If you go to 300house.com you can learn about a fascinating project/contest whose goal is to design a $300 house for the world’s two billion poorest inhabitants:
We started with five simple questions:
* How can organic, self-built slums be turned into livable housing?
* What might a house-for-the-poor look like?
* How can world-class engineering and design capabilities be utilized to solve the problem?
* What reverse-innovation lessons might be learned by the participants in such a project?
* How could the poor afford to buy this house?
The goal is to design, build, and deploy a simple dwelling which keeps a family safe from the weather, allows them to sleep at night, and gives them a little bit of dignity. If we can give the poor a chance to live safely and build an inclusive ecosystem of services around them which includes, clean water, sanitation, health services, family planning, education, and micro enterprise, maybe we can start reducing the disease of poverty. By helping create this ecosystem, we believe companies can make money while providing services needed by the poor at an affordable cost. The poor deserve a chance, a real chance, to make it out of poverty.
We have looked at several ideas in this arena in the A Different Way to Build a House series. Several examples:
- A different way to build a house #53 – inexpensive housing for the developing world
- Foam and steel construction makes a quick, inexpensive, super-efficient house
- Build yourself an Earthship for an ultra-sustainable green lifestyle
- An inexpensive home using recycled wood and natural materials
- A different way to build a house #61 – Building a house for $3,500