40 Years of Housing and building research Institute

Housing became the top state priority after food for the war torn people of Bangladesh right after liberation. “Housing” means housing for all. To ensure housing for all, continuous research, up to date knowledge and utilization of local construction materials are essential. With the aim of building eco-friendly, disaster resilient and affordable housing for mass people, Housing and Building Research Center was established in 13 January 1975 which today is known as Housing and Building Research Institute (HBRI).

Objectives of HBRI
  • Conducting research continuously to improve overall human habitat in the country.
  • Experimenting on raising quality and usefulness of local building materials.
  • Conducting study aiming at inventing a way to maximum utilization of local building materials.
  • Conducting study developing methods for maximum utilization of conventional building materials.
  • Taking initiative in introducing required “quality control” in order to improve housing development.
  • Undertaking “pilot projects” to popularize construction of low cost housing.
  • Taking up research project in collaboration with National Science and Technology Council along with universities and research institutes.
  • Arranging scholarships and fellowships for research and scientific analysis.
  • Arrangement of training programs for researchers related to different studies.
  • Providing consultancy in studies related housing and construction.
  • Accumulating and spreading up to date knowledgerelated to housing and construction.
  • Circulation of housing research related publication.

Bangladesh is one of the most populous agriculture based country in the world where per capita agricultural land is merely 14%. A recent study reveals that our arable land is decreasing at a rate of 100,000 hectares per year, which is 1% of our total arable land. 80% of such land is lost due to rural housing and 17.4% of it is lost to brick fields. Specialists have warned that our food security might be in jeopardy if this practice continues.

Because of its geographical location, Bangladesh is one of the most (natural) disasters prone countries in the world. Global warming and climate change has added another dimension to the country’s vulnerability to natural disasters. Consequently, Environment and housing both are at risk. Although Bangladesh can take pride in being at a leading position in terms of disaster management, the country’s ability in terms of disaster resilient housing and construction is not up to that mark. Post disaster analysis usually shows that most of the casualties are in the housing sector.

In considering the above mentioned conditions, studies led by HBRI focus primarily on technologies and materials for cost-effective, agriculture friendly, eco-friendly, disaster resilient and durable housing. Following are some instances of HBRI’s works related to the development of such housing:

  • Floor, roof and ceiling of a building.
  • Frames and doors
  • Pillar, roof, roof-purlin and rafter etc. of a single storied house.
  • Ferro cement water tank ( alternative to GI tank).
  • Hollow slab (alternative to RCC slab).
  • Construction materials for wall.
  • Sand-cement hollow block/ concrete hollow block.
  • Soil-cement stabilized block.
  • Aeriated concrete block.
  • Ploy block.
  • Dredged soil block.
  • Strengthening bamboo, straw and other similar materials through chemical treatment.

Disaster resilient cost effective buildings:

  • Ferro cement made floating buildings suitable for schools and shelters in flood prone areas.
  • Durable and cost effective, re-useable pre-fabricated houses for flood prone areas.
  • Durable and cost effective pre-fabricated houses for river-erosion prone areas.
  • Natural disaster (cyclone, hurricane) resilient, stilt house for coastal areas.
  • Earthquake resilient building with HBRI invented light construction materials.
  • Construction of cyclone resilient durable housing in salty coastal areas with pre-cast materials.
On Going Research:
  • Manufacturing of cost effective bricks using dredging soil.
  • Making light weight brick/block using polymer (EPS).
  • Manufacturing of aerated concrete brick/block with cement and aluminum powder.
  • Making building block/tiles using textile mills waste (ETP sludge).
  • Making Jutin/Ferrotin using jute fiber and wire net instead of using conventional tin.
  • Standardization of building materials.
  • Durable and cost effective housing suitable for disaster prone areas.
  • Identifying the soil’s load bearing capacity for cost effectiveness and secure foundation.
  • Survey on Housing typology and disaster resilient houses in Bangladesh.
Future Objectives :
  • Total replacement of conventional bricks in order to save the environment.
  • Popularizing rural multi-storied housing to retain agricultural lands.
  • Ensuring availability of affordable construction materials for multi-storied buildings and construction of such buildings so that the goal “Housing for All” is reached.
  • Bringing all disaster resilient homes under affordable price range.
  • Enhancing the qualities of local construction materials and technologies to reduce dependence on imports.
  • Mass campaign favoring construction materials and techniques that are eco-friendly and pro agriculture.
  • Ensuring that “Building Code” is being followed in all constructions.
  • Developing alternative of Corrugated by using jute and polymer.
  • Creating a board by using dry coconut waste.
  • Raising the standard of soil testing in Bangladesh to a level of international standing.
  • Decreasing vulnerability to fire accidents and related losses.
  • Popularizing the technology of retaining rain water.
  • Producing boards and bio-gas out of water hysen
  • Producing construction blocks using domestic waste as ingredient.
  • Making rural mud huts disaster resilient and durable as well as popularizing earth bag centers.
  • Ensuring the maximum use of Ferro cement technology.
Conclusions :

The institute has undertaken more implementable projects of different terms in the last two years than previous years as part of the effort to accelerate its research and campaign programs to achieve “Housing for All”, a significant goal of the government’s Vision 2021. Moreover, a proposal for establishing sub centers in all divisional cities beginning with Chittagong and Khulna and building a training center in Dhaka is under consideration of the government. The four most emphasized aspects of HBRI research works currently are: 1) retaining and expanding agricultural lands, 2) making housing affordable for mass people, 3) ensuring construction of disaster resilient homes and buildings and 4) Giving the highest preference to eco-friendly construction materials and housing. With the enhanced traction in the institute’s research works, I strongly believe that it will facilitate in achieving “Housing for All”, an important goal of the government announced Vision 2021. Housing and Building Research Institute will play an active role in achieving that goal; it is our commitment on the 40th anniversary of the institute.



Housing and Building Research Institute
120/3, Darus-Salam, Mirpur
Dhaka-1216, Bangladesh
Tel +880-2-9035222
Fax +880-2-9035057


Contact Persons

Mohammad Abu Sadeque PEng.
Email: director@hbri.gov.bd
Phone: 02-9035222