The always philanthropic Building Trust International recently published the results of their summer competition entitled HOME. HOME was an open design competition that sought to find housing solutions for the elderly, students, and the homeless within the world's most developed countries. Building Trust, a non-profit organization offering design services for communities in need around the world, had the support of Habitat for Humanity and the YMCA for this competition. Now the winning design will work with these organizations to secure funding to bring their project to fruition.
The winning design was produced by London-based Levitt Bernstein Associates. Their design, entitled Pop Up HAWSE (Homes through Apprenticeships With Skills for Employment) tackles homelessness in the London Borough of Hackney. Their premise is to rent out existing garages in the area, and install prefabricated HAWSE units with a bedroom and shower room. Communal kitchens, dining, and laundry rooms are provided for every five units. The most impressive design feature is the cost; the cost of these units is approximately £13,000 each.
The sustainability of Levitt Bernstein’s Pop Up HAWSE revolves around inexpensive passive strategies and reusing as much of the construction components as possible. Local products, local labor, and modularization help to keep this an economically, socially, and environmentally responsible project.
Nine other projects won ‘Honorable’ mention awards for their innovative and provocative designs. Proposals included everything from new construction to reuse of old train cars and culverts. Permaculture was the topic of a few of these units in a way of providing users with an easy and passive source of food. Design locations came from all over the world including London, North Carolina, Los Angeles, Denmark, and Hong Kong. Growth in the submission to Building Trust International’s frequent design competitions is a great indicator of the world’s continual desire to help others through design and construction.