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Open Source House

Open Source House

Case Ghana

By providing sustainable and affordable housing designs, Enviu wants to improve the overall quality of life in urban areas of emerging countries. Through an online platform, around 3,100 architects joined the competition and shared their designs for everybody to use.

Download/view the full Learning Case PDF here.


More than a billion people in the world live in slums and that number is growing rapidly. The inhabitants of these slums are, contrary to what we often think, people with a decent job and a steady income. Because the interest rates on mortgages go up to thirty percent on a yearly basis, they cannot afford appropriate housing. Besides that, most of the built houses are outside their income range.


We started the project by organising a challenging competition to create a sustainable, flexible and locally embedded one-family house to be built in Ghana. Over 3,100 architects from 45 countries subscribed to our challenge and shared their 250 designs online!

We used the winning design, “Emerging Ghana” of Blaanc Architects, to build a pilot house in Cape Coast, Ghana. To offer people a complete package of affordable and sustainable housing and an affordable mortgage, we started INURBA.


Within eight years, we intend to provide 100,000 families with affordable and sustainable housing designs. Our first project through inurba will start fall 2012 in Ghana. In 2013 we intend to house 160 families.

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