Extremely Low-Cost Housing Solutions Gain Currency

Lamar Anderson offers a window into some promising extremely inexpensive housing solutions that engage the user in the design and construction process.

Roman Vignoli's Casapanal for the outskirts of Santiago involves just two simple components: a metal skeleton with retrofitted SIP panels that can be assembled without heavy machinery.

Inspired by the $100 house in Paul Polak's 2008 book Out of Poverty, this design and others like it are part of an effort to provide low-cost permanent and customizable shelter to slum dwellers.

Zeroing in on the unique organizational habits of people who construct make-shift shelters for themselves, Cambodian architects Collective Studio have designed six different prototypes for Pnohm Phen families to choose from. They all feature passive cooling and water and mechanical systems and are constructed from locally-sourced materials, keeping costs under $2,500.

Ying Chee Chui's Pinwheel House, adapted to a village in China for under $6,000, uses hollow L-shaped brick modules and steel bars and is expandable from the perimeter through local manpower.

WikiHouse's designers place design files online, making them available for download through Google SketchUp. Communities can "print" the components on shared CNC mills. 

"How these projects will perform is still largely untested," says Anderson, "but providing houses that are not only inexpensive but that residents are proud to call their own will be the greatest measure of their success."

Full Story: In search of the $100 house


Book cover of the Guide to Graduate Planning Programs 4th Edition

Thinking about Grad School?

New! 4th Edition of the Planetizen Guide to Graduate Urban Planning Programs just released.
Starting at $24.95

Prepare for the AICP Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $209
Book cover of Insider's Guide to Careers in Urban Planning

So you want to be a planner...

Check out our behind the scenes look at 25 careers in the Urban Planning field
Starting at $14.95
Planetizen Courses image ad

Planetizen Courses

Advance your career with subscription-based online courses tailored to the urban planning professional.
Starting at $16.95 a month