MIT's affordable housing project builds first prototype in China
Launched in 2009, MIT's "1K House" project challenges designers to come up with affordable, sustainable housing solutions that can improve conditions for the billions of people in the world living on less that $1 per day. The "Pinwheel House" designed by MIT graduate student Ying chee Chui is the first prototype.
The 1K House concept was initiated by Tony Ciochetti, the Thomas G. Eastman Chairman at MIT's Center for Real Estate, after seeing a family of four emerge from a tiny mud hut while he was traveling through rural India.
"There is a huge proportion of the world's population that has pressing housing needs," says Ciochetti. "Can you build affordable, sustainable shelter for such a large population?"
Ying chee Chui's "Pinwheel House" is the first prototype to be constructed and is located in Mianyang, in the Sichuan Province, China. The design incorporates a modular layout with hollow brick walls, steel bars for reinforcement, wooden box beams, a central courtyard space and it's also built to withstand a magnitude 8.0 earthquake.
"The construction is easy enough, because if you know how to build a single module, you can build the whole house," says Chui.
Chui came out a little over the long-term goal of building a $1000 house, with the total cost coming to US$5,925. Not bad considering it's tough to buy a good second hand car for that price! A larger building than was originally designed was a factor in the cost - the whole house came to about 800 square feet, rather than 500 square feet. Chui is confident that the smaller module could easily be built for US$4000 or even cheaper if a large number of houses were built at the same time.
MIT's next design project starts in coming months with the aim of creating a series of US$10K home designs. The new designs will focus on creating cheap homes following a natural disaster situation, such as the earthquake and tsunami that struck northern Japan in March.
"It's part of the responsibility of an architect, to create these spaces for people to live," Chui says. "It's from the heart."
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Someday the vaguely liberal will learn to prioritize issues clearly enough in their minds to support more than single-issue campaigns.
found this quote in thier mission statement
\"Sustainability : Without an available infrastructure, 1K House has to harvest energy and treat waste in a self-sustained way. It can be built with a hybrid of the traditional, local and recycled building materials and latest industrial products. Increasing awareness of the scarcity of natural resources afforded by our world necessitates thoughtful consideration of sustainable use of both materials and energy. When implemented at a large scale, housing can minimize negative impacts on our environment\"
would deffinately be interested to know more about the proposed waste disposal, and heating. and all that other cool stuff that isn\'t just a roof and walls.
The only self sustained sewage i can think of is compost. and that sounds problematic if they plan on putting up a bunch close together.
long story short. dissapointed in thier project website. just ambiguous pictures. no real information. especially no information on the proposed sustainable aspect. building a house that doesn\'t need infrastructure for 6 grand boggles my mind. i would build that house in a heartbeat. it\'s a humanitarian project, no reason for secretiveness.
People who have houses in villages often times have their house built for generations, they will look down upon these cheap houses. compared to their stone houses built long back.