Phala, Chariya and their four children on their porch.

Keeping climate change in mind

Earlier this year, Phala, Chariya and their four children moved into a climate-sensitive Habitat home they helped build Cambodia’s Battambang province. The look of their home is similar to others in the area — but the difference is in the details.

Adapted window design that increases ventilation. Polycarbonate walls that let in more light, with other materials that reduce interior heat by 80%. Larger water tanks in a rainwater catchment system for home gardening.

A blue house with a blue background.

Over the next three years, Habitat Cambodia plans to build 15 additional climate-sensitive houses in the province. Each home will be adjusted to meet the family’s distinct needs and circumstances.

Additional features might include a biogas cookstove to reduce the use of household fuel, a twin pit toilet for eco-friendly waste management, or a micro-drip irrigation system that sends water directly to the roots of plants. Each feature is designed to work with nature, to improve the functionality of the structure, to reduce energy usage — and to help families thrive.

“There is more space for my children, and my family sleeps well every night,” says Chariya. “When we were living in the old house, I needed to get plastic sheets to cover things whenever it rained. Now there is no need to because the new house protects us well.”