$2,500 home built for low-income Cambodians

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The two-story homes measure a total of 80 sq m (861 sq ft)(Credit: Building Trust international)

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Building Trust International, Atelier COLE, and Habitat for Humanity Cambodia have collaborated on a project to create affordable housing for low-income Cambodians. The result, dubbed Framework House, is a sustainable home that is built primarily from bamboo and wood, and it costs just US$2,500 to build.

Reminiscent of Vietnam's S House, the pilot Framework House project was conceived to serve vulnerable Cambodian families affected by HIV/AIDS in particular, and those generally in poor health. A total of nine homes were built for this purpose and the most recent was completed just last month. A Building Trust International representative told Gizmag that the firm is aiming to roll out the scheme to more low-income people, and is also developing another, higher-density home for urban areas.

Framework House is built primarily from wood and bamboo, and comes in several different iterations. The family receiving it gets to decide what kind of layout they need, and examples include homes suitable for keeping livestock in, and homes which double as small stores.

The two-story dwellings measure a total of 80 sq m (861 sq ft), and like the Waste House, feature recycled material used as insulation. On the ground floor, earth bags, plastic bottles, and clay bricks were used, while first-floor insulation includes wattle and daub, split bamboo, and woven bamboo. The sleeping area is located on the first floor to protect the occupants against flash-floods.

Though the homes are basic, they are also innovative. Operable shutters aid passive ventilation and large overhanging roofs enable rainwater collection. The rainwater runs into a gutter and is collected into both a 1000 L (264 US gallon) catchment tank for drinking, and another 2000 L (528 US gallon) tank for washing and cooking. In addition, a small solar panel provides enough juice for charging a mobile phone or using a water pump, and a solar powered light provides safe illumination inside.

Where possible, local builders and local materials were used to make the houses.

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