'The $300 House' Challenge

Bring affordable housing to the world’s poor. $25,000 prize pool

Current Rank: 164
hrshankar013
hrshankar013
164. Rank5.92 Rating30 Ratings6 Comments2825 ViewsSubmitted on May 25, 2011
Final rank: 164 of 297

Retrohouse by Thomas,Hariram,Ajin, Murali

This is a design of a retractable low cost house. The framework used for construction will be steel. Paneling material is POLYCARBONATE sheets with its air SPACES filled with WATER . Roofing material is chicken mesh reinforced asphalt sheets. The house wh

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Solution

SALIENT FEATURES

The house which is Z in shape can be retracted to 1/4th its volume. This is done with the help of carefully designed rooms, properly dimensioned inside features etc. The beds inside are bunk beds and must be dropped to a hanging position(just like the berths of Indian trains). Once the beds are dropped, the rooms can be easily retracted with no feature hindering the other during the retracting procedure. We consider this as a great challenge overcome. The advantage of reducing volume of the house is during transportation. The house is virtually a cube of 2mX1.5m when retracted but when expanded it becomes 4X2X1.5 volume. As the house is Z shaped, there is always a provision of providing private outdoor spaces if required.

The panelling material is water filled polycarbonate sheets which would take care of temparature issues.In case the water doesn't dissipate heat quickly, provision can be made to release the water. Its only a matter of punching a small hole in adjacent slats to ensure connectivity. Similarly it can be refilled by just pouring water through a common opening. There is sufficient ventillation and windows for proper air passage.Floor can be made using semi hard wood, so can the bed panelings and doors. Windows can be pivoted polycarbonate sheets (semitransparent.) .The framework is a simple welded steel frame like STACKHOUSE, except without extensions, i.e a simple cuboid with its edges made out of hollow square steel sections

For community housing as the figures clearly explain, a corridor naturally forms once we arrange the houses in a row. A common line can be used for electrical wiring. Inside the house, the plumbing and electrical lines runs through the hollow steel frame.  A mechanism seen in present day computer mouse, one where you can vary the length if the wire will be used to accommodate for the varying length while retracting. The plumbing lines are directly given to the sink inside and hence need not be retracted.

Please note that though our design shows toilet provision it need not be included for cost effectiveness. However, we believe it can be included if the RETROHOUSE is mass manufactured. In fact, we can call this as a house machine, one of the first of its kind.

Dimension of each room is 2mX1.5mX2.7m with minor changes to accomodate retracting as different rooms slides into each other. Four to five beds can be attached inside. A kitchen sink and table for cooking, proper system for plumbing and electrical works are all in place. Space efficient, aesthetic and ergonomic deign.

COST ANALYSIS
Four cuboids(rooms) - steel framework, bed framework , sink framework and rollers : 1500X4 + 2000 = Rs. 8000
Polycarbonate panel and asphalt sheet roof :5000+500=Rs 5500
Softwood panels for flooring,beds,door etc = Rs 1500
Total = Rs.15000 i.e. $330
The costs can be brought down on bulk purchase of raw materials and a limit of $250-$270 can be attained easily.

BUSINESS PLAN
The house can be easily modified even as luxury condos. If we attach wheels on to the house, it will be a moving house, easily attachable to a car or truck and towed along. The application of this idea to luxury houses can generate enough money for a more basic model which can be used in slums. Each family can help in the construction of a luxury house as well as a basic model, of which they can take the basic model for their use. A company can generate profit as well as use the manpower available without much hassle.

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