Low income countries, like Ghana, are being introduced to a sustainable and affordable way to obtain eco-friendly housing. Architect João Caeiro was recently recruited to help, a Lisbon-based design team, develop a house to sustain a single-family for the emerging middle class of Ghana. The result of this collaboration is called Emerging Ghana. Emerging Ghana is designed to be built using only local materials, local labor, and is complete with some of the best strategies for design sustainability you may have ever heard of! This family home is constructed complete with the flexibility and freedom for its owner to build and add-on to the home as a family grows. What’s really amazing?  This awesome house can be purchased for around $12,500 USD. I don’t know about you, but I’m considering purchasing a summer home in Ghana.

Emerging Ghana is attracting some major attention! Some of Emerging Ghana’s recent publicity is due its placement in the Open Source House competition. Open Source House is a nonprofit that emphasizes on global creativity and knowledge about housing designs that are focused on sustainability and affordability. Open Source House aims to bring choice to the typical housing situations of people who live in low-income and poverty stricken areas afflicted with massive urbanization. Every year, a competition takes place where designers are able to showcase their architectural visions in hopes of being chosen as the winner of the Open Source House competition. The Open Source House competition’s first place concept winner will then be built. This year’s winner? You guessed it: Emerging Ghana.

Congratulations Emerging Ghana! With its energy efficient solar-heated water tank, the inhabitants of this beautiful home will be able to bathe and cook with heated water. The solar passive design is south-facing and allows the home to be naturally shaded while rain water is collected to water a food-producing garden in the courtyard. This house is also complete with its own septic tank.

I can’t wait to see this concept be built in late 2010 and to read more media coverage about this fantastic design! Congratulations are also due to Ghana’s impressive run in the World Cup. You go Ghana!

-Hannah Bybee