Building $300 houses in developing countries

As housing is one of the most important necessities and still unavailabe for many, Jovoto, a website for mass collaboration wrote out a contest to come up with innovative designs to build houses that cost under $300 and can be built in a sustainable way. The contest is sponsored by Ingersoll Rand.

Out of many reactions the public voted for the winner: The Hyper-Wattle House by P Stouter. It is built from tubular rubble bags, allowing the process of construction to be carried out at a higher pace.

$300 dollar housing contest

The winner


All the ideas are innovative and convincing in simplicity, Relying on the community to work together on the houses, and gather local materials for the construction most of the concepts also build a stronger social cohesion within the community.

The architects, engineers and students who created the designs not only made designs on paper, but also put a lot of effort in proving their theories by building models and some even by building the houses. (picture of model by PStouter)

$300 dollar housing contest, winner

Studying the ideas will give you a lot of insights in clever ways of handling local, low-cost materials like rubble to create housing and better conditions of life.

My personal favorite is the Superadobe Project of Rogerio Almeida and Gustavo Thron, voted 3rd, I totally love the flexibility of the design.

300 dollar housing contest for developing countries, number 3

My personal favorite.


Written by Jop Timmers

Jop is the founder of Design for Good, experienced product designer, innovation manager, author, sustainability expert, was trained as a C2C design consultant in 2009 and was a part time product design teacher for 9 years. He is passionate about sustainable and social innovation.

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  1. Hey Jop,

    My name is Jordan Crowell I love the idea that you have about the houses you have created and designed I think they are absolutely fantastic and I feel that it is so revolutionary in changing the world. I have a business that is just getting started that I would love to connect with you in helping fund you to build these homes in places through out the world. I would absolutely love to connect and here some of your ideas.

    Sincerely, Jordan Crowell

    • Hello Jordan,

      Thanks for your email.
      I did not make these houses, I merely blogged about them, because I admired the project so much.

      Kind regards,

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