First seismic-resistant houses completed

Mancera hands over houses to earthquake victims in Mexico City; victims also receive basic household items
Mancera's walk though Santa Rosa Xochiac – Berenice Fregoso/EL UNIVERSAL
16/10/2017
11:00
Phenélope Aldaz
Mexico City
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Almost a month after the earthquake on September 19, Josefa Huerta and Pedro Mendieta received the keys of the first seismic-resistant house built in Mexico City.

This elderly couple lives in the high area of Santa Rosa Xochiac in the Álvaro Obregón borough, and they will live now in a house which resembles a cabin, built of insulated wood to provide durability.

The house has two rooms, a living/dining room, a kitchenette, and a bathroom; the slab on grade is made of concrete and the roof is acrylic. They have a rainwater collection system and the option of horizontal expansion.

In addition to the house, Josefa and Pedro received a refrigerator, a stove, a washing machine, a double bed, a tableware set, a water purifier, a set of pots and pans, a blender and an iron.

Together with his children, the Mayor of Mexico City, Miguel Ángel Mancera, walked through the town of Santa Rosa Xochiac to supervise the construction of other four houses – in total, 90 of these homes will be built in the Álvaro Obregón borough.

“There are no weekends here, we're working every day, at all hours; we have to supervise many areas of the City, we have a commitment with all these places because what we want now are results, and part of those are these we see here today,” said the Mayor.

The president of the Commission of the Interior of the Legislative Assembly, Leonel Luna, explained two types of homes will be built in Álvaro Obregón for the earthquake victims.

The first one is the cabin-like house given to Josefa and Pedro, the other will have a more progressive design, capable of expanding vertically up to three levels, built on a concrete foundation with a stainless steel structure. It will have two bedrooms, a bathroom, a kitchenette, and a service room.

The local deputy claimed the soil mechanics study has been performed for each case.

The leader of the Álvaro Obregón borough, María Antonienta Hidalgo, said 2 thousand houses have been reviewed in the borough, and 109 have been found with structural damages, while 452 have severe damages. She said construction materials have been delivered to 100 families and demolition works have a progress of 80%.

Seismic-resistant houses are built with special foundations and lightweight materials designed to avoid greater risks in case of collapses; houses with sturdier materials have a prefabricated steel structure, according to the recommendations of the Anáhuac University, the Technological Institute of Monterrey, and the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM).

At the Command, Control, Communications, Citizen Contact, and Informatics Center in Mexico City (C5), Mayor Mancera said each house has an average cost of 150 thousand MXN. The models will also be built for the earthquake victims in Iztapalapa, Xochimilco, and Tláhuac.

For the construction of these houses, the resources will come from the Fund for Social Infrastructure Contributions (FAIS) – by the Federal Government – and the Housing Insitute of Mexico City (INVI).

“This is something the Government of Mexico City has achieved through dialogue with the Ministry of the Treasury because you know they have very specific and strict provisions,” said the Mayor.

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