Seismic-resistant house prototypes developed for Mexico City

Economic, lightweight, and seismic-resistant are the main qualities of these three prototypes to be built in the Álvaro Obregón borough

Miguel Ángel Mancera, Mayor of Mexico City (center)- Photo taken from the official site of the Mexico City Government

01/10/2017 11:00

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Sandra Hernández




The Government of Mexico City will build 80 seismic-resistant houses in the area of Santa Rosa Xochiac, in the Álvaro Obregón borough, Mexico City.

These houses have a total area of 40 to 45 square meter and are made of lightweight material, specially built for rural areas, in addition to having structures and foundations which won't collapse in case of earthquakes.

Their construction will take roughly two weeks and are designed to last 80 years.

According to the authorities, there are three types of prototypes. The first one is made mainly of wood and galvanized steel; it's designed as a structural membrane – similar to a mosquito net – with a triangle structure made to retain its shape, being seismic-resistant and flexible. The lining has three layers of plywood and a polyaluminum plate mixed with bamboo sticks, which will work as a thermal insulation and waterproofing and soundproofing layer. It also has a front porch.

The second model is a wooden house with two bedrooms, dining room, and a full bath, made of similar materials. The third type includes a concrete base, internal linings, a kitchen, full bath, a dining room, and two bedrooms.

The structures presented are said to support up to three levels.


The Mayor of Mexico City, Miguel Ángel Mancera, detailed the lightweight construction program is being developed in coordination with the Anáhuac University, the Technological Institute of Monterrey (ITESM), the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) and the National Polytechnic Institute (IPN).

He stated the construction of the homes will begin next Tuesday and the first houses will be finished in a week.

The lightweight home prototype can also be developed in the Iztapalapa and Xochimilco boroughs, were several houses collapsed after the earthquake.

According to the figures received from the Álvaro Obregón borough, a total of two thousand houses have been reported damaged, 637 in Santa Rosa Xochiac alone. There are a total of 300 houses scheduled to be demolished throughout the borough


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