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Star Homes*

Mtwara, Tanzania

Ingvartsen Arkitekter 

Jakob Knudsen, Otis Sloan Brittain, Hannah Wood


MORU / University of Oxford

Constructed (PoE ongoing)

09.2018 - 07.2021

62m2 (house) + 5m2 (latrine) x 110

Sub-Saharan Africa will account for most of the world’s population growth over the coming decades, with the number of people expected to double to 2.5 billion by 2050. When taking the existing housing stock into consideration, we predict this will require over 400 million new houses to be constructed, yet the options currently available for families wanting to upgrade their homes are limited.

Star Homes is a prototype housing project which brings the latest innovations in entomology, public health, and passive design together in a holistic approach to improve family wellbeing. The project has been conducted in three phases: the prototype phase (Nov 2018 - June 2019); the scaling up phase (June 2019 - June 2021); and the health study phase (June 2021- ), where the health of 440 children living in the novel homes will be compared with 1320 children living in local control houses.

The Star Home was designed with an interdisciplinary, science-driven approach inspired by traditional housing in tropical, South-East Asia and tailored to the hot-humid climate of the Mtwara region. From our initial calculations, the house uses ~70% less concrete and ~40% less embodied energy than a typical local concrete block house per m2.

The Star Home and latrine was constructed for $8000 (at scale we expect closer to $6000). We anticipate that low operational and maintenance costs over the house’s lifespan will unlock time otherwise spent on rebuilding, recovering from preventable illnesses and collecting water to enable families to lift themselves out of poverty long-term.

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Public health: Lorenz von Seidlein, Salum Mshamu

Entomology: Steven Lindsay, Arnold Mbando

Contractor: Ecohomes, Tanzania

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