No matter where they are built around the world, Habitat for Humanity homes are constructed according to the same guiding principles.
Habitat For Humanity houses are:
Simple - the houses are modestly sized; large enough for the homeowner family's needs, but small enough to keep construction and maintenance costs to a minimum.
Decent - we use quality building materials. Trained staff supervise construction and educate volunteers and partner families.
Appropriate - affiliates source building materials locally, and house designs reflect the local climate and culture.
Cost-effective - labour of volunteers and partner families, efficient building methods, modest house sizes and a no-profit, mortgage make it affordable for low-income people around the world to purchase a Habitat For Humanity home.
Designs that fit
From the tropical islands of the Philippines to the mountains of Peru, Habitat for Humanity builds houses designed for the local setting. Affiliates build with locally sourced materials, reducing costs and making it easier for homeowners to maintain their houses. For example:
- Houses in many African countries are constructed with fired clay bricks, with tile roofs made of cement or fired clay.
- Houses in Latin America are often built with concrete block or adobe walls with metal roofs.
- Houses in the Pacific are often built with wood frames and constructed on stilts.
Building resistance to earthquakes in Guatemala
Adapted to users
- People in different countries use their houses in different ways.
- Habitat for Humanity's house designs reflect these cultural considerations. Some examples:
- Families in many African countries cook meals outdoors - in these countries, house plans call for a kitchen area outside rather than inside the house.
- In the Philippines, families traditionally do laundry and other chores on a small outdoor utility porch, so Filipino Habitat for Humanity house designs reflect this custom.
HFH's Environmental Intiative
Habitat for Humanity is committed to resource- and energy-efficient building practices. Habitat for Humanity's Environmental Initiative teaches affiliate staff and volunteers to use sustainable construction techniques which conserve natural resources and reduce long-term costs for Habitat for Humanity homeowners. For more information.