Low Energy Material, High Community Engagement: Ecology of Banana Tree Fibres in Disaster Relief Projects

  • Mirian Sayuri VaccariEmail author
  • Lara Leite Barbosa de Senne


This article describes a research project carried out as part of a larger piece of research into design for emergency relief following flood disasters with a focus on the area of the Ribeira Valley in Brazil. The aim of this paper is to present the results and discuss the ecology of building materials that use banana tree fibre. The article describes the community for whom the work was carried out and gives a detailed overview of the manufacturing process. The research involved an investigation into the production of fibreboard using waste fibre materials from banana cultivation combined with waste paper and a resin. There is also a discussion of the impacts resulting from the manufacture of this material. Based on the comprehension of the issues discussed by collaborative groups of researchers, staff of the local city council, victims of previous floods, artisans and Quilombolas (Brazilian Maroon Communities) and, using paper made of banana tree fibres, a panel wall system is being developed to be used in temporary shelters and toilet cubicles. In order to achieve this objective, a literature review on ecology of building materials is included, in addition to the description of the banana tree fibreboard manufacturing. The outcomes of this article provide information for further design focusing on the development of new components using local materials or vegetable fibres.


Banana tree fibre Ecology of building materials Disaster relief Quilombola communities 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mirian Sayuri Vaccari
    • 1
    Email author
  • Lara Leite Barbosa de Senne
    • 1
  1. 1.FAUUSP, Faculty of Architecture and UrbanismUniversity of São PauloSão PauloBrazil

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