In a Disaster-prone Area, This Minimalist House Design Could be an Option

Simple and minimalist house is not only useful to be applied in urban areas with a limited availability of space.

Apparently, in areas that are disaster-prone such houses could also be used to build temporary shelter, or in the context of Indonesia’s Disaster Risk Management (DRM) is often referred to as huntara (hunian sementara/temporary shelter).

Saturday afternoon, November 25, 2017, the people of Bali Island and other places in Indonesia startled by the news about the eruption of Mount Agung. This eruption is the second eruption after several days before when Mount Agung also issued a thick smoke to the sky.

The Phreatic eruption was rumored to spew thick smoke to reach a height of 1.5 kilometers. According to the Head of Public Relations Department of BNPB Sutopo Purwo Nugroho as quoted on National Geographic Indonesia’s page, phreatic eruption is an eruption caused by high pressure of the water vapor inside the mountain chamber.

With this re-eruption of Mount Agung, the surrounding community should be re-evacuated in a safer places.

Discussing about a minimalist house design that can be applied as a temporary shelter for the refugees, Ministry of Public Works and Public Housing as the technical ministry in charge of housing and settlement affair has a house prototype that can be applied for huntara.

This prototype is called RISHA, or Simple and Healthy Instant House. RISHA itself, in accordance with Kepmen Kimpraswil No.403/KPTS/M/2002 on Simple Healthy House Technical Manual (RSH) is one of the simplest home remedies for Low Income Communities (MBR), disaster IDPs, or for temporary shelter uses.

According to the MPWH’s Research and Development Agency website, RISHA technology is actually a knock down house technology that enables simple home construction to be done as quickly as possible.

Minimalist House Design for disaster-prone area
3D Model of RISHA (Source: Ministry of Public Works and Housing GOI –

This is because all the materials have been made first (prefabricated) in the form of frames and panels. Thus, to build this house there is no need of installation of brick walls or the framework casting process that takes a long time to finish.

Uniquely the cost needed to build RISHA is only about 50 million rupiah especially for the house type 36. The price of components and panels is quite affordable, which is 50 thousand Rupiah up to 160 thousand rupiah for the sills panel and wall panels, and 90 thousand Rupiah to 110 thousand Rupiah for structural panel components P1 and P3.

The model of this house has actually been developed since long time, i.e since 2004. But apparently, the absorption rate of this knock down house in the property market of Low Income Community (MBR) is still low.

Minimalist House Design for disaster-prone area
RISHA’s exterior, 2 floors (Source: Ministry of Public Works and Housing GOI –

Minimalist House Design for disaster-prone area
RISHA’s interior (Source: Ministry of Public Works and Housing GOI –

According to the website of the MPWH, RISHA can be built into two floors. It’s just that there are some technical requirements to be followed, among others: the maximum live load is the live load for a simple residence of 125 kg/m2. In addition, the function of the room should be maintained and no shifting permitted since it would affect the weight load on the building structure.

Another requirement is that the floor construction used for RISHA’s upper floors should be a wooden floor structure or other lighter structural elements, with ceramic/concrete floor/coating. It is not permitted to design the 2nd floor structure with reinforced concrete.



[1] Balitbang Kementerian PUPR –

May be you are also interested in this reading materials:

Mapping Vulnerability: Disaster, Developments, and People

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