Design Contest Provides New Solutions for Growing Zambia, Ghana and Kenya.
Zambia – An emerging middle class in many parts of Africa has dramatically highlighted the need for affordable housing. Herrick Mpuku has spend over a decade trying to complete his house; like many Zambians, one paycheck at a time. Ten years later its still not complete.
Today though, Mpuku is having a new home built. Its expected to go from groundbreaking to final paint in six months.
The difference? This time Mpuku was able to get a mortgage. The massive gap between the dirt poor and the obscenely rich is never more apparent then it is here, but times are slowly starting to change. The emerging middle class is creating a demand for home loans.
The World Bank is estimating the sub-Saharan middle class will be 43 million by 2030, up from 12 million in 2000. Markets are growing in Zambia, Nigeria, Kenya and Ghana. These people do not have the cash to purchase homes, and unfortunately, because of AIDS, life expectancy is so low, many are not expected to live the duration of their loans.
In Ghana, more than half of the population 21 million live in urban areas. Due to growth rates, the urban population is expected to double its figure in the year 2000 by 2015, and the majority of new urban dwellers will find themselves living in slum conditions.
One answer though, is coming from international design competition Open Source House, a non-profit organization. Through the contest, Biaanc, based in Lisbon, created a sustainable design, modular home that uses local materials and local labor, all for roughly $12,500 a unit.
The design is the brainchild of Biaanc and architect João Caeiro. Materials consist of earth walls, dahoma wood, and bamboo. The homes are modular so they can be expanded as the family grows. Natural ventilation is used, and a solar hot water tank provides hot water. The design includes a small septic tank, and organic waste is composted in the yard. The concept will be built sometime this year, and mass production is expected to start in 2011.