Humanitarian Architecture Contest


In partnership with Karuna Cambodia, Habitat for Humanity & the Cambodian Society of Architects (CSA) Building Trust are looking for designs that can provide a sustainable future for housing in the South-east Asian country. Any proposal will have to keep below a budget of $2000 and deal with the yearly flooding that effects most residential areas. The winning design will be built by Habitat for Humanity Cambodia and will influence the way they build housing in the region. This competition is a real chance to make a difference to a large group of working Cambodians lives. We are in discussion with other charitable organisations working in the region and hope that through the project we can raise the standards and create a sustainable agenda for future development. Although the competition only asks for a house design the implications of the project are great. This competition represents a real chance for contestants to make a difference and challenge a host of issues that relate to the environment, flooding, living standards and the construction process.
The competition brief can be downloaded from below:

brief1 cover

Launch Date – 15th October 2012
Final date for registration – 15th December 2012
Closing date for all submissions – 15th January 2013
Announcement of winners to be posted on – 15th March 2013

Karuna Cambodia Prize- Architecture & Civil Engineering

“A 2009 World Bank report stated that the poorest Cambodians live in inadequate housing made of thatched roof with bamboo or wood walls and floor.”

khmer house 1

Overall objective

Invite university students and professionals to take part in a competition for the first Karuna Cambodia Prize in Architecture & Civil Engineering.
Karuna Cambodia challenges collegiate and professional teams to design houses that are easy to live in, affordable, and attractive. The winner of the competition is the team that best blends design excellence, affordability and consumer appeal.

Purpose and Impact

According to the 2010 Human Development Report published by the United Nations, about 26 percent of the Cambodian population lives on the equivalent of less than US$1.25 a day. A great number of the poor are concentrated in the rural areas.

khmer house 1 Karuna Cambodia Prize in Architect & Civil Engineering is intended as an educational tool not only for architect students and professionals who participate directly but also for homeowners, building professionals and teachers.1- Provides participating students with unique training that prepares them to enter our nation’s workforce.
2- Demonstrates and educate to the public the opportunities presented by cost-effective houses that combine modern engineering with local material that are available today.

Contest Information

Main award: Realization of winning design by Habitat for Humanity Cambodia
Student award: Opportunity to help with the build of winning professional design
Cambodian Sustainable Housing International Design Competition

khmer house 3 Criteria
– Intelligent use of space and thought paid to comfort of users.
– Ease of construction and ability of structure to perform to environmental conditions.
– The design’s aesthetics and originality.
– The use of sustainable locally sourced materials.
– Clarity and comprehensibility of the design.

You can make a difference

Volunteer to be Sponsor, Adviser, Jury.
Contact: Karuna Cambodia (
Enter the competition
registration at Buiding Trust International- October 2012
Donate Now for the benefit of Cambodian students and villagers.
Every gift is appreciated. Every gift counts.