The blog post “Material Use In Other Countries” raises some very interesting points about how residential construction in the United States differs from that in other countries. The writer observes that most residential construction here uses wood, but that wood is not used in many other places because of its vulnerability to termite damage. The reason for this, I think, is both environmental and economic. While we do have termites here, it is my understanding that the termite problem is much more severe in some other countries, especially in very warm, damp places like tropical and subtropical regions. Also, people in the United States have ready access to termite control measures, such as having an exterminator make regular treatments of their houses.
Another reason that wooden homes are so common here is that large areas of the United States are not subject to earthquakes. In those areas, wood construction works just fine. In areas that are subject to earthquakes, such as the West Coast, construction technology and building codes are attempting to alleviate the problem of earthquake damage.
Less affluent countries do not always have access to advanced construction technologies, and building codes/standards are often inadequate or poorly enforced. In addition, many such countries are located in earthquake-prone areas. For these reasons, my research paper will address residential construction which is inexpensive, earthquake-resistant, and suitable for use in economically disadvantaged countries. Everyone is entitled not only to adequate housing, but to safe adequate housing.