Using Open Source Technology for Good

BlogHer Original Post

Did you know that the way your house and other buildings are constructed plays a large role in either adding to or reducing the amount of greenhouse gases?

Now there's a group using open source technology to share green building designs called Architecture for Humanity. They express their philosophy as,

By embracing open-source technology and removing barriers to the improvement, distribution, and implementation of well-designed solutions, we can, more than ever before, ensure that communities in need receive innovative, sustainable and, most importantly, dignified shelter. Since the mid-1990s, the sharing of information and technology has steadily gained popularity in the high-tech and arts communities. Why not adopt this approach in the area of humanitarian reconstruction and long-term development?

This open source architecture development provides sustainable, green designs that are adaptable for local situations. The group was formed because so many millions live in inadequate or substandard housing around the world. They say,

Fortunately, designers with . . . brilliance and know-how are balancing this equation by bringing affordable, green solutions to people at the other end of the spectrum. Thanks in large part to Architecture for Humanity, today's public has a greatly increased awareness of humanitarian approaches to design and architecture, having seen the housing crises brought about by disasters like the South Asian tsunami and the Gulf Coast hurricanes. Placing tools for building low-cost, locally-appropriate shelters directly into the hands of those who need them means empowering communities to create their own pathways toward recovery.

Not just the poor, but people with the money to build in more developed areas can also find designs here that are good for living and good for the environment.