Saraman partners to provide affordable and green earthquake-Safe Schools and Housing

Housing is a major challenge for the rising young population of developing countries. For households who have their dwelling as their main asset and shelter, the robustness of the construction is crucial, especially in earthquake-prone areas. Yet, in low-income markets, conventional construction methods are not only insufficient to ensure earthquake-safety but their inefficiencies also increase construction costs.

The start-up company Saraman in Isfahan, central Iran, co-founded by an Iranian and a German professor moved by the earthquake of Bam in 2003, is an example of addressing housing and construction challenges in a profitable way. The company designs, fabricates and erects affordable, earthquake-proof pre-fabricated steel structures for houses, schools and hospitals. Through collaboration between German and Iranian universities, and support provided by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), as well as engineering companies and a local investor, state of the art technology was adapted to reduce cost and time of earthquake-proof construction, using environmentally-friendly local material. In addition, special training is provided to facilitate exchange of know-how and develop employment opportunities for young graduates who later implement the practice in Iran. About 400 Iranian students and scholars participated in annual DAAD summer schools at University of Wuppertal in Germany. Saraman currently has a team of 12 permanent and over 65 temporary employees, in addition to complementary local workforce on site. From 2002 to 2009, Saraman was awarded 27 projects, mostly schools and other public constructions, representing a total turnover of about UDS 3.9 million USD.

Further information


Partnership types

Doing business with the poor

Regions / countries / territories

Middle East: Iran

Global issues

Job creation and enterprise development; Environment and climate change

Business sectors

Construction; Environmental services