Building Trust international and Atelier COLE have unveiled their latest collaboration with Habitat for Humanity Cambodia with a creative housing scheme. Framework House is an innovative low-cost housing project providing opportunities for NGOs and Government groups to encourage client involvement in the layout and material selection of their home. Framework House incorporates lessons on sustainable building techniques, healthy home principles and provides options for structured expansion and investment over time. The design allows for infill wall and floor materials that are site specific, reducing the overall cost and carbon footprint. These infill areas allow for expansion and extension of the property over time by residents, once skills have been shared through construction.
With funding through SELAVIP, Building Trust were able to construct 9 pilots of the new flood resistant adaptable homes for families affected by HIV/AIDS on the outskirts of Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Each Framework House costs just $2500 for the initial weather resistant home. It is the result of over a year of research and engagement with local community groups and charitable organisations.
The design builds on traditional techniques and forms with a raised first floor for flood protection, split roof for increased ventilation and overhanging, angled façade for environmental protection. The design incorporates new ways of pre-casting the concrete pillars on site to ensure quality, safety and reduce waste. Sustainably grown timber, bamboo and a range of natural/ recycled wall materials reduce carbon footprint and improve the internal environment.
The build process is a tool for community engagement. Training was given on site specific natural building techniques to allow low-cost adaptation of the original design and neighbouring properties. The flexibility to develop a range of houses dependent on resident’s choices creates a varied streetscape. Height is defined by the roof but frontage location and material selection reduce the estate like quality and monotony of other housing schemes and does not impact the overall cost of delivery to housing providers.
Framework House in its current form can be replicated across the Southeast Asian region (one of the most densely populated regions in the World) to meet the urgent need for long lasting, low-cost housing. The design provides part of the solution to rapid urbanisation, resettlement/ slum upgrading and emergency housing. The original pilot project was created for families affected by Ill health or HIV/AIDS who moved into urban centres to gain access to antiretroviral drugs. The design allows for semi-detached and row versions to increase density. The themes of the house are broadly applicable to other worldwide regions with small changes to the design.
The current Framework House reaches beyond the conventional housing project by assuring land tenure and works towards resident land titles. Framework House builds in opportunities to further invest and maintain the property by giving people the sustainable skills which cement ownership and pride which has positive ripple effects in the wider community.