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BRIEF May 9, 2019

Resilient Homes Challenge


Winners of the Resilent Homes Challenge: KZ Architecture, Baha Spatial Agency, PoliTo, CSW Architecture, TEN, BAM-S, Antu, Compartment S4, Architects Avenue

Natural disasters are on the rise. Since 1990, natural disasters have affected on average 217 million people every single year. Hundreds of floods, storms, heat waves and droughts have left about 606,000 people dead and 4.1 billion injured or homeless around the world since 1995. And it is often the poorest that suffer the most from these shocks.

The World Bank, Build Academy, Airbnb, and GFDRR called upon architects around the world to develop designs for resilient, modular and affordable homes that cost under $10,000.

CONTEXT: The competition called for designing a modular house costing under $10,000 that should be easy to build. The challenge was designed for three scenarios. Design teams could submit designs for a single scenario or all three scenarios depending on their preference.


HAZARDEarthquakes and Tropical storms with wind speeds in excess of 250 km/hr. (cyclones/ hurricanes/ typhoons)
GEOGRAPHYIsland countries (example: the Caribbean including Haiti)
CLIMATEHot summers and mild winters
ADDED CHALLENGEHeavy cost of ferrying in construction material
CONSTRUCTION COSTMaterial: $120/sqm


Labor: $50/sqm

Transport: $80/sqm

PLOTAssume a 20 m x 20 m plot size in a low-lying area


HAZARDEarthquakes up to 7.0 on Richter’s scale also resulting in landslides
GEOGRAPHYMountain & inland areas (example: Nepal, northern India, Peru etc.)
CLIMATEHarsh winters and mild summers
ADDED CHALLENGETerrain difficulty in transporting heavy construction material
CONSTRUCTION COSTMaterial: $120/sqm


Labor: $50/sqm

Transport: $50/sqm

PLOTAssume a 20 m x 20 m plot size in a rocky terrain which is part sloping (gentle gradient)


HAZARDTropical storms with wind speeds in excess of 250 km/hr (cyclones/hurricanes/typhoons) also resulting in localized flooding (low-lying areas)
GEOGRAPHYCoastal areas (example: Bangladesh, Philippines etc.)
CLIMATEHot summers with areas of heavy rainfall
CONSTRUCTION COSTMaterial: $120/sqm


Labor: $50/sqm

Transport: $30/sqm

PLOTAssume a 20 m x 20 m plot size in a low-lying area which is around 500 m from the coastline.


GUIDELINES: Design teams were encouraged to look beyond “fully pre-fabricated” housing designs in order to allow incorporating local building materials and techniques into their designs; designs could be fully, partially or not prefabricated with a clear aim towards ease of construction

Designs incorporate climatic conditions

  • Integration of storage tank for rainwater collection is preferred
  • Toilets should be environmentally friendly, attached or detached
  • Housing material should be fireproof/treatable to be fireproof
  • Project construction cost should be limited to $10,000


  • Area: The houses should accommodate a family of 4-5 people in about 40-50m2.
  • Kitchen: 8-12m2, storage and cooking space
  • Bathroom & toilet: 5-8m2  (combined or separate)
  • Bedroom: 12-15m2; storage space 1-2m2
  • Mainroom: 20m2, could be used as a bedroom at night
  • Minimal height: 2.5m

Participants were encouraged to respect the building codes of the countries they designed for.


  • Resilience (25%)
  • Design (25%)
  • Cost Effectiveness (15%)
  • Construction (15%)
  • Sustainability (15%)
  • Presentation (10%)

Winning Teams

Team KZ Architecture (USA)








Scenario 1: Caribbean Islands

The proposed dwelling is fabricated in its majority out of bamboo, a low cost, highly sustainable and renewable building material, widely available worldwide, lightweight, durable, flexible, easily cultivated and harvested. Its quick growth and easy handling make it an ideal material for beautiful low-cost housing.

Local Context: The positioning of the dwelling should be placed with the 22.5-degree side of the roof facing south for optimum sun exposure. Bamboo planting can reduce soil erosion, restore depleted lands, and provide economic opportunities. It also performs well in hot and humid climates.

Resilience: A guadua bamboo framed structure rests on 9 concrete piers and is elevated off the ground for maximum resilience in areas of flooding. The bamboo frame is naturally a flexible structure, great in both tensile and compressive strength. With reinforced joints, the seismic resistant structure can sustain hurricane winds.

Construction Process & Ease: The construction should be contract driven unless the owner has experience with the treatment process and joining methods of bamboo. Once taught, all future construction phases can be owner driven. Apart from the bamboo frame, the construction follows traditional methods.

Team: Jordanna Ebanks, Vanessa Estevez, Angela Johnson, Jaya Kader, Gonzalo Otaola

Team Baja Spatial Agency








Scenario 2: Nepal, Laprak Village, Alpine Climate

The critical reflection of what has been done and what could have been done, has been the point of departure. After 2015 Earthquake, so called model houses with rigid plans and modern materials are being constructed. This has not only disturbed the vernacular essence but also disregarded the ecological, cultural and economic aspects of rural Nepal.

Therefore, instead of new technology in the name of innovation, our design uses the situated construction knowledge in an efficient way.  The proposed plans respond to local environment and allow the daily activities.  Also, the modular system helps for the rapid reconstruction of houses.

Team: Ananda Manandhar, Prakriti Bhandari, Saurav Koirala, Saurav Shrestha, Sona Bade, Suraj Lama

Team Polito








Scenario 3: Philipines – Sorsogon

The purpose of our project is to provide first and foremost a safe, sustainable refuge for disaster stricken regions of the world. More specifically to those facing tropical hurricanes and their outcomes.

The result is a home that can float to avoid the rising waters from seasonal floods and can resist hurricane winds due to a compact design and a pitched roof.

Francesca De Filippi, Matteo Gianotti, Roberto Pennacchio Matteo Robiglio, Elena Vigliocco, Marco Simonetti, Laura Munoz Tascon,Simone parola, Maria Vélez, Zhang xinyun, Ma Xingyu, Manuela Reitsma, Alessandro Scarfiello, Francesco Sorasio, Florencia Courroux. Ferhat Dural. Hadi Charafeddine, Fernanda Souza Povoa, Luca Anselmino. Tzlil Lussato, Mirela Dadaj, Ghazal Amiri, LI biao, Ramezanzade.

Team CSWarchitecture








Scenario 1: Haiti (Hot summers and mild winters)

This house was built in 2013 in Haiti, in the framework of a rehabilitation programme. Conceived for 4/5 person family house, it represents an effective model for post-disaster housing reconstruction and development projects. The CSW technology – Confined Stone Walls – is a smart, low tech and cost effective construction process for rural housing, inspired by vernacular stone wall architecture. The construction process is dry (no masonry required) and the wire mesh and cages can be manufactured on site, thus benefitting from local materials and limiting the need for imported materials (and their associated transport costs and environmental impact).

Team: Samanta Maria Lucrezia Tumbarello, Ludovic Jonard

Team TEN








Scenario 2: Central Asia rural alpine regions (Thame Valley, Nepal)

The design transforms existing rural alpine construction techniques into a resilient, modular and flexible core home unit. It does this by reconfiguring common building materials into a novel structural lattice system to counter the six typical earthquake induced structural failures. The precise, yet adaptable system has been developed from local post-earthquake evolution, typology research and a constructed prototype in the Thame Valley, Nepal. The knowledge has been customised to an essential domestic spatial unit that meets the immediate spatial requirements of rural alpine populations while allowing for adaptability and incremental development.

Team: Varun Kaushik, David Stoeger, Ngawang Sherpa, Scott Lloyd

Team BAM-S








Scenario 3: Bangladesh (Ranigaon) Hot summers with areas with heavy rainfall

The BAM-S House is designed to be the new contermporary vernacular architecture to face the wide range of climate change effects that has hit Bangladesh increasingly. It‘s typology is based on the Stilt House adressing contemporary design and structural reinforcement. It allows high quality of scalability, expandability and community aggregation. It’s ease to built and can be replicable in other rural or urban contests. Its construction phases are adapted to different uses and target people.The owner driven contruction approach associated with the ODS#1make it economically feasible, it saved around 30% of total budget. Bamboo is the material that makes possible to converge all needs into a single choice. The BAM-S House is much more than a resilient house, it’s smart. The energy efficiency of the building are present in all of it’s aspects and sustainaibility go beyoung the building itself.

Team: Santiago Caprio, Claudia Azzolin, Marco Asciutti, Romarie Gonzalez, Andrea Galli, Samar Elsayed, Ivo Kieling, Alex Pedretti, Luiza Macedo, Thiago Farias

Team Antu








Scenario 1: Island countries in the Caribbean (particularly Dominica, Antigua & Barbuda, Saint Kitts & Nevis, Dominican Republic, Haiti and the Virgin Islands among others)

The Antu resilient home is a modular house capable of resisting the shocks of category-five hurricanes in the Caribbean. Resilience principles and a Built Back Better approach are integrated to safeguard people’s lives and to regenerate rehabilitation after the occurrence of a major event. A resilience network is envisioned to ease emergency operations and reduce life losses. The home is designed considering ground realities, local capacities and the challenges made evident by Hurricanes Irma and Maria. Within the home, the open spaces foster expandability and a horizontal integration within the family members and shape a gender and age balanced home.

Team: Ana Sabina Thomas, Ingrid Hamm Rios, Paola Gradiz Fonseca, Virginia Chavarria Elvir, Noel Sampson

Team Compartment S4








Scenario 2: Uttarkashi, Uttarakhand, India

The main challenge in this scenario is to design a house that is not only earthquake and landslide resilient but also takes into account the increasing remoteness and difficulty in transport as altitude rises. The house is designed with a heavy stone filled retaining wall at the bottom and a light wooden structure on the top. Materials and technologies that would be easily available in the local context and can be easily transported via small pickup van are used. A balance between local knowledge and modern construction techniques is incorporated in order to encourage community participation and ownership.  Earthquake resilient features are integrated into the traditional building practices with minor changes to the available skill set so that its construction does not require expert or non-local craftsmen.

Team Architects Avenue








Scenario 3: Kelantan, a state located in the East Coast of Malaysia, experiences intense recurring monsoon season at the end of every year.

The design focuses on the flood-affected victims. How can we ease their flood survival efforts from inception to post-flood for years and years to come? Our solution simplifies the process down to just the palm of their hands – via mobile application.

Flood victims are able to purchase their resilient homes via mobile app based on their financial and physical capacities. Manufacturing the design in modules enables this intention to follow through and prolong its significance with high expandibility, scalability and sustainability nature.

With the flood and storm resilient design it possesses, the resilient home is able to increase the chances of survival for the victims and their belongings through its ability to float. This amphibious feature is what carries its branding – the Apung House (Floating house).

Part of the factor in resilient designs often neglected is Social Resilience. Handing in the power of choice to the flood victims to select their home is the very first important step towards resilient architecture because although builtform executes the work, it all started from a healthy and worry-free mind.

Team: Voon King Howe, Ong Yee Fei, Ahmad Farhan Izhan, Mohd Nurhuari Yahya, Nurin Mansoor

Honarable Mentions

Guo Kunqi








Scenario 1: Haiti, Port-au-Prince. Humid, tropical climate

The circle has centripetal and isotropic properties that enable dense contact and alignment between the circles, which density is not possible with other simple graphics. This high density creates the efficiency of circulation and communication.

Haiti has a generally hot and humid tropical climate. The north wind brings fog and drizzle, which interrupt Haiti’s dry season from November to January. But during February through May, the weather is very wet. Northeast trade winds bring rains during the wet season.Solid, concrete foundation, and light, flexible bamboo structure can resist to strong winds and earthquakes. Main building materials in the project such as earth, bamboo.

The project uses bamboo as a base structure, which takes advantage of the natural advantages of bamboo flexibility to effectively prevent damage caused by earthquakes. The building is a circular plane that resists strong hurricanes.









Scenario 2: Himalayan Mountain Range (Up To 10,000 Feet)

‘A shelter within a month and a home within a year’: a temporary shelter grows into an intermediate and then finally a permanent shelter. This idea of a temporal house stems from the fact that spatial-requirements need to be met immediately post-disaster, and the shelter then must incrementally grow towards permanence. This incrementalism necessitates the up-cycling of materials and the development of a flexible joinery system that can accept multiple vernacular and modern materials. This joinery allows for a modular system that enables the construction of one-million houses in one-go. The design has been informed by the cultural idiosyncrasies of the Himalayas, besides the desire to be safe, sustainable and rehabilitative.

Team Maru








Scenario 3: Mekong Delta, Vietnam – Huge and incresing threat of flooding, storms, and climate change

Maru Ichi is a sustainable and resilient community village model for low-income inhabitants in flood zones of the Mekong Delta of Vietnam. Aside from its ability to withstand flood and storm, each house of Maru Ichi is a versatile cell that can also mobilize and connect with each other. Linked by open corridors, these cells aim to form a green and sustainable community village where residents can easily trade their goods & services, and share their daily lives with everyone in the community.

Maru Ichi uses low-cost and readily available local materials. Each house comes with a solar panel and water and sewage filter systems. It does not only provide flood zone inhabitants safe, highly-functional, inexpensive living space and green, sustainable communities; but also offers a practical solution to Mekong River pollution.It also creates great opportunities for eco-tourism, which will leverage the residents’ income as well as the dynamics of these community villages.

Team: Anh Tuan Ho Van, Diệu Liên To, Phương Anh Nguyen


VIDEO May 10,2019

Resilient Housing 2019