The $300 house is a self- assembled basic living unit made of pre-manufactured components, easily transportable, that can be added incrementally over time, allowing for a variety of possible configurations to create larger houses based on the owner’s need


The basic living unit is conceived of as a lightweight frame (chassis) to which components are added to create an enclosure (the body) that can be then be customized to meet individual preferences and availability of local materials.

Inspired by folding furniture, the frame can be easily transported to the site, and set up as a scaffold to which the components are attached.  Once simple foundations are laid in place, the house can be assembled rapidly by two people.

The floor is raised above ground to account for uncertain local ground conditions, and allow the possibility of integrating plumbing and electricity in the future, as well as create a ventilated crawl space.

A canvas roof is stretched across the frame to provide shelter from sun and rain. The single roof pitch allows for optimal orientation relative to prevailing breezes or sun orientation, encourages natural air flow, as well as the possibility to optimize orientation to the sun if PV fabric is used.   A single roof pitch also allows for convenient rain water collection.

The enclosure is made of prefabricated light weight insulated flat panels, attached to the frame to give rigidity to the whole assemblage. The flat panels can be finished in locally available materials to reflect regional character and personal preference. Once fully assembled, the basic unit incorporates both an enclosed living space of 2.2 meters by 3 meters with an outdoor covered porch.

Units can be combined to create more elaborate homes of multiple possible configurations, where the roof elements provide a large protective enclosure for common living spaces, under which the enclosed units can serve as private spaces such as bedrooms, storage rooms, and bathing rooms.

In the case of natural disasters, the enclosed unit serves as a safe refuge. The house can be easily disassembled , transported, and reassembled in a new location to address migration trends affecting populations in emerging economic environments.