With so many starchitect-designed, headline-grabbing skyscrapers rising around the world, it’s easy to overlook the more modest projects in the shadows of those glass towers—the projects designed for those stuck on the other end of the economic spectrum. These homes, schools, community centers, and clinics—often designed by lesser-known architects—may not be as stunning as new high-rises, but they prove that design can do more than improve lives, it can save them too. And that is exactly what the non-profit ARCHIVE (Architecture for Health in Vulnerable Environments) hopes to prove with a new project in Savar, Bangladesh.
Rendering of a concrete floor. (Courtesy ARCHIVE Global)
The group’s newly-launched “High Five Project” is expected to save thousands of lives by simply swapping the dirt floors, common in so many homes in the area, with concrete. This straightforward design intervention would create significantly more hygienic homes. According to ARCHIVE, “a similar flooring project done in Mexico found that complete substitution of dirt floors by concrete floors results in a 78 percent reduction in parasitic infestation, 49 percent reduction in diarrhea, 81 percent reduction in anemia, and up to a 96 percent improvement in cognitive development.”
The “High Five Project” was launched in coordination with the UN’s World Humanitarian Day on August 19th and will run for one year. In a statement, ARCHIVE said the initiative is “focused on families of five with children under the age of five, and help these children reach their fifth birthday.”A new concrete floor. (Courtesy ARCHIVE Global)