$20,000 House

In 2004-5, Hana participated in the Outreach Programme at the Rural Studio in Alabama designing and building the first prototype home as part of the $20,000 research programme, which aimed to find a replicable housing solution for local families living in poverty and trapped in squalid housing. The budget was set by a means-tested government home-ownership loan, which was capped at $20,000 for those on the lowest incomes - previously there was no design on the market that approached this price.

The resulting design was a highly efficient yet generous structure, responsive to the local vernacular, using the available basic skills and materials, and as energy-efficient as possible. It cost just over $12,000 in materials, with the remainder of the budget estimated to cover labour and profit when replicated by a local contractor. Building the structure ourselves as a team brought lessons for the next iteration of the design.