groundwork institute
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中文 (Chinese Language)  

    GROUNDWORK INSTITUTE is a non-profit organization concerned with creating low cost, environmentally sound communities based on the participation of the people who live in them. The Institute has its roots in a series of projects undertaken by a group of architects, builders, and environmental professionals to assist people in developing countries and disadvantaged communities in the U.S. It started its first project in 1979 and was incorporated in 1982.

Examples of the Institute's work include a new community for 20,000 people in Cuba being built from the ground up including infrastructure (roads, sewage, water...), schools, shopping, entertainment and housing. The housing is being built by the people who will live there. The design is collaborative between occupants, builders, architects, planners, energy specialists, and related disciplines. The design is based on sustainable principles. For example, 100% of the water from the sewage system is being reused.

Other projects include ultra-low cost self-help housing in Nicaragua ($300 for a 1000SF home), biogas generators and high efficiency stoves in Grenada, community planning in El Salvador and new community planning in China, to mention a few. Current projects are focused in the U.S.

We are involved with community development as a unified process from project invention, financing and design through the mechanics of execution: carpentry, plumbing, etc. In addition, we see our work as integral with education as well as social and economic issues.

Groundwork's projects have been supported with financial contributions from foundations, church groups and individuals. The largest part of our support for international projects has come from time donated by top level environmental professionals including architects, planners, specialists in sewage, solar energy, engineers and builders. We work with disadvantaged communities in several countries and the U.S. We expect the community we work with to provide the local resources. We undertake to provide high level technical assistance that would ordinarily be unavailable and unaffordable to these groups. The Institute forms a base for bringing together material and human support for this type of work.

Groundwork Institute is recognized by the IRS as a 501 c(3) non-profit corporation. Contributions are tax deductible.




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