A new house called Framework House was inaugurated under the Habitat for Humanity Cambodia Phnom Penh program later in 2013 with the goal of building twelve homes by September 2014. At the completion of the first four pilot houses, our Construction Team further realized additional benefits of using sustainable materials to make it more eco-friendly. The elevated house measures four meters by eight meters; uses bamboo studs for an exterior parapet wall, has bamboo flooring, and uses shera board for the main walls. The roof beams and main wall studs are wood, with zinc roof and metal gutters. There is a proper toilet at ground level.
One of the first Habitat Cambodia home partners to live with her family in this new eco-friendly house is Sun Thida, “I do love my house. It’s so beautiful and I feel safe here.” She said she can get fresh air every day and her health is getting better. Thida continued by saying, “This house means everything to me and my children.”
Since her divorce in 2012, Thida acts both father and mother for her three children. Her two older children are in school; her son is in grade four and daughter in grade one, while the youngest one will also start class soon at the school near their new home. As a cleaner at Chbar Ampov Hospital, Thida works very hard, earning around US$60.00 a month. Thanks to the accessibility to this eco-home, Thida is now beginning to save for the future, and plans to buy a sewing machine to earn even more using her skills learned in the past as a garment factory worker.
Habitat for Humanity Cambodia worked in partnership with Building Trust International and Maryknoll in selecting designs to be constructed for vulnerable families. By using locally sourced, eco-friendly construction materials and traditional Khmer elements, Habitat Cambodia is able to offer the Framework House to home partners as a sustainable, low-cost design that fits well into the landscape with a light-filled, airy and healthy living space.