This post is a little late but I wanted to share the outcome of the $300 House workshop. With over 40 people from around the world gathered at Dartmouth the workshop started with a truly inspiring speech by Dr. Jim Kim(see below). I had the pleasure of working in the rural house group with: Susannah Drake (DLandStudio), Eric Ho (Architecture Commons), Vicki May, Chris Scovel (MASSDesign), Dr. Astrid Jules, Nachiket Thakur, Patrick Vilaire, Karolina Kawiaka, and a few other people who rotated in from other groups.
After leaning the about the cultural needs and expatiations of a housing in Haiti, we set to work in identifying a strategy to address the idea of creating a $300 house. The Haitians expressed the need not of extremely cheep housing but that of jobs. So how could our house design spur job creation. This along with getting local material costs led us to identifying an idea that we would only spend $300 on imported goods and then $1,700 on local goods and labor. The house ends up costing $2,000 but it can create jobs which was more important to this location. The building was designed to California earthquake and structural standards. If the house was to use more experimental foundations and walls (earthbag) the cost could be brought way down but these have not been formally tested so while they may be good options but are not what we have chose to use for the initial prototype. The design/structural strategy was to create a core from compressed earth block, attached to that core the rest of the walls would be built using traditional Haitian wattle and daub, and woven screens. Also part of the overall idea was that we were creating a building strategy not a specific design, so that each house could be customized to a family’s needs.
The folowing drawings were done by Eric Ho of Architecture Commons, check out the rest of his work at Architecture Commons.