Building and Social Housing Foundation – World Habitat Award 2006

The two winners of the World Habitat Award 2006 for innovative and sustainable housing solutions are the Building and Construction Improvement Program (BACIP) of the Aga Khan Planning and Building Service, Pakistan and the Johannesburg Housing Company in South Africa, Sweden.

Building and Construction Improvement Program (BACIP), Pakistan

The Building and Construction Improvement Program of the Aga Khan Planning and Building Service works with local communities in Pakistan to develop and manufacture a range of affordable, environmentally- and regionally-appropriate home improvement products. Over 60 different products have been tested and applied to date, including fuel-efficient stoves, water warming facilities, home insulation and operable roof windows. Local manufacture keeps costs down and provides skilled employment to over 400 unemployed young people, helping to create sustainable livelihoods in areas of traditionally high unemployment. To date over 17,000 products have been installed in 8,600 homes in 125 remote mountain villages and the program is continuing to expand. Products can be purchased without subsidy or with small micro-credit loans. Smoke free environments have led to a 50 per cent reduction in smoke related illnesses and fuel consumption is reduced by 60 per cent, saving 300,000 trees to date with associated benefits of reduced carbon emissions and improved soil stability. Using affordable and simple technologies, BACIP has also pioneered earthquake resistant and energy efficient construction methods for building construction in these cold and earthquake-prone mountainous areas.

The Aga Khan Planning and Building Service, Pakistan won the World Habitat Award for 2006 for its efforts to improve housing conditions in Pakistan.

The objectives of the AKPBS have been influenced by His Highness the Aga Khan’s philosophy that “a correct home can provide the bridge across that awful gulf between poverty and a much better future”. The AKPBS developed over 60 inexpensive, seismic-resistant, energy and resource-efficient housing building methods and requirements. These range from smoke-free ranges and screened kitchen cabinets for storing food to water heaters and ventilation systems.  A number of these items and low-priced innovations are created to attend to the prevailing housing conditions in poor areas of the establishing world.

Much Progress is underway with the United Nations program as can be seen from this video on World Habitat Program

The program has developed a self-reliant industry in low-cost house enhancement. Community members recognize the need for new products, provide feedback on existing items, raise awareness of problems such as respiratory illnesses triggered by smoke from cooking fires, market the items and handle the program. The items are developed and sold by local business owners. Considering that 1997, AKPBS has trained over 200 entrepreneurs and artisans, who have in turn sold over 14,000 home improvement items. The Aga Khan Firm for Microfinance, a sibling company, now provides small loans to help bad individuals financing housing enhancements.

The World Habitat Awards were established in 1985 by the Structure and Social Real Estate Structure (BSHF) as part of its contribution to the United Nations International Year of Shelter for the Homeless. Two awards of ₤ 10,000 are offered annually at the United Nations global celebration of World Habitat Day to tasks from the international north in addition to the south that provide practical and ingenious services to present real estate needs and issues.