Affordable Wood House Competition

Global Affordable Wood Housing Competition – 2015


Supported by the ‘Food and Agriculture Organisation’ (FAO) of the United Nations, the ‘XIV World Forestry Congress’ was held in Durban, South Africa, with two international wood design competitions launched, one being for “Tall Wood Housing” and the second for “Affordable Wood Housing”.


Tim entered the second competition as he has a strong interest in affordable housing and saw an opportunity to explore how this could be accomplished using sustainably-sourced, native timbers in northern NSW.


Tim used a real site, where he was already engaged, to explore ideas for a self-build home for a couple with a keen interest but a low-level skill base in construction and a limited budget. The two opportunities came together as both the competition entry and a sustainable and affordable design proposal for Tim’s client.


The proposed design created a modular system where the innovative kit of parts could be easily and cheaply manufactured in a local workshop, delivered to site and where the client could then assemble the building using simple construction techniques.  Affordability was designed in from the outset with affordable and sustainable materials (local FSC timber), local manufacture and a simple construction method, all designed to be managed by an inexperienced client who could utilise their own labour to build their new, affordable home.