The entire project for creating sustainable social housing with rammed earth for the most affected families by hurricane Odile, which we created for CapaLAB together with FabriKG, comes from the need to re-think the standard Mexican typology for low income housing. Normally, when one thinks of low income housing, to mind come images of grey, badly built homes, with thin walls, and many other insufficiencies. Such homes can be called a ‘house’ only because they have four walls and some kind of a roof and because it suits political interests. The truth is, low income housing is most often done with concrete cinder block, with materials of bad quality, spaces are badly planned, and materials used are often the ones that have been given, found, and/or discarded from other construction works. With Casa O our aim was to re-think this standard Mexican typology for low income housing and turn it into a smart, sustainable, weather resistant, climate-smart home, suitable for auto-construction. The objective was to create a house one would find joy to live in, and call it a home.
With the help of Cabo Hurricane Fund and Grassroots Global, the first homes in a project that is set to provide housing for 100 families (and hopefully more), are starting to be built, Casa O being the prototype. At a10studio we feel very happy to be part of a project which aims not only to “re-build houses”, but to really make an impact in a community and in the personal development of people strongly affected by Hurricane Odile. One of our biggest objectives with this sustainable social housing project is also education, where we want to show the community members different, sustainable means to build their own home, the one that will be able to sustain weather and climate effects, and can be built with their own hands with the most resilient and noble material: dirt
This following video tells us a little bit more about the first families we are able to help through this project, and hopefully the first of many who will demonstrate that rammed earth is a viable and sustainable construction method which can remediate a lot of the housing problems and needs in Baja, in Mexico and in many places around the world.