Nairobi, November 9, 2018 - UN-Habitat has recently joined the World Bank, Build Academy, Airbnb, and the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR)) for a global crowd-solving challenge for designs of Resilient Homes. The goal of this challenge is to generate designs for resilient, low-cost and sustainable small houses that can be built for less than $10,000 for people living in vulnerable areas, affected by natural disasters. The deadline for design submissions is November 30, 2018.

Houses throughout the world may be exposed to environmental and health hazards due to lack of proper planning and design, poor quality of construction, inadequate location and access to services, among others. Natural disasters alone caused over 23 million people to become homeless in the past 10 years and displaced over 240 million people often affecting those in poverty the hardest. As 50% of the building stock that will exist in 2050 is yet to be built, housing design and planning can make cities more resilient.

This presents an opportunity to design houses that are more resilient, sustainable, and safe in order to minimize the negative impact of natural disasters, save lives and help communities recover faster. UN-Habitat is joining this initiative in order to promote the Sustainable Development Agenda: SDG target 11.1 calls to “ensure by 2030, access for all to adequate, safe and affordable housing and basic services and upgrade slums”.

The Resilient Homes Challenge partners are hence calling upon architects, engineers, designers and aid workers to reposition housing at the centre of the development agendas, and help design resilient, modular, low-cost and sustainable homes, both for reducing risk of natural hazards and for rapid reconstruction following a disaster.

Architects, engineers, and designers from all over the world can enter the competition either individually or as teams. There is no registration fee for participation. The challenge has been designed for three scenarios:

  • Scenario 1: island countries affected by earthquakes, storms and flooding;
  • Scenario 2: mountain and inland areas affected by earthquakes and landslides;
  • Scenario 3: coastal areas affected by storms and flooding

Design teams can submit designs for any or all three of the scenarios per preference.

Design teams are encouraged to look beyond “fully prefabricated” housing designs and incorporate local building materials into their designs. Designs could be part prefabricated with a clear aim towards ease and low cost of construction.

Winners will be announced on December 14, 2018 after review by a Jury of experts. Winning designs will be published and winners will be invited to exhibit at the World Bank in Washington DC, USA and the Headquarters of UN-Habitat in Nairobi. Winning designs could also eventually inform resilient housing or reconstruction work for World Bank-funded projects in places like the Caribbean, South and East Asia, etc.

To join the challenge and for more information visit:

Partnering organizations:

World Bank, Build Academy, Airbnb, GFDRR and UN-Habitat