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Winners of "Healthy Homes" for Haiti

In the wake of the devastating earthquake that struck Haiti in 2010, ARCHIVE, a non-profit whose efforts center on the use of housing as a strategy for preventing illness and providing care among the poor, sponsored a design competition called "Healthy Homes." In an effort to limit the spread of Tuberculosis (one of the leading infectious diseases in Haiti), 147 teams of architects, engineers, public health workers, and doctors designed homes that are environmentally conscious, sensitive to the economic and cultural environment. Additionally, they use local building materials and construction techniques wherever possible and are easily replicable . What was interesting about this competition is that it isn't simply a "design exercise"; the winning entries will now inform new housing construction in the Artibonite region of the country. Click through the slideshow below to see the five winning designs.

At the heart of "Breathe House" is the concept of sustainable health and housing. Its key design elements include the use of natural light and ventilation, access to clean water and independent renewable energy, and the combination of passive environmental systems with modest active ventilation. The design engages the involvement of regional building industries with the intention of expanding the local building trades and improving the overall building stock in the area. Highlights of the design include the use of local materials, composting toilets, excellent ventilation, and strong use of landscaping. The simplicity of construction and accompanying "users guide" meant that work could be carried out by local less-skilled workers: an important community strengthening attribute. Designed by Anselmo Canfora, Richard Guerrant, Ewan Smith, Galen Staengl, Michael Stoneking, Aja Bull-Richards, Sara Harper, Sally Lee, Nathan Parker, Chase Sparling-Beckley, and Lauren Thompson.

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