Why are houses built on stilts?

Written by tallulah roberto
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Why are houses built on stilts?
(belize house image by hoselx from Fotolia.com)

Across the world, architects choose to build houses raised on stilts. Constructed on the beach, above flood plains, in African villages, and in the famous city of Venice, houses constructed in this style have worldwide popularity.

Flood Avoidance

Building on stilts helps to protect houses from floods. Electric cables, wiring and plug sockets are higher above the water level. In tropical areas prone to flooding, this structure of house is common. Raising a house above the level of the flood plain helps keep families safe.

Malaria Risk

Living in a raised house lowers the risk of mosquito bites and the associated risk of malaria, according to results of a study conducted in Sao Tome, Gabon. J Derek Charlwood's work provides evidence which appears to give credence to the time-honoured reasoning behind the method of house building in this area.


The city of Venice is built almost entirely on wooden piles or stilts. The sheer scale of the Italian city, which rises out of the water, is testament to the architecture of building on stilts. Venice suffers floods, especially during the spring high tides, but the principal of building on reinforced stilts has stood the test of time.

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