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The Open Source House Competition

CATEGORY: ⚐ EN + competitions

The OPEN SOURCE HOUSE design competition started on January 15th, 2010 and is open for team or individual participation. The challenge is to design a sustainable, flexible and locally embedded one family house for a specific location in Ghana. The modular construction should be suitable for local implementation and affordable for its future owners. The winning design(s) will be built in Ghana.

Open Source House has a double approach, bottom up and top-down. Focused global knowledge and creativity about sustainable housing design is collected on the online platform and made available for local use and implementation. However, OS-House started by creating local commitment in Ghana and doing extensive research on social and cultural characteristics there. This included the wishes and needs of the end-user and an assessment of the current housing industry. Open Source House doesn’t force a new solution, but makes knowledge available which puts the power back in the hands of the end-users. This way they can free themselves from the limited choice that is offered to them by the market today.

Problem and goal
Rapid urbanization, wastage of resources, global warming, inefficient construction methods and unshared ideas are all part of the underlying problem that forces people to live in ways they don’t want to. These forces result in a lack of choice, along with high prized and unsustainable housing. All the technical knowledge is already available to solve these issues. The problem is to get the knowledge and creativity where it’s needed most and where the impact can be most meaningful. We need to generate choice!

Think big
For the first time modular housing systems will be used to create diversity instead of uniformity. We want to create smart, modular housing systems, with comparable and understandable designs, consisting of elements that are sustainable, flexible and affordable. An online platform offers applied global knowledge of sustainable and flexible designs sensitive to specific local conditions and materials. The designs are then open to be improved and adapted to new personal needs or other local conditions. Through online and local collaboration OS-House operates simultaneously from bottom-up and top-down.

Start small
To kick of the big concept OS-House starts small with a design competition. The assignment of the competition is a single family house for the emerging middle class in Ghana on a plot within the Cape City project. To embed OS-House in the local context in Ghana we’ve conducted extensive research and built local commitment. All information will be made available on the platform. Contact and cooperation with local parties is promoted, encouraged and facilitated by the platform. The winning design(s) will be built and mark the start of something big.

Scale fast
Not only will the winners of the competition have the chance to see their designs become realized. After this first competition OS-House will continue to promote the implementation of more OS-Houses, realize more designs, organize new competitions and stimulate local parties to use designs and adapt them to their local conditions. Our goal is to realize 100.000 OS-Houses before the year 2020!

When the Ghana competition ends May 15th, the platform will offer a huge diversity of sustainable designs. These will form the basis for this important mission. So join the competition, get involved and make sure your design, power and name are connected to this project from the start.


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