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Low-Cost Housing Concept, Irak

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Advantageous housing concept

We are convinced that through an economic feasible concept we can offer the government of Iraq the opportunity to strengthen their objective to built sufficient houses for low income families. Therefore we invented an economic advantageous housing concept, that can be applied in cities, in existing Master Plans as well as in the smaller towns and villages. The concept is not fixed to one location, but is appli-cable in each of the 18 governorates of Iraq, from the high north to the deep south.
We speak of an integral concept, covering urban design, the urban building block, the architecture of the building as well as the building materials and the building process. Only through such an integral concept, large scale advantages can be achieved in the demand for low cost housing.

Step one: the ICF building system
Low cost housing starts with the ICF Building Systems. This system is quick and easy to execute, economic and available in the local market. As for the material/construction cost, the design is based on cost/time efficiency, a pre-engineered system using materials suitable for low cost construction. The material shows good thermal insulation, sound insulation, humidity resistance, as well as a good sustainability. By placing local mobile manufacturing units for the production of the ICF Building System, the process does not require high techniques for execution and will be fixed by local workers. This adds to the social component of our vision: local craftsmen are implemented in the development process from the building block up to the actual construction of the houses.

Step two: the standard lay out of 4 housing types
With the ICF Building System we construct 4 standard housing types, ranging from extra small, small, medium and large dwellings, all in the low cost segment. Because of the smart and efficient lay out, we can provide many arrangements of the house on the individual plot. We can also use the standard design for appartments which we didn’t include for this tender, but is also possible and usable in the future with the same flexibillity. This creates a wide variety of possibilities and individual desires.

Step three: the Smart Grid
Step 3 provides a concept for a liveable and sustainable urban environment. We call this the ‘Smart Grid’, as opposed to the hundreds of uniform grids in Iraqi cities. The Smart Grid offers shaded public space, suitable for pedestrians and social life. Interconnected walkable areas provide citizens, especially children, with a safe and green environment. The Smart Grid is suitable for the proposed 4 standard housing types. Housing type can be arranged on the plot in 24 different arrangements within the Smart Grid, providing sufficient diversity for the grid to never become uniform.

Step four: an integral urban concept
We implemented the Smart Grid into a larger urban concept, to show the possibilities of low cost housing in a broader perspective. We created a Master Plan for a New Town, in which low cost housing is introduced in several neighbourhoods and quarters. It is important to take into consideration the scale of low cost housing in an urban district. An area of 100 hectares consisting only of low cost housing should not be regarded as sustainable. A successful neighbourhood has to be divers, with a balanced building program and a mixture of different housing types.