Addressing the Challenge of Designing a Sustainable, Climate Resilient Home for Under $300
According to the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, fundamental human rights include access to housing and access to food. Unfortunately, conflicts as result of political turmoil between states and disasters as result of severe weather conditions left many without homes. These individuals, for lack of better options, became self-builders whose mission are to construct homes to meet this basic human right.
We believe that our design of a $300 house not only addresses the right to housing in the immediate term. We believe that the quality and lifecycle of the design should also be considered in due process. We therefore conclude that the design of this $300 house will not only address the issue of cost, but will also address issues of sustainability, of resilience against climate change impacts through innovative, flexible and adaptive design.
This process of slum remediation will not only build homes that are sustainable, but will also begin to restore neighbourhoods, to forge communities and transition slum dwellers towards the path of sustainable communities.
Sustainable, Climate Resilient Housing for All
The overall design of the $300 house utilizes passive solar and wind. Heating and cooling of the unit is further emphasized by the thoughtful orientation of the unit. Panels fabricated from either recycled or readily available and efficiently manufactured materials further lessen the ecological footprint of the $300 house.
The $300 house thoughtfully responds to the need not only for new housing in the poorest locales of the globe, but are also well designed and builds on existing construction products in such locations.
The unit is a cubic structure created with interchangeable and customizable panels. It is finished with an assortment of complimenting jointing and connective hardware. The unit can also exist in as many or few components as necessary, allowing the purchaser to repair and/or add to their current home adapting to their current and future needs.
Derived from an understanding that the unit must be resistant against floods, withstand earthquakes, heat and snow, each face of the $300 house is finished with five 500mmx2500mm aluminum, bamboo fibre board, or clay panels of varying design and function. Panels can be designed to allow light in, keep bugs out, provide rain and sun shelter while allowing for comfortable wind flow in any and all configurations.
The building sits firmly on the ground with four �legs�, but its most adaptable structural feature exists in the �pontoons� the mass this unit sits upon. In earthquake situations, the pontoons will act as �shock absorbers� for the tremors coming up from the earth; and during a flood will act as flotation devices. The legs will allow the body above to move and function well with the pontoons.
The strength of the design is its adaptability of its many components, allowing the users to create a dwelling suitable for their climatic conditions and topography.
Affordable and Climate Adaptive Design
Technology well understood and materials efficiently manufactured will be utilized to create the panels found throughout the design of the $300 house. The highly efficient process, combined with the use of local, bountiful and/or recycled materials will allow for a cost of $8 per panel, creating $40 sides, and therefore an overall fully paneled _______ cost of $240. The flexibility of panel types will allow for customization while remaining within the allowable budget.
Flexibility and Viability
The design of the $300 house, being customizable in nature, will adapt well to any and all locales. Material and panel selection will allow the users to create a comfortable and personal dwelling, all the while maintaining the look and feel of residences surrounding. If a family/individual is not prepared to purchase $300 house dwelling all at once, any number and configuration of panels can be purchased to suit their needs. If it is the restoration of a single façade or building detail that the client requires, then the suitable panel selection will allow such remediation, always offering a solution for any budget. Depending on the most suitable panel types for the climate and location, local industries may be able to fabricate the necessary amount of material for the community.
The ease of the design, manufacturing process, and implementation are suitable for all locations globally. The adaptability of the $300 house dwelling in regard to materiality allows for continued fabrication into the future, and the transferable panels will allow for continual repairs if necessary for the duration of the unit�s lifecycle.
Paving the Way for Sustainable Future
Implementing the design of this $300 house is the first step towards remediation of slums. These sustainable units can stand on its own and can combine to form conjoined units that have the potential to become communities with rooftop gardens and intricate communal spaces that will significantly improve the quality of life of inhabitants. Construction and occupancy of these homes will transition slum dwellers from slums towards the path of sustainable communities.