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The Role of the Private Sector in Housing Supply and Environment Friendly Construction Practices in regard to the Post-War Reconstruction Strategy adopted by the IC in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

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The Role of the Private Sector

in Housing Supply

and Environment Friendly

Construction Practices

in regard to the Post-War

Reconstruction Strategy

adopted by the IC

in Bosnia and Herzegovina

IMG, Otto-Roman Barnert, Reconstruction Expert and current Head of the IMG Field Office Zenica

Recommendations based on the Achievements and Shortfalls of the Post-war Reconstruction Activities

About img www img ba
About IMG (

  • IMG (International Management Group) is an intra-Governmental Organization with a Steering Board made up of members of the IC (International Community) active in BiH, initially assessing the overall war-damage and later playing an important role in coordinating all reconstruction activities and recording these into a unique database, known as PIMS (Project Implementation Monitoring System)

  • While IMG today is also involved in additional technical activities in BiH, such as technical monitoring of the implementation process and Capacity Building of some of the Government Institutions, this paper focuses on the obtained experience in monitoring the reconstruction activities

The img housing standards
The IMG Housing Standards

  • Following the requirement to provide a timely reconstruction assistance during and after the war, it soon became evident that the reconstruction assistance granted to BiH was not implemented in a unified way, paving the way for the adoption of the IMG Housing Standards for the reconstruction of privately and socially owned housing units

  • This simplified housing standard, adopted by all IC members, facilitated a unified damage assessment system which could be used to calculate the required reconstruction costs to achieve these “minimum” housing standards by assessing damage of the 4 main construction elements; Roof, External Walls, Doors & Windows and Internal Elements with its technical infrastructure.

Current situation
Current Situation

  • The reconstruction activities in post-war BiH have focused on maximizing the supply of housing space for “returning” refugees and displaced persons to their pre-war homes, with limited available funding of the IC, which led to a general decline in the applied technical standards.

  • To-date some 105,000 housing units have been repaired/reconstructed from an estimated 450,000 war-damaged units through grants of the IC. BiH had before the war some 1,300,000 housing units for a population of 4,4 mill.persons.

  • The high reconstruction demand with limited available funding per housing unit has caused a general decline in the achieved quality of living standards, sometimes emphasized by the use of inferior building materials and construction details

Adopted construction practices have led to
Adopted Construction Practices have led to

  • no external thermal insulation or plaster finishing although temp. usually drop in winter to 15 deg. below freezing

  • external walls made either with materials which are under dimensioned, or of inadequate materials, r.c.columns and lintels remain exposed

  • chimneys made of inadequate materials and insufficiently dimensioned

  • no consideration of the type of heating system

  • no consideration of adequate sewage facilities

  • no consideration for sewage treatment or garbage disposal systems

Noted shortfalls
Noted Shortfalls

  • the increased reconstruction effort with above stated deficiencies have however not managed to solve the housing needs of the post war BiH, as:

    • the pre-war population can be described as having been rural with approx. 70% of the population living outside of towns

    • the war reversed this situation, partly because many of the pre-war urban people fled leaving their apartments empty for incoming rural people to occupy them, often beyond their planned capacity

    • as the pre-war occupants return in large numbers, the “illegal” occupants have to vacate the apartments and return to their pre-war rural homes, many of which will still be damaged as only about 30% have been repaired (as previously mentioned )

Noted shortfalls continued
Noted Shortfalls - continued

  • the social structure of families have also changed during the last 8 years, so there are now numerous “young families” requiring new accommodation which neither the public institutions nor the private market are supplying

  • people who have lived for the past 8 years in an urban manner will have got accustomed to the advantages of towns and therefore be reluctant to return to a rural type of life, hence given the choice would prefer to remain in the towns

  • houses in rural areas were in many cases without electricity or a sophisticated water installation so that sewage and garbage disposal was not considered adequately

  • the IC decided to “fix” the mostly “rurally located” war-damaged houses against supporting the development of the towns as ownership rights of existent apartments could not be solved.

Recommending a change of strategy
Recommending a change of Strategy

  • Stop providing grants for the reconstruction of privately owned war-damaged houses but instead facilitate loan packages, to:

    • construct new houses and apartment blocks with improved standards

    • improve the building physics of the “incomplete” housing units

    • install environmental friendly heating systems to reduce deforestation

    • incorporate use of alternative energy into house designs, e.g. glazed verandas, etc.

  • Establishing production plants of environmental friendly building materials to avoid aid dependency, in making e.g.:

    • construction and insulation systems and/or materials as mentioned under examples

Goal and objective
Goal and Objective

  • Provide sufficient user friendly and affordable housing space in towns

  • Improvement of the technical standards by introducing affordable and environmental friendly construction techniques and practices

  • Reduction in annual heating costs by optimizing insulation and heating systems and use of passive solar energy

  • Improving the environment by introducing sewage collection and treatment, as well as garbage management

A possible way forward
A Possible Way Forward

  • The use of environmental friendly construction techniques and practices will largely depend on the information made available to the civil society as well as their representatives, which could be achieved by:

    • conducting media campaigns throughout BiH by internationally recognized organizations and experts to address:

      • Local Architects, Designers and Contractors, Building Material Producers and Suppliers

      • Local authorities and other Law makers

      • Raise public awareness in Schools and Universities

  • A change in the reconstruction strategies of the IC working in BiH

Recommendation to the ic international community
Recommendation to the IC (International Community):

  • change approach towards the support of reconstruction in BiH

  • instead of grants provide interest free loans to individuals who intend to provide for their own housing needs

  • low interest rate loans to commercial developers (which should keep the housing unit price low) if tightly monitored by international experts

  • IC to carry the interest rates and guarantee loans

  • provide technical expertise and assistance as required

  • monitor implementation and provide on demand corrective measures

  • provide training at all levels as and when required

Recommendation to the private sector
Recommendation to the Private Sector:

  • venture into the development of the urban housing stock throughout BiH

  • establish links to internationally recognized companies in dealing with:

    • housing development

    • sewage / garbage collection and disposal / treatment

    • economical and ecological central heating systems

    • energy networking

  • establish links to companies established and experienced in producing environmental friendly building materials to enter into joint-ventures

  • re-vamp existing desolate factories to produce environment friendly products for the local construction market

Examples of construction systems materials which could be produced within bih
Examples of Construction Systems/Materials which could be produced within BiH:

  • 3D building system which incorporates insulation material into external walls for new construction to reduce import requirement of bricks

  • insulation material of old glass for existing houses currently without plaster from collected old glass within and outside BiH

  • coating timber roof structures with inflammable coating made of used “nappies” collected from within and outside BiH

  • making briquettes locally from saw dust collected from the numerous saw mills within BiH

  • making solar panels with locally available resources such as silicium

Recommendation to the bih authorities
Recommendation to the BiH Authorities: produced within BiH:

  • facilitate all of the above mentioned recommendations by:

    • incorporate the use of environmental friendly construction techniques, garbage management and sewage disposal into the local building regulations

    • provide incentives to individuals who show interest in improving the standard of their houses by facilitating tax reduction measures

    • provide incentives to private investors to develop new housing space

    • provide low interest rated loans to the private building industry

  • as an environmental friendly attitude towards development is in all our interests, raising public awareness to be incorporated into the national curriculum

Main contacts within img
Main Contacts within IMG produced within BiH: