COSTFORD is a voluntary organization, which provides technological assistance for rural development. It was founded in 1984 by Dr. D. R. Chandradutt, Dr. K.N. Raj an economist and the then Chairman of the Center for Developmental Studies, Mr. Achutha Menon, the former Chief Minister of Kerala. The idea of COSTFORD took root when Mr. Achutha Menon showed interest in the alternative design philosophy and building materials and techniques promoted by Mr. Laurie Baker.
COSTFORD was registered as a non-profit voluntary organization in 1984 and started its construction activities in 1986. The head office of COSTFORD is situated in Thrissur. It operates form another 13 sub centers, 12 all over Kerala and 1 in Gurgaon. COSTFORD works on government as well as private construction work. They have carried out large rural development projects of Central and State Government agencies. Collectively COSTFORD has been able to realise about 20,000 buildings in Kerala.
COSTFORD attempts to use some of the construction materials such as lime, bamboo, mud and exposed bricks and architectural elements such as the rat-trap bond, filler slab (void former) roofing used often by Laurie Baker in his work in Kerala. For their core activities, COSTFORD is supported by The Department of Science and Technology, Govt. of India; the department of Rural Development Govt. of India; the department of local Self Government, Govt. of Kerala and Housing and Urban Development Corporation (HUDCO).
Baker has served as the Chairman of COSTFORD and played an active part in the early years of COSTFORD. However, Laurie Baker worked by himself, directly with his masons, carpenters and workmen and never started a conventional personal architectural firm (with architects, draftsmen, etc) of his own.
For more information and to contact COSTFORD visit: http://www.costford.com