Flores Beleton

Building Image
Vivienda de Adobe (adobe brick houses) image
Vivienda de Adobe (adobe brick houses) image

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*Building types and their descriptions are taken from the World Housing Encyclopedia (WHE) database when available or based on additional research performed by the PAGER team. This information is provided with the understanding that it is not guaranteed to be correct or complete, and conclusions drawn from such information are the sole responsibility of the user.