Husk-to-Home aims to design a building material, composed of waste products and a formaldehyde-free binder, to construct long-lasting homes and create jobs for the Bohol Island community.
We are a senior design team, which consists of chemical and environmental engineers from the University of California, Riverside, and we have partnered with Engineers Without Borders (EWB) and International Deaf Education Association (IDEA) to provide a better quality of life to the community of Bohol in the Philippines.
In 2013, a 7.2-magnitude earthquake struck Bohol Island in Central Vasayas, Philippines, destroying thousands of structures and displacing over 350,000 people. In response, IDEA, a local non-governmental organization, employed several teams to build homes using readily available coconut lumber. While these homes are only intended to be a temporary solution, they are only able to last two years due to extensive termite damage. Termites pose a great threat to these coconut wood homes and rebuilding them every few years puts a strain on materials, workers, and their limited budget. Realizing the need for an inexpensive, sustainable, structurally-sound, and termite resistant building material, IDEA reached out to our design team to find a solution. Husk-to-Home is designing an environmentally-friendly building material using rice husks, an abundant waste product on the island, and a formaldehyde-free adhesive to construct long-lasting homes for the Philippines.
We are greatly interested in this cause due to the nature of the problem and the positive impact our solution can have on low-economic communities worldwide. We believe in using our technical backgrounds to create sustainable, eco-friendly, and easily-producible materials.