Our Story


Health starts at home. Archive works with communities worldwide to combat disease and improve health through housing design.

We partner with local groups to design and build simple, cost-effective, and scalable housing improvements. We measure how these upgrades impact wellbeing. We advocate for the integration of health and housing.

Vision & Approach

Archive envisions a world where families have housing that is adequate, accessible and equitable, and where their surrounding environments promote health, dignity and diversity. 

Archive is unique in its approach and focus - using housing design as a key component to improve health worldwide. We believe that national and international development strategies must take into account the role of housing in addressing health risks in the most vulnerable communities. In order for these strategies to be successful and accessible, they must be incorporated within a diverse context of behavioral changes and increased access to health facilities. To achieve our mission we use a threefold approach:

RESEARCH: Our research focuses on how the built environment contributes to disease in vulnerable communities everywhere, and what design interventions can act as a preventative strategy for improved health outcomes.

DESIGN: We believe in the need to research, design, test, and build practical housing improvements that combat the challenges of poor health. We do not believe in generic housing answers.

ADVOCACY: Building awareness and promoting healthy behavioral changes in the communities in which we work, and advocating for adequate housing as a human right is a fundamental pillar in all of our projects. 


Archive Global began as independent travel and research grant awarded to founder Peter Williams by Columbia University. Peter’s research focused on issues relating to fear, epidemics, public health policy planning, and the built environment. Founded as the Archive Institute in 2006, the organization initially facilitated cross-disciplinary research from leading academics and professionals from the social sciences, medicine, architecture, and construction. Over the years, the organization has expanded its mission into implementing targeted interventions to the built environment, mostly around improving the inadequate existing housing stock in order to combat preventable diseases, and measuring the impact these interventions have on the health and quality of life of the family members.

After several years of working together in close partnership with the International Society for Urban Health (ISUH) the two organizations officially joined forces in April 2023 to advance their common mission of creating healthy equitable cities and communities for all. Since healthy housing is a key aspect of that mission Archive's legacy, current projects and leadership have moved to ISUH's new flagship Healthy Housing program. Archive Global's Executive Director, Sarah Ruel-Bergeron, RA, has joined their team as Director of Strategic Initiatives & Healthy Housing.