Building value on housing

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In 1980, HUD published a document “Building Value into Housing, 1980 Awards, A Compendium of Winning Submissions Under HUD’s 1980 Building Value into Housing Program”. The projects selected in this program were “categorized as items of “value engineering”, the concept of increasing quality without increasing cost, or of decreasing cost without decreasing quality. This approach has historically been common in other areas, such as the defense and automotive industries, but has not been utilized extensively in residential construction. Value engineering is clearly central to HUD’s mandate to seek innovative means whereby housing costs can be reduced.” 

In a document released by the Department of the Army, Office of the Chief Engineer, “Value Engineering is an organized effort directed at analyzing the function of construction, equipment and supplies for the purpose of achieving these functions at a reduced life cycle cost without sacrificing quality, aesthetics, or operation and maintenance capability. We deliberately set about the business of 

  • (1) selecting high cost areas to study; 
  • (2) determining the basic function of the item; 
  • (3) “brainstorming” the problem and developing a list of many alternate ways of performing the function; 
  • (4) selecting the best possible alternative to perform the function at lowest cost; and 
  • (5) presenting and selling the proposal.

This methodology has been our methodology by the past and will continue to define our goals in the demonstration program.


Following the “Standards Recommended for Permanent Industrial Housing Development” of the Department of Labor, we will build 7 of the 9 types of houses in order to update the standards of 1918 into a modern “ideal” on the John R. Commons model.

Type 1. Single-family house.
Type 2. Two-family house.
Type 3. Single-family house with rooms for lodgers or boarders.
Type 4. Lodging house for men.
Type 5. Lodging house for women.
Type 6. Tenement house.
Type 7. Boarding house.

The houses will be attached and they will be covered with food gardens. While the foundations will have a structural pattern, the design of the gardens will offer an artistic disposition of planters and roof decks to keep the natural aesthetic of the site. The roof gardens will be inspired from the Jardins de Chaumont sur Loire.



In 2012, Dr. Sandrine GERMAIN, developed and engineered a technology to increase the thermal resistance of wooden structures. The technology consists of three layers of structural wood separated with rockwool panels.

This technology breaks thermal bridges in order to superinsulate the house from below, above and all around the walls. The first prototype was designed, engineered and built using 35% of oak from waste stocks of traditional sawmills. The oak was selected, cut and repurposed into construction wood what increased the value of the wood by 220% directly injected in the rural economy (read our posts on forestry). All other woods were softwoods. The prototype was built with a final cost of $111.48/sqf.

With the first prototype built in 2012, we could reach the highest level of insulation. The total energy consumption was 31 kw/m²/year and the greenhouse gases were 1 kgCO2/year. We have used cogeneration systems and innovative solutions to insulate walls and thermal bridges.


All houses will be built on helical piles to limit the degradation of the soils from invasive materials. Helical piles also offer a better assessment of the soils on each pile to warrant a better quality of building. The space below each house will be covered with radon mats to collect the gas into water and treat potential hazards.

Acoustic & fire resistance

The group quarter consist of attached houses. Houses may be one up to three story for each household. Being attached, we will increase the acoustic of the houses with high insulation. We use Rockwool on 3 separate layers to sound proof all houses. Rockwool is fire resistant and serves also as a barrier against the propagation of fire.


The site is off grid so we must produce our own electricity. We will install 2 different plants, both working on bioenergy produced from waste food and water. First plant will use a stirling engine from Qnergy. Second plant will use an engine from Tecogen. Both will run on our production of methane.

Our two plants will produce enough energy for the homes, the makerspace and for our electrical karts. The methane production will also generate part of the energy for our cars and trucks. The cost of all utility bills will be incorporated with the cost of the rent in order to protect families against unplanned expenses.

Roof tops

The rooftops will be flat, covered with decks and planters where we will grow food gardens. All planters will be connected to an automated water system controlled with sensors and solar panels. We will use hay as a way to prevent evaporation and will use 3 layers substrates to produce high quality organic products in the model of J-C Rey’s autonomous gardens.

The decks and the gardens will create an adiabatic system to keep the houses cool from the heat and warm from the cold. We will use vines and grapes to create shadows. We will use wicker to create small fences and develop an harmony of aesthetic gardens. The public will have access to the gardens with an entrance fee or a membership. Each year, the gardens will be embellished by decorators on concourse. Members of the SAB Center will cultivate the gardens in cooperation with our nature therapy programs for homeless residents.

LEED label

We will apply the LEED certification to our demonstration program in order to show that social housing can reach high quality construction while still being affordable. We can only face the challenges of climate change by democratizing green technologies. We will demonstrate how the financial mechanisms of the master plan contributes to better quality buildings.

Author Details
Founder and Chief Executive Officer , Religious Map

Graduated in architecture in June 1995
School of Architecture of Nantes, France
I blog as Eima BLANK, designer, illustrator, writer


  • June 1995 – Graduation in Architecture from the School of Architecture of Nantes, France
  • June 1988 – Graduation from High School in the department of Applied Arts with the mention from the jury


  • 1993 – 1995 – History of the Mediterranean Sea with Pr Denys Lombard at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales in Paris.
  • 1993 – 1995 – INALCO Langues’O, Paris, in the department of Indonesian language.
  • 1988 – 1993 – Ecole Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture de Nantes, France, with two additional specialties in the psychology of children and sociology.
  • 1985 – 1988 – High School, Lycée Choiseul of Tours, France, within the department of Applied Arts (Bac F12).
  • 1883 – 1986 – Ecole des Beaux-Arts de Tours, France, one half day a week to study drawing for two years and modeling for one year.


  • 2005 – 2020 – Consultant
    • 2017 – TruDevCo – Las Vegas, USA – Translation from English to French of all the marketing, financial and investment data for 5 Kaktus Life projects.
    • 2013 – EIFFAGE – Paris, France – Design of a concept project for a base camp to host the 6,000 workers of a mining company in Halmahera, Indonesia.
    • 2007 – IUATLD – Paris, France – Ergonomic webmaster for the harmonization of the international website among the different agencies worldwide, design of the graphic charter and publications within the communication department.
    • 2005 – CHF International – Aceh, Indonesia – Financial audits, investigations and shelters meetings at the UNDP  along with translations and reports.
    • 2005 – French Embassy in Jakarta – Aceh, Indonesia –  Sociological survey of an IDP camp and assistance to the French representatives of the Aceh Monitoring Mission on the European efforts for the peace process in Aceh (AMM mission). Writing and translation of all the radio calls for disarmament in Aceh Darussalam, humanitarian assistance to an IDP camp of 732 people in Cot Gue and opening of a humanitarian road in a zone of military conflicts and extreme religious tensions. Few videos of my mission. The opening of the road was inaugurated by a young governmental envoy from Sweden in her visit of the AMM mission for disarmament in Aceh.
  • 1995 – 2015 – Designer, Architect –  Tours, France  
  • 1995 – 2015 – Ethno-architect
    • Field work 
      • 2006 – 2015 – France – Research and investigations about the temperate forest and the hardwood industry.
      • May to October 2005 – Sumatra, Indonesia – Independent consultant for the CHF International and the French Embassy in Jakarta.
      • Avril 1995 – Malaysia – Logistic to cross the Malacca Strait with a model of Batak Toba house to be shipped from Kuala Lumpur to France.
      • December 1994 to April 1995 – Sumatra, Indonesia  – Ethnographic study of the architecture of the Batak people of Sumatra and making of a traditional Batak house scaled 1/10 with animist carpenters. Logistics to cross Sumatra with the model.
      • January 1993 to December 1994 – France – Research in the Musée de l’Homme and Musée Guimet in Paris.
      • 1993 – Switzerland – Research at the private archives of Mr Jean-Paul Barbier-Mueller, owner of the Museum Barbier Mueller in Geneva.
      • 1993 – Switzerland – Research at the library of the Musée d’Ethnographie de Genève
      • 1993 – The Netherland – Study at the archives of the Tropen Museum in Amsterdam
      • 1993 – The Netherland – Study at the archives of the KITLV, the Rijksmuseum and the National Herbarium of Leiden
      • September 1992, January 1993 – Sumatra, Indonesia – Ethnographic study of the architecture of the Batak people of Sumatra.
      • 2 weeks in October 1989 – Czechoslovakia – Study of the architecture of Praha.
      • June to September 1989 – Italy – Study of a Palazzo Veneto and a Casa Medievale in Venezia and in Vicenza




  • 2nd price for “Innovation in Construction”
    CNAM, Paris, France, 2013
    I received $42,800 to finance my research on para seismic technologies using woods and fabrics.

  • Favorite project
    Jeunes Talents, Paris, France, 2013
    This price was an honorific price with press conference and meeting in the Ministry of Finance in Paris.
    Trophées de l’Innovation

  • Arbocentre, Orléans, France, 2013
    This price was an honorific acknowledgement for my work on innovative carpentry and forestry.

  • 1st price of Concours CREAC
    National Association of Accountants, Paris, France, 2011
    This price was honorific to acknowledge my research on hardwood technologies and management of the forest. I received $ 5,350 to support my research.

  • Favorite project
    National Association of Accountants, Paris, France, 2011
    I received two prices the same year. This one was among all projects in all categories their favorite for my work on forestry and hardwood technologies.

  • CARINNA Incubation
    Reims, France, 2010
    I received $53,120 to finance my research on the economy of hardwood forestry and pay my patents on hardwood technologies.

  • Innovation in construction
    CNAM, Paris, France, 1992
    I received $ 5,709 to finance my first trip of 4 months in Indonesia. 75% was paid before my trip and 25% after I returned by writing a detailed report. With the 25% and some savings, I financed in 1995 a second trip of 4 months in Indonesia.

  • Kodak Young Reporter
    Kodak, Paris, France, 1992
    Kodak paid all my films for photography and all the developments. After I received this price, local stores in the city of Tours, France paid 75% of my equipment, cameras, recorders, bags, protections to make my first trip of 4 months in Indonesia.



  • Model of a Batak Toba House
    During my second trip of four months in Indonesia, I have managed the construction of a model scaled 1/10 of a traditional Batak house. This model was sold to the Musée des Confluences of Lyon, France. Photos.
  • Drawings
    In 1990 and 1991, I was a soldiers’ god-mother during the first war in Iraq. As a god-mother, I used to write everyday and draw on the envelops that I sent to the troops. My drawings landed in the French head quarters and some of them were later used to explain French patriotism. Some of my drawings were given to the Musée des Invalides in Paris where they are exposed in the patriot’s room. I was the first female cartoonist whose drawings entered the Invalid Museum, steps away from the grave of Napoleon !!!

  • Books
    My book on Batak architecture is archived in Leiden and Amsterdam among museographic resources and the UNESCO made 25,000 copies distributed in all countries, members of the UNESCO.



  • 2005 – CHF International – Aceh, Indonesia – Financial audits, investigations and shelters UNDP meetings along with translations and reports.
  • 2005 – French Embassy in Jakarta – Aceh, Indonesia – Sociological survey of an IDP camp and assistance to the French representatives of the Aceh Monitoring Mission on the European Mission for the peace process in Aceh. Writing and translation of all the radio calls for disarmament, humanitarian assistance to an IDP camp of 732 people and opening of a humanitarian road in a zone of conflicts.


  • IUATLD – Paris, France – 2007 – Ergonomic webmaster for the harmonization of the website among the different agencies worldwide, design of the graphic charter and publications within the communication department.
  • Architecture of a campus website


  • First female cartoonist whose drawings entered the museum of the army within the Invalid Museum in Paris, steps away from the grave of Napoleon. If you know about Napoleon, you know why it is a big step for a woman.

  • First woman to travel all alone in the cannibal villages of Batak land, in Indonesia, under a military dictatorship and the biggest Muslim country in the world.

  • One of the first very few female ethnographers in the world and as Pr Denys Lombard used to say, the only French expert for this area of the world during the 90s.

  • The first volume of the book on Batak architecture is on the ICOMOS « list preparedness – heritage at risk ». 25 years after the writing of my book, it is still the only book of this list on Batak Architecture what represents an area of 67,000 km² North of Sumatra, the equivalent of 15.8% of the state of California. Batak people are about 8.5 millions in the world. It is about the population of the city of New York.

  • First woman to raise more than $50,000 funds on an innovative project within all the incubators of France and by 2010, it was the highest fund ever allocated, all categories and genders together.

  • First female to patent a technology on carpentry with 33 claims that were all acknowledged as innovative and having a high industrial potential. Among men carpenters it is not certain how many had ever made it to a patent. Scarce are architects to patent and among women inventors, only 23,000 all over the word made it to a patent in 2010. Women are under represented. Women patenting in construction technologies are almost non-existent.

  • In 1995, the model of Batak house I made with animists carpenters was bought by the former Guimet Museum of Lyon, nowadays the Musée des Confluences. This is the first carpentry artwork ever made by a female to enter a museum in a work of collaboration where an ethnographer woman had to teach men carpenters the notion of scale and a form of collaboration between 3 different villages to achieve a scientific program.

  • First architect to ever win two first prices with an accountant association related to construction technologies and their impact on the society.

  • First scientist to ever map prime numbers with a geometry to solve equations with a ruler and a compass.  You can find my work on the square roots of numbers and the quadrature of any circles on my blog


Of the many first steps achievement, I never tried to be a role model but I tried to accomplish something that would change the perception that people may have on the society, the dominant role of the History of Europe compared to what Europe would call “primitive tribes”, the ingenuity of traditional knowledge, the role of women in international relations and especially between Christian and Muslim worlds, the role of women to think solutions for the evolution of the society and especially in urbanism, architecture and the ecology of construction.

I still have many goals that take shape with Religious Map. I want to bring architects in from of their responsibilities as public servants. I want to bring “social responsibility” into the duty of an architect. I want to bring more architects into the politics of the city, of the state and the country. I want to bring more women architects into our evolution and especially more religious women who would devote to “good faith architecture” as much as nurses in the past have devoted their lives to “good faith medicine”, a “good faith” representation of a spirituality and a representation of God’s will on Earth. I believe that women have a way to bring their masculine counterparts into a better understanding of the purpose of humanity, why empathy, charity, love, care, patience, pardon, education, equality, fairness, a sense of justice, a sense of freedom, a sense of right maybe so important to build the human tree of life.

Women have the power of beauty to transform what is weak into kindness and they have the power to use this kindness for the common good of the nations. We live in a terrible world that is willing to implode every step of the way until some kind of gentle attention can capture the thoughts and the dreams of the people into the direction of rightness and I believe that women have a spiritual role to play as philosophers, as priests, as humanitarian, as influencers, as politicians, as lawyers and as architects. Architecture is in the heart of human life and women architects shall play this role to revolutionize the profession. This is a goal I am hopping to share with many other women and young children who will once choose their goals in life. I hope that little girls will once see architecture as a better way to achieve their reality, their existence and their impact to change the world into a better place to live.

Very often, we hear of the women who were the first but I dream of the day when we speak of all other women, when being first is not the purpose except than being a leading voice for what courage, perseverance, audacity and knowledge can bring to the community of men and women, all together. We cannot have a first without a second, and then a third and a fourth and all women who come after need as much courage as the first one to remember and to perpetuate a legacy. I dream of this day when we don’t need to be the first, when equal rights grant us legitimacy as a second, as a third, as an member of something bigger than a race for gender equality. Men in 2021 don’t need to be the firsts to be published, to have professorship and have rewards. In 2021, women still have to prove so much merit for little gain and social class disparities are more than any other factors one of the women’ most elusive struggles. 

If religious architecture may have a purpose in my eyes, it is to eliminate the social distancing and put humanity, all men and women together, all religions and all politics in front the image of a society that is perfected and that can play a role model in the collective imagination of all kinds of societies, urban, rural, modern, traditionalist to guide the thoughts and the expectations of a people. Progress is in the hope of a better world, but hope only arises by knowing that this world exists even so if only it was an ideal.

Similarly as we would expect from a parent, being a man, a woman, a dog, a cat or an elephant, we have a certain ideal of parenthood. We shall have as much facility to define our ideal of social representations, architecture, governance, and state. We shall be able to define our society with homes, places, spaces for mobility and others for immobility, find a time to pause, to relax, to think, to imagine, to meditate, to share, to guide, to be guided, to be in acceptance  of others differences and to find a purpose into the short spent of life that we have with friends, colleagues and families. My goal is to eliminates races, genders and disparities into a kingdom of peace where moments bring as much emotions as a rainbow, a shooting star, a blaze in the sun, a shadow, the reflection of thousand colors and the sound of peace, the soft music of happiness.

My goal with Religious Map is to create those moments, what I call “introspections” and maybe to inspire this ideal of a society. Like a mother cooking a family meal, I am looking for this time when friends and family sit together and after the euphory of meeting together, they unite in the silence of a degustation, they look for the flavors, try to identify the spices, the ingredients, the cooking methods and the colors for serving. I am looking for this moment when imagination surrenders into a glimpse of emotions that I call harmony, the opening of the mind to all senses, all most introverted sensations. It is then humanity that finds itself in the light to appease and tame all cabalistic behaviors. Beauty in architecture does all the rest.



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