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ARCHIVE works at the intersection of health and housing. Our mission is twofold. Preventative: we renovate inadequate housing for those who are economically-disadvantaged, in order to specifically reduce their vulnerability to poor health. Treatment-based: for those already suffering from poor health, we create home-based care facilities in order to implement housing a central method of care. ARCHIVE's focus therefore is the creation of "healthy homes": living conditions which reduce health risks and provide care, for the world's most disadvantaged.
Architectural Research Concerning Health Infections & Various Epidemics is called such as it uses research on health and architecture to institute action that improves and saves lives. We achieve this quite simply by testing, designing and building practical housing which combats the challenges of poor health. We do not employ generic housing answers. We use a community-driven and site-specific approach to housing which targets the health challenges faced by individual households.
The ARCHIVE model relies on hearing and understanding the needs of community and resident, on the ability to identify the most urgent health challenges and on the delivery of a targeted infrastructure response which best suits the recipient's needs. For example, to prevent malaria within informal settlements in Kataragama (Sri Lanka), homes can be renovated with iron-clad roofs.
ARCHIVE's building initiatives are sustainable through providing training to local artisans, craftsmen, builders and residents. We teach them to utilize local materials and techniques to build healthier homes. In doing so, we ensure that housing and health are improved, whilst a burden is lifted off public health services. We are also ensuring skills creation, and therefore the creation of greater employment opportunities and income. Moreover, the cost of projects is offset by using volunteer labor and the use of existing local microfinance institutions.
- Raakhi Sunak
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