Related story: Low Cost House by Vo Trong Nghia ArchitectsThe first prototype was for a lightweight steel-framed home, while the second was built from precast concrete to offer greater long-term stability. The architects are now working on the fourth phase of the S House project. Seeking to find a solution to the country’s housing crisis, the Vietnamese firm first started working on the S House project in 2012. The aim is to develop a template for affordable permanent dwellings in the Mekong Delta area. Natural lighting and ventilation are integral to the design, making the building suitable for high temperatures and extreme humidity. According to the architects, the structure and roof of one house can be assembled in only three hours. This one has been clad with cement board, but different materials can be used depending on what is most readily available. As with previous versions, it was built from modular components that each weigh no more than 60 kilograms so that they can be easily transported in standard-sized shipping containers. Thus the number of beams is minimised, reducing steel quantity greatly compared to previous prototypes – this structure only weighs 1,200 kilograms.”
The team believes this new construction will help the building to withstand the extreme climatic conditions of the south-western Vietnamese region. The next prototype will be for a larger building that could also be used as a clinic, a school or a shop. This third iteration combines reinforced concrete foundations with a steel frame and steel lattice walls. The prototype was erected in Ho Chi Minh City. “Starting from the Mekong Delta, the S House project is aiming to expand itself to the entire Vietnam, Southeast Asia, and to the rest of world – India and African countries – where low-income people are suffering from poorly built environment,” added the team.