The jury was impressed by the project’s ability to successfully and creatively bring together different stakeholders to address two urgent societal issues: homelessness and access to renewable energy sources – in an innovative and highly transferable business model.
Holcim Awards 2020 jury for Asia Pacific
A scalable housing solution for the homeless to emerge out of poverty within a generation
52% of the 1 billion homeless in the world are unbanked and financially excluded. Opportunities for them to emerge out of poverty are virtually non-existent. Civil service organizations can at best sustain their meager lifestyle or bring little incremental improvement, which continues to increase the inequality gap making it.
A powerHYDE self-reliant community includes a school, health center, shops, parks, and other essential infrastructure for it to thrive sustainably. The excess power generated by the community can be commercialized to set-up small scale businesses enabling economic growth of vulnerable families. Being sensitive to women’s needs, powerHYDE communities create opportunities for them in a safe space. The women of the families will own the homes, building an asset for them.
A self-sustaining, carbon negative housing solution
powerHYDE communities have a generating capacity of 2.5MW of solar renewable energy resulting in carbon savings over 25 years of the designed life of the panels.
Making dual use of land for housing and energy production, powerHYDE communities make efficient use of a fast-depleting resource. powerHYDE is a zero-discharge home. Owing to its water harvesting system, reed-bed system for grey-water treatment, integrated solar roof and a vegetable garden, it is designed as a complete all-in-one infrastructure solution.
Its structure is innovated to be a dry assembly system, minimizing the use of water and material wastage during construction. Designed for safety and the ability to withstand climatic adversities, these homes are earthquake and typhoon resistant with a lifespan of 60 years.
World's first self-financing community for the homeless
powerHYDE is a hybrid solution that addresses the housing, energy, and climate change crisis simultaneously. Its unique cross financing business model will create a new investable asset class allowing fresh capital to flow to the poorest of the poor.
These communities are built by signing long term PPAs with local DISCOMs or Corporates that need renewable energy. powerHYDE raises debt through financial institutions against these PPAs. It then procures land and identifies potential homeowners in partnership with local governments and NGOs. Homeowners pay a monthly service fee adjusted to their income levels for maintenance of the community.
After the expiration of the renewable energy commitments, residents become the new homeowners and continue to earn passive income through sale of energy.
The core problem in providing housing to the poorest of the poor is not about being able to build them cheaper, or materials or scale – the real core issue is housing finance.
CO2 lifecycle assessment
The community will save 136 million liters of water and 24 million tons of carbon in its life-cycle of 25 years. The large roof overhang, integrated roof insulation, climate adaptive building skin and other passive design strategies minimize the consumption of electricity.
Its dry assembly construction system minimizes the use of electricity and water on site. Being a flexible module, powerHYDE can adapt to use up-cycled waste eco-bricks or bamboo panel boards as its skin. Unlike traditional housing, the neighborhood is developed with bio-swales, porous paving, and natural filters, building a community reliant on natural systems. Being a self-contained entity for jobs, education, and health care facilities, it also reduces the need for transport and promotes walking.