Building specs -- Habitat for Humanity Int'l 1
Typical two-room Habitat houses in Madagascar are 28 square meters (301 square feet), made of clay bricks and tiles with wooden doors and windows. A pit latrine is located outside.
Much of Habitat’s building is incremental, allowing for home construction in a series of shorter, more affordable phases. The maximum loan period is five years. As families pay off their loans, they are free to take out new loans to continue to expand their homes.
The cost of building a complete house is $2,250; $1,560 for the first phase of an incremental build.
House design guidelines emphasize the use of local materials and labor to promote livelihoods and environmental sustainability. Using clay bricks rather than cement blocks can cut the cost of building a house by half, and using purpose-grown eucalyptus trees for windows and doors can reduce the impact on native forests. The choice of building materials for each project is based on affordability, durability and required maintenance and on the environmental conditions of the region—whether it’s rainy, dry or prone to floods, for example.