Solution Overview & Team Lead Details

Our Organization

Blue Temple

Add a comment

Read comments
No comments to show.

What is the name of your solution?

Housing NOW

Add a comment

Read comments
No comments to show.

Provide a one-line summary of your solution.

Bamboo affordable housing in Myanmar for the price of a smartphone.

2
Add a comment

Read comments
Loading…

What specific problem are you solving?

Since the 1st of February 2021 military coup followed by a nationwide civil war, the country has seen a tremendous increase of Internally Displaced People (IDP); today they amount to nearly a million. Moreover, according to a report by The Bartlett Development Planning Unit at UCL, published in October 2021 called "Forced Evictions of Squatters during the Coup in Hlaing Thayar, Yangon. From Squatting to Homelessness", Yangon has seen massive human rights abuse occur in slum evictions. *1

According to the Asian Development Bank (ADB) report on “Financing Affordable Housing in Yangon” published in May 2019, the demand for affordable housing in Yangon is 100,000 housing units per year. The public sector was able to supply 9,200 units in 2016, while the private sector supplies between 7,000-9,000 units, although none of them were targeted for ‘low to lower-middle-income households’; they were exclusively aimed at the high-end markets. 

“As a result, the government’s efforts alone are not sufficient, and will never be able to meet the increasing demand for affordable housing. Therefore, the private sector should be encouraged to play a more active role in increasing the supply of affordable housing.” *2

While the demand for affordable housing continues to rise due to the effects of rapid urbanization; internal migrations because of climate change; poverty; the need for house replacement because of damages; the supply is heavily lacking. The effects of this lack of supply generate an increase in households having to resort to informal settlements as a solution.

Regarding the ‘Recommendations and Road Map for the Development of a Climate-Resilient Housing Sector in the Yangon Region’, point number (iii) is: “Explore a suite of PPP models to accelerate the supply of climate-resilient affordable housing, and adopt good practices from emerging economies in the region.” The private sector has an important role to play in the response to this lack of supply.

Although Yangon Region is by far the most developed part of the country, this tendency and lack of a strong affordable housing supply can be seen all over the country. There is a large-scale and urgent need for affordable housing in the country.

*1 - https://www.ucl.ac.uk/bartlett...

*2 - https://www.adb.org/sites/defa...

Add a comment

Read comments
No comments to show.

What is your solution?

Our solution is large-scale production of high-quality; durable; and prefabricated bamboo affordable houses in Myanmar.

Solution 1: cheaper material sourcing and the design of optimized structural frames

  • Using small diameter bamboo:

Very few bamboo species are used for construction because their natural internal structure allows them to bear a load. There are more than 350 species of bamboo in Myanmar, only 7 of which are used in construction because of their load-bearing capacities. Finding a way to use the abundant and cheapest species of bamboo on the local market would radically lower the cost of construction. 

Smaller bamboo has a high bending capacity that allows for more complex designs. Bundling together sets of bamboo subsequently makes the structure more resilient to damage compared to a single large bamboo. The structure’s integrity is no longer subjected to its weakest link, it is a composite material within a monolithic structure.

51404_bamboo_1440x810.jpg

Figure 1: Oxytenanthera albocialiata Munro supply (small diameter bamboo)

Solution 2: modular system / participatory and hybrid construction process

  • The design of structural frames as a modular system:

According to the size/condition of the land, the overall budget, the number of people per family; the number of frames used to build a house, and the selection of materials used to build the walls, floor, and roof between the frames, can vary. In this case, the house fulfills the individual needs of each household, and small savings can also be done by providing the specifically needed house size per household instead of a generic size.

The modularity allows for prefabrication where quality control of the whole assembly chain is easily monitored. In case of damage, the frames are easily replaced with new ones without the need to dismantle the entire house.

51407_modular_1440x810.jpg

Figure 2: Modular design

  • Participatory and hybrid construction process:

The walls, floor, and roof are built on-site with local workers. The household can give an ‘input’ as to which materials they specifically prefer using (bamboo, wood, corrugated steel plates, …) This participatory process allows for a stronger feeling of ownership of the property and further aligns the house arrangement with the needs of the family.

52103_Presentation6_1440x810.jpg

Figure 3: Hybrid construction process

Add a comment

Read comments
No comments to show.

Who does your solution serve, and in what ways will the solution impact their lives?

Our solution serves families in Myanmar who live in precarious housing conditions. The prefabrication allows for simple transportation of the structural frames to any given site in the country by collaborating closely with local truck drivers and logistics companies in case of large-scale construction projects such as community housing projects.

Our design can respond to emergency cases by overproducing frames and storing them; after the order is placed, we can immediately start shipping out the houses. These houses can therefore become a transitional housing solution for families who have escaped from violence due to political events.

51415_truck_1440x810.jpg

Figure 1: Transportation of the frames

Add a comment

Read comments
No comments to show.

How are you and your team well-positioned to deliver this solution?

We have been operating, working, and living in Myanmar since 2016; started a local architecture design studio called Blue Temple. We have been focussing ever since on the construction of community bamboo constructions with our local partners specializing in bamboo construction.

We have been closely working with precarious communities for over 5 years now by becoming official contractors with Habitat for Humanity Myanmar, building over 100 houses for low-income families in Bago Region, using more conventional bamboo construction techniques. Even now, we continue going back to all these villages on a regular basis, employing villagers as construction workers on new projects. This strong relationship we have built in the Region over the years allowed us to have completely open communications and trust with not only the families and neighbors, but also village leaders. We have been able to document not only the needs and specific requirements of families in regard to housing but also the incremental upgrades of the houses that the families themselves would build (kitchen, house extension, shading). Our solution had to allow for this flexibility and change over time.

Based on our preliminary research, even in the case of fully delivered built units, the architecture evolves over time, it is subjected to incremental upgrades, the owner adds over time new extensions (kitchen, storage, shrine, …), renovates, and/or upgrades existing parts. Presuming that the design of a delivered unit is final isn’t accurate. Taking this flexibility and evolution into consideration in the design and the financing creates new opportunities to explore and makes the proposal much more tailored around the actual existing nature of the architecture. In this logic, we dissected the house in different parts, the first being the ‘structural frame’ and the second part, the walls, floor, and roof. The structural frame; which is the most complex and expensive part, on top of which the rest of the house is supported; is the part we focus our design and production on. The walls, floor, and roof aren’t designed and built by us, it will be done locally working with builders from the village.

We have also been working together closely with informal settlements along an urban above-ground water pipeline in Yangon, link below. Finally, through our extended local network, we have been working with slum dwellers, incrementally upgrading their living arrangements in Dala Township.

- Link to the research with informal settlements in Yangon: https://www.blue-temple.com/pr...

Our portfolio is composed of bamboo community-led public spaces in the city.

51416_blue-temple-bamboo-playground-7_1440x810.jpg

Figure 1: Bamboo playground in a local middle school

51412_blue-temple-plot-ABC-1_1440x810.jpg

Figure 2: 1-acre community park north of Yangon

Our team is composed of three partners:

- Raphaël Ascoli: Founder of Blue Temple, an architecture design studio in Yangon, dedicated to bringing creative and critical thinking into the architecture industry in Myanmar. Has initiated a number of projects in public space, mapping, academics and is now publishing a book on low-tech innovation in Myanmar.

- Kyaw Zin Latt: Specialized in bamboo construction, he has been working with 'Habitat for Humanity Myanmar' with whom he built over 100 bamboo houses. Has broad experience working with NGOs, international volunteers, and private clients.

- Antonio Duarte: Architect and visual artist. Partner of Blue Temple. Researcher in architecture, culture, and technology. 10 years+ experience in architecture and art projects at different scales. His work has been exhibited in galleries, institutions, and independent spaces in America, Europe, and Asia.

Add a comment

Read comments
No comments to show.

Which dimension of the Challenge does your solution most closely address?

Enable mass production of inexpensive and low-carbon housing, including changes to design, materials, and construction methods.

Add a comment

Read comments
No comments to show.

Where our solution team is headquartered or located:

Bago, Myanmar (Burma)
Add a comment

Read comments
No comments to show.

Our solution's stage of development:

Pilot
Add a comment

Read comments
No comments to show.

How many people does your solution currently serve?

The pilot project intends to serve 10 low-income families, a total of 50 people.

Add a comment

Read comments
No comments to show.

Why are you applying to Solve?

As a young startup company, innovating in new construction low-tech technologies in Myanmar, we are desperately needing credibility in order to apply for tenders, find the right partners and potential clients. If we were to be selected by the jury, this would demonstrate that our design has gained international recognition and support. We will be able to leverage the newly acquired online visibility to promote the project in the country and gain momentum to kickstart the production.

Secondly, as non of the founding partners have studied business, getting in touch with an international network of mentors and like-minded entrepreneurs will give us the necessary tools to better plan out the roadmap and business plan. This advisory support from the network will help improve the sustainability of the business and keep the production going, perhaps even find opportunities to think of exporting to neighboring ASEAN countries and even further.

Lastly, it is our goal to promote bamboo architecture to professionals and academics around the world. Becoming a part of this program will give us a platform for us to engage and present our ideas. We hope to have the chance of teaching people about bamboo design and treatment processes.

Add a comment

Read comments
No comments to show.

In which of the following areas do you most need partners or support?

Public Relations (e.g. branding/marketing strategy, social and global media)

Add a comment

Read comments
No comments to show.

Who is the Team Lead for your solution?

Raphaël Ascoli

Add a comment

Read comments
No comments to show.
More About Your Solution

What makes your solution innovative?

We are innovating in a whole new construction technique which Dave Hodgkin, Senior Shelter and Settlements Specialist at Miyamoto International and author of the "Humanitarian Bamboo Guidelines", described as "cutting edge research".

In order to create a design that can use commonly non-structurally performing materials in a structurally performing way, we used advanced computational design tools such as 2D topology optimization, interpreted the result of the engine, and modified the model to make it practically easier to fabricate with local workers. Computational design tools can therefore be used to reassess materials that are commonly non-commodifiable, create a new utility, and mobilize abundant and untapped resources that are often beyond the realm of marketization. As a result, compared to conventional bamboo houses in Myanmar, we are able to build four times cheaper while providing a stronger and more durable structure.

The impact of the research is intended to both address needs in Myanmar by providing a new solution to the local market, as well as developing a new field within the bamboo construction industry and promoting the advantages of this new technique to professionals and academics.

Furthermore, our solution is also innovative on a local level, prefabrication in construction hasn't yet been tested here. The concept is still very new and can be described as contextual innovation.

Add a comment

Read comments
No comments to show.

What are your impact goals for the next year and the next five years, and how will you achieve them?

  • SDG 1 - No Poverty

1.1. End precarious housing in Myanmar

Goal:

One of the main perpetuating factors of poverty, ironically, is housing in Myanmar. According to the 2014 Myanmar Population and Housing Census, up to 42.7 percent of housing units in rural areas are constructed from bamboo, and 23.6 percent in urban areas. Bamboo is the cheapest building material in Myanmar, therefore the most common because of widespread poverty. Low-income households cannot afford long-term solutions, therefore, the house gets damaged due to lack of proper maintenance, the lack of proper treatment of the bamboo, the lack of proper footings to protect the bamboo against exposure to water during the rainy season, flooding, high winds, and more. 

Every year, they need to rebuild the house but don’t have enough money to do so, therefore they borrow money from non-regulated sources around the village, they become unfairly indebted but still don’t have access to decent housing. If the debt payments are not done in time, some households can find themselves in dangerous situations and have to leave to start a new home elsewhere. This vicious circle keeps them in a state of poverty, perpetually owing money to others, and not having decent living conditions. Our goal is to break this vicious circle by proposing a durable and affordable solution.

  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth

8.1. Train and recruit unemployed local staff

Goal:

To continue training and recruiting construction workers from villages. During the pilot project, which will consist of building 10 free-of-charge houses for families who are in need of decent shelter, we will be employing unemployed family members who wish to take part in the construction of their own homes. By doing so, we will create a whole network of skilled workers which will be important to have when scaling up production. This recruitment methodology can allow the most marginalized to access employment.

8.2. Create new jobs for local village construction workers

Goal:

By promoting and making accessible new affordable housing microcredit packages to a broad customer base, new construction projects will appear in villages. The idea of having the walls, floor, and roof of the house be built on-site through local sub-contractors chosen directly by the household will provide new jobs for construction workers in the village, therefore bolstering rural growth.

8.3. Expanding the industry of bamboo construction

Goal:

Bamboo craftsmanship is slowly losing popularity in Myanmar because it is generally perceived as a poor man's timber. By innovating in the field and showcasing modern techniques of utilization with species that are not yet used for construction, the project will initiate a creative momentum in the industry that will slowly change the existing mindset and expand the industry to new opportunities for development.

  • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure

9.1. Computational design and digital fabrication development

Goal:

While advanced computational design tools are made globally accessible, real-world applications are limited by their complexity. Topology optimization generates optimum shapes in response to specific sets of conditions and parameters. This design process is usually affiliated with 3D printing, and unaffordable technology in emerging economies. Using locally found materials and low-cost simple construction techniques inspired by vernacular architecture integrates its digital fabrication into ordinary real-world workflows. This proposal explores a different form of application, resolving the discrepancy between the complexity of design and affordability of construction. The goal is to increase the use of new modern design technologies in the architecture industry in Myanmar by showcasing real-world applications. 

  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities

11.1. Ensure access to adequate, safe, and affordable housing

Goal:

To create a large-scale production of affordable housing in Myanmar. Adding to the local market is a new housing option that combines a prefabricated element, a locally build element, and a microfinance loan. This package would allow a large customer base to afford high-quality, safe, and affordable houses.

11.2. Bamboo as a sustainable and green construction material

Goal:

The building and construction sector, according to the World Green Building Council (WorldGBC), represents 39% of total world carbon emissions. There needs to be a serious transition in the industry in order to start addressing climate change. Bamboo is a type of grass that can be harvested every 3 years during the course of its 100-year long lifespan. It can help to quickly regenerate damaged forests because of over-logging and slash-and-burn agriculture (ongoing major issues in Myanmar); while providing a sustainable source of income and construction materials. 

According to ‘Bamboo Botanicals’, bamboo sequesters greenhouse gas and releases oxygen at a 30% higher rate than a similar mass of trees. By triggering a development in the bamboo farming industry and the bamboo construction sector, we would provide a contributing solution to climate change. This would also provide an affordable and sustainable source of income for farmers as the plant requires low maintenance, can be harvested every 3 years, and can grow in record-breaking time. 

The current treatment process of the plant is done today using borax and boric acid which are sold as fertilizers on the local market. The solution in the treatment tanks, after usage, needs to be diluted properly in order to be used later as a fertilizer for farming. We are researching ways of creating a low-impact alternative for the bamboo treatment process.

Our goal is to propose a negative carbon footprint option to the affordable housing market in Myanmar.

11.3. Community-led bamboo treatment center

Goal:

In order to guarantee the quality of the end product, the treatment center needs to be as close as possible to the location of the resource to prevent a long delay between the harvest and the start of the treatment process. Therefore, a close collaboration with indigenous groups in rural Myanmar is necessary. This partnership will provide additional tools for the community to defend their land and rights associated with indigenous forest management in the broader context of the ongoing land seizing threats throughout the country. This treatment center will increase sustainable rural development in Myanmar.

Add a comment

Read comments
No comments to show.

How are you measuring your progress toward your impact goals?

  • SDG 1 - No Poverty

1.1. End precarious housing in Myanmar

Qualitative metrics:

During the course of the pilot project, a part of the money donated through the crowdfunding campaign will be assigned to local female social workers who will work closely over an extended period of time with the families to whom we will be donating 10 free-of-charge houses. The social workers will be recording the particular needs of each household before the start of the construction and documenting feedback from the families after construction. This data will be extremely important to evaluate the impact this project has directly on the families.

  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth

8.1. Train and recruit unemployed local staff

Quantitative metrics:

The results will be measured in the number of employed staff who come from low to lower-middle-income households

8.2. Create new jobs for local village construction workers

Quantitative metrics:

The results will be measured yearly according to the total amount of microloans provided by Housing Micro Finance (HMF).

Qualitative metrics:

By cross-referencing the quantitative metrics with the geographic location of the construction to properly assess the impact of the microloan on rural development.

8.3. Expanding the industry of bamboo construction

Qualitative metrics:

Through the use of workshops, we will be able to connect with architects and builders and disseminate knowledge related to bamboo treatment and construction. Building up this network will allow us to be aware of new bamboo architecture projects in the Region and document their innovative use of the material. The ‘production HUB’ will also be welcoming national and international volunteers to come and collaborate in building the frames and installing the frames on-site for the customer (provided the current global situation with COVID-19 allows it). This process will allow us to initiate a momentum of excitement around the modern application of traditional materials.

51619_warehouse_1440x810.jpg

Figure 1: On-going construction of the production HUB

  • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure

9.1. Computational design and digital fabrication development

Qualitative Metrics:

The expansion of the industry can be monitored through the availability of these tools in academic curriculums such as a university program in architecture departments in Myanmar. We have already completed our ninth free-of-charge architecture design workshop in Myanmar, teaching computational design to students throughout the country, Yangon, Mandalay, Myitkyina. The workshops last between 1 to 2 weeks period, with a number of 4 to 10 participants. They allow students to study and practice new skills they wouldn't otherwise have access to because all schools and universities have been closed for the past 2 years due to political events.

  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities

11.1. Ensure access to adequate, safe, and affordable housing

Quantitative metrics:

This goal will be evaluated through the yearly increase of structural frames build in the ‘production HUB’.

11.2. Bamboo as a sustainable and green construction material

Quantitative metrics:

Our project will start by mapping the availability of resources in the country. This study will give us indications as to what the current situation looks like in Myanmar. Through close collaboration with suppliers, we will be able to evaluate the development of the farming area as our demand for bamboo will grow. Through our holistic approach, in controlling each step of the supply chain from material sourcing, to assembly, storage, transportation, and installation, we will be able to evaluate the initial carbon footprint of the house and follow its evolution during the next phases of the development.

11.3. Community-led bamboo treatment center

Qualitative metrics:

By monitoring land readjustment policy initiatives in the region, we will be able to evaluate the impact of our project on local ethnic groups.

Add a comment

Read comments
No comments to show.

What is your theory of change?

The proposed solution will have an immediate impact on the problem. It proposes an answer to emergency needs by creating a stock of overproduced frames that are stored in the production HUB. 

It tackles affordability needs by decreasing the price times four compared to conventional bamboo construction as well as providing a safe micro-credit option. We are improving the quality of construction, by providing a fully tested earthquake-proof and wind-proof design using bamboo that has been properly treated and properly designed footings.

Our design allows for families living in precarious conditions not to have to resort to a compromise between price and quality of construction.

Activities: Large scale production of cheap housing

Outputs: Provide high quality and affordable housing solutions

Outcome: Help solve the housing deficit and homelessness problem in Myanmar 

Add a comment

Read comments
No comments to show.

Describe the core technology that powers your solution.

The actual radically new technology that powers our solution is the bundling of small diameter bamboo. In order to implement real-world applications of this technology, new processes had to be included in the design. Such processes include the computing of the structure using algorithms and 1:1 scale construction and testing of prototypes.

Since we are using unconventional and non-load-bearing bamboo as our main construction material, the design of the house itself couldn't be done in a classical way. We used computational design tools to generate an optimized structure for the house. 

Calculating the structural integrity of the frame is incredibly difficult because it is a complex composite material made of many small non-isomorphic parts. The software we have used is called Millipede, which runs on Grasshopper, a Rhinoceros plugin; it is able to compute 2D topology optimizations. The overall shape where we allowed the software to work was defined according to local regulations such as the overhang distance of the roof, local context such as the raised floor as a form of protection during the rainy season, the overall dimensions of the interior space. The 2D mesh result based on a stiffness factor shows an optimized overall shape that responds to the sets of loads we predetermined, such as live load, dead load, and three footings for support.

In order to start 3D modeling the frame for visualization purposes and quotation preparation for prototyping, we needed to interpret the results of the program. This interpretation resulted in simplifying the overall shape, and according to the color gradient extracted from the principal stress 2D result mesh, creating different densities of polylines. To do so, we extracted the iso-curves from the stress pattern by creating different densities of seeds according to the color gradient. We created a virtual 3D mold and used Kangaroo 2 collider component to evenly spread out the contained polylines in order to mimic the bundling of the bamboo. 

The entire frame is made out of 350 small diameter bamboo poles. In order to create the smallest file size, we used the MeshPipe component of Ameba instead of the usual NURB (Non-Uniform Rational B-Spline) piping component. The metal strapping was placed at the start and end of each branch segment.

51406_topo_1440x810.jpg

Figure 1: Computational 2D topology optimization

Add a comment

Read comments
No comments to show.

Which of the following categories best describes your solution?

A new technology

Add a comment

Read comments
No comments to show.

How do you know that this technology works?

As an independent researcher, I've started promoting these findings by publishing papers at international conferences around the world.

Ascoli, R. (2021). Augmenting Computational Design Agency in Emerging Economies. PROJECTIONS, Proceedings of the 26th International Conference of the Association for Computer-Aided Architectural Design Research in Asia (CAADRIA) 2021, Volume 2, 639-648. © 2021 and published by the Association for Computer-Aided Architectural Design Research in Asia (CAADRIA), Hong Kong.

- Link: https://caadria2021.org/sessio...

We are now writing our second paper that will soon be published in The International Conference on Non-conventional Materials and Technologies NOCMAT 2022 called ‘HOUSING NOW’: INVESTIGATING REAL-WORLD UNCONVENTIONAL BAMBOO APPLICATIONS FOR LOW-COST HOUSINGThis new paper will cover the findings during a 2-year investigation building four different prototypes.

The process we used to demonstrate the structural performance of the design was the prototyping phase of the project. By repeating the construction of the 1:1 scale models over and over again, the overall shape of the structural frames is optimized as well as construction details. 

The fourth prototype iteration was incredibly successful, not only from a structural point of view but also we were able to dismantle the structure in a couple of hours, ship the house to another location and rebuild it. 

This prototype is a proof of concept.

51413_prototype_1440x810.jpg

Figure 1: Prototype iterations for the affordable housing project

52107_c%20marketing%20image%20test_1440x810.jpg

Figure 2: Prototype #4 completed

Online articles:

- P3 magazine: https://www.publico.pt/2022/03...

- Better Bamboo Buildings: https://www.betterbamboobuildi...

- Design Trust e-PopUp: https://designtrust.hk/homemad...

2
Add a comment

Read comments
Loading…

Please select the technologies currently used in your solution:

  • Biotechnology / Bioengineering
  • Materials Science
Add a comment

Read comments
No comments to show.

Which of the UN Sustainable Development Goals does your solution address?

  • 1. No Poverty
  • 8. Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • 9. Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
  • 11. Sustainable Cities and Communities
Add a comment

Read comments
No comments to show.
Your Team

What type of organization is your solution team?

For-profit, including B-Corp or similar models

Add a comment

Read comments
No comments to show.

How many people work on your solution team?

Founders: 3 people; Full time staff: 5 construction workers; Contractors: local logistics company.

Add a comment

Read comments
No comments to show.

How long have you been working on your solution?

3 years

Add a comment

Read comments
No comments to show.

What is your approach to incorporating diversity, equity, and inclusivity into your work?

As the architecture design studio, Blue Temple, is owned exclusively by Raphaël Ascoli, it was very important for us to create a new company for this project specifically in order to distribute fairly the shares to all founders. The project was incorporated under the Myanmar Companies Law 2017 on 1 October 2021 as a Private Company Limited by Shares under the Directorate of Investment and Company Administration (DICA). The way we structured this new company is inclusive in itself, 40 percent of the shares were given to Kyaw Zin Latt, the local Burmese construction manager. This treatment gave him the confidence and trust to fully commit to the project and feel like a true founder instead of a simple contractor.

Add a comment

Read comments
No comments to show.
Your Business Model & Funding

What is your business model?

Our business model during the first years will be based on a B2B and B2NGO model. In the case of a B2B project which could be, for example, a low-cost housing project, or a low-cost rural guest house, we would be selling multiple houses at a time. In the case of a B2NGO project, we would be directly applying through online tenders to organizations such as Danish Refugee Council (DRC); Danish Red Cross (DRC); International Rescue Committee (IRC); Office Of the United Nations High Commissioners For Refugees (UNHCR).

After a couple of years of operation, we will reach enough momentum to open up our business to a B2C model. Combining our product with a local and established Housing Micro Finance (HMF) organizations package which will allow a wider audience to afford decent housing, we are then able to address a broader customer base.

The basic idea is to make a small profit on large amounts of built houses, instead of large margins on single house construction projects. Through the prototyping phase, the BOQ of the fourth iteration showed that it was possible to generate 300 USD per house by selling them at a 1000 USD price.

Furthermore, by finding new suppliers who can provide us with larger amounts of material needed for prefabrication, and through the purchase of better power tools to increase the productivity of the production, we will consequently be gradually reducing the production costs thanks to economies of scale. This will either allow us to lower the selling price of the house, either increase profit margins to pay back investors, or find a middle ground to benefit both the end-user and the investor.

In 6 months, we plan on achieving a production capacity of 1 house per day. In one year, we would be doubling that number. In 2 years' time, we will be producing new prefabricated homes for a different target market.

Add a comment

Read comments
No comments to show.

Do you primarily provide products or services directly to individuals, to other organizations, or to the government?

Organizations (B2B)
Add a comment

Read comments
No comments to show.

What is your plan for becoming financially sustainable?

The project is bringing in money through different sources:

1- The pilot project which consists of building 10 free-of-charge houses is funded by an ongoing crowdfunding campaign. We are trying to raise 15,000 USD.

- Link: https://www.indiegogo.com/proj...

2- The prototyping phase and construction of the first production HUB to prefabricate the structural frames have been funded directly by the founders as an initial investment.

3- Upon the completion of the pilot project, we will seek online tenders by NGOs specialized in shelter construction as well as private organizations building low-cost housing projects. These projects will generate a profit that will cover the cost of operation.

4- The scaling up of production will be funded by social investors. This money will be needed to purchase land and build a permanent large-scale production HUB.

5- In the future, besides doing business with organizations, we will be open to direct orders from individuals and community groups by creating a package that includes a micro-credit loan for the purchase of houses. Our idea is to make a small profit on large amounts of houses; we are operating in Myanmar, in a context and with a material/technological solution that can keep our operating expenses low. Adding to this equation, the demand for affordable housing is very high in the country. We believe that the combination of these factors will allow us to maintain a sustainable business.

Add a comment

Read comments
No comments to show.

Share some examples of how your plan to achieve financial sustainability has been successful so far.

Our project is still at an early stage of development, we are now preparing for the production of 10 houses in the production HUB that is currently under construction. We are hoping to finalize all the homes before the start of the rainy season this year. 

The crowdfunding campaign has already reached 30 percent of its objective after 15 days since its launch.

- Link: https://www.indiegogo.com/proj...

The founders (Raphaël Ascoli, Kyaw Zin Latt, and Antonio Duarte) of the project have already injected into the company a cumulative amount of 15,000 USD.

Add a comment

Read comments
No comments to show.

Solution Team

 
    Back
to Top