In 2006, Doug Sharp put together a team of architects within BSB Design with one goal: design a sturdy home, with lightweight materials, that would be easy to ship and could be built in one day by one family. All this for as little money as possible.
The need for safe, sanitary and durable housing is global. It’s the first crucial step for improving the health, safety and quality of life for millions of people living in poverty, as well as victims of natural disaster.
GLOBAL POVERTY Today, a billion people—32% of the global urban population—live in urban slums. The United Nations projects that if no serious action is taken, the number of slum dwellers worldwide will increase to 2 billion over the next 30 years. Adequate housing is vitally important to the health of the people as well as the world’s economies. Abod is an affordable, flexible solution that could serve as a foundation for a healthier micro or even macro community to emerge. The initial Abod was designed to allow people to sell things directly out of their homes—which can allow people to generate income and support themselves.
ECONOMY 1.2 billion people in the world experience “income poverty,” meaning that they live on the US equivalent of less than $1 US per day . And in Africa, households need an average of 12.5 times their annual income to buy a house, making it a nearly impossible achievement.
Creating factories in countries and communities that adopt the Abod housing solution would not only help the housing crisis, but also create jobs for local people and boost economic development. Good housing in communities in turn attracts economic investment, contributes to potential education systems, and promotes positive community development.
NATURAL DISASTERS Natural disasters like typhoons, earthquakes and hurricanes create the immediate need for housing on a massive scale, particularly in countries already plagued by inadequate housing and poor construction. Often times, when disaster strikes in a country already gripped in debt, its government is unable to help its people, leaving families to sink or swim. Since the Abod can be constructed in one day, it could help provide quick relief to some when the need arises.
HEALTH With poverty often comes infectious disease, due to overcrowding, lack of access to healthcare services, and lack of immunization. An estimated 40 million people are living with HIV/AIDS, and millions die each year. Each year also brings 350-500 million cases of malaria, and 1 million deaths. And according to UNICEF, 24,000 children die each day . A stable micro community built of Abod units could provide just the stability and sanitation needed to combat disease in impoverished areas. Dr. Blessman’s community is a fine example, as it will offer healthcare, shelter and stability for orphans of HIV/AIDS.
SAFETY The safety of women and children is a huge issue in many third world urban slums and in areas where natural disaster has occurred. The simple act of fetching water can become a terrorizing experience for young girls and women who are sexually assaulted. Girls and women are scared to use showers or toilets, and each day brings horrible fears. Abod communities provide strength and security in numbers. Elders can bond, and watch each others’ children. Beyond physical safety, this kind of stability provides a healthier emotional state of mind.