H4A is a totally industrialized building method up to 20 times
more labor-efficient than traditional ones.
H4A finishings, quality and solidness are clearly above market standards.
A 40m2 home can be delivered by 4 workers in 4 days.
H4A is an “open system”, adaptable to climate, market or social
segment related requirements within each project.
H4A is entirely standardized and modular, all the way from SKU,
to home, to residential unit, to block and neighborhood.


The H4A open building system presents advantages in all of the following areas:
design and building flexibility, quality, speed, return on capital, financial
sustainability, environmental sustainability, development sustainability and safety.
Design and building flexibility
H4A allows for rapid design configuration of multiple options respecting local conditions (eg. tropical, dry climates) and styles (eg. Latin America, Middle East), leveraging durable industrialized materials. H4A approach is apt for different design options and styles for social housing as well as for all types of social infrastructure (eg. hotels, schools, kindergartens, hospitals and cultural centers).

The H4A system ensures quality in each stage of the product lifecycle: from materials manufacturing, to building and through usage.

Materials manufacturing: quality is controlled at source by suppliers during the manufacturing and shipment process. All suppliers selected during the sourcing phase need to ensure industrial certification in order to benefit from down selection in the RFI process.

Construction: The building assembly process leaves very limited room for error given the easy nature of assembly of the modular components used by the H4A and the lack of need for welding and screwing of components all being jointed through pressure. No component is heavier than 50 kg. which allows for easy movement at a maximum between two workers.

Usage: The durability and resistance of materials ensures very long lifecycles (beyond 2 generations) with very limited and easy maintenance. Temperature insulation is ensured and far superior to traditional methods (we use artificial mineral fibers, foamed inorganic and organic insulation as well as other technologies). Residential units are designed to ensure cross-ventilation through courtyards as well as to ensure appropriate shadowing thanks to special lattice walls and ceilings. Maintenance during lifetime is minimal and easy (eg. replacement of a vegetable fiber panel, of waterproof sheets in roof every 12-15 years).
With habitat4all system traditional construction skills are not necessary; H4A requires limited training of assembly and quality skills for each intervention leveraging workers from industries other than construction in addition to construction.

H4A technology options allow for very fast construction (eg. 4-6 months between project design and homes delivered for a 200 home program, 12 months to achieve 800 homes in a single project). On average for a 40 sqm social home (residential units of 32 homes) the standard is: 4 FTEs (full time equivalents), 1 home, 4 days. Carrying out several projects in parallel is perfectly possible. This means national, regional or local governments are in a position to deliver their promises much faster than with traditional methods regardless of available budgets.
Return on capital
When compared apples with apples to a traditional construction program, higher speeds represent up to 3 times higher return on capital for similar unit costs. Unit costs in turn are also lower for H4A, the absolute difference depending on local labor cost conditions. In low cost countries, the difference in cost vs. traditional methods will be smaller (eg. 10% lower for H4A) whereas in higher-cost countries, H4A landed costs will be significantly lower (eg. 20% lower for H4A). The reason is that H4A is not a labor intensive solution; materials representing roughly 75% of total landed costs. As a result, total ROC can be between 3 and 4 times higher with H4A than with traditional construction methods, the main reason being speed.

Financial sustainability
With H4A it´s possible to design homes to meet target costs which allow for full cost affordability by lower income families provided there´s in place a government-guaranteed scheme enabling private funding to households and each of these has a reliable source of income even at minimum wage. Our experts have demonstrated that 15-20 year leasing programs for a 40 sqm social home can be affordable (less than 1/3 of average income) by households in the lowest income strata, in a country such as Colombia. Regardless of whether governments choose to fund part of social housing programs or not, the H4A paradigm is compatible with financially sustainable programs targeting poor families.

Environmental sustainability
H4A is biased on standard industrialized components manufactured at scale by industrial suppliers using lean principles. In addition, construction assembly is a totally "clean dry" process not requiring brick and mortar and only very limited power (only perforation for foundations) and no specialized machinery.
As a result when compared with standard brick & mortar construction methods, H4A assembly requires a small fraction of the energy bill of a traditional home during the construction process.

Impact on local development
habitat4all works to ensure that a maximum of value-added is generated by suppliers in the countries where its solution is implemented. Amongst the criteria to select suppliers for large social housing projects we consider that a key one is local availability of suppliers and/or readiness to install supply facilities in the affected local markets (eg. for galvanized steel, fiber panel manufacturing, etc.). Through this approach we aim to contribute to create net industrial employment in the markets where we operate, in addition to providing a longterm feasible new approach for large scale housing and infrastructure.

The H4A construction paradigm ensures higher safety for construction workers than traditional methods. The reasons are easy to explain: most value is in materials, the construction process consisting basically in a component assembly process.

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  - Efficiency
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  - Speed
  - Adaptable
  - Modularity
Barcelona: Avda. Diagonal 421, 6º 1ª 08008 Barcelona, España      Tel.: +34 932 508 052      Mail: info@habitat4all.com
Bogotá: Cra. 11A#96-51 oficina 319 Bogotá, Colombia      PBX: +57 (1) 6914492      Mail: info@habitat4all.com
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