Project by: Artur Nesterenko
Faculty / Project Leader: Jeanine Centuori
Builder: BAATT NON-PROFIT CORPORATION
School for Darfurian Refugees: Building as a Teaching Tool
This project began with a study of material and human resources. Through an examination of indigenous building practices of Sub-Saharan Africa, a material palette was created. This included a family of earth construction techniques such as compressed mud bricks, rammed earth, thatch roofing, recycled metals, and minimal amounts of concrete, and steel work.
The process of developing a design that would be transmitted to a local population on the ground in Chad involved the alternating process of full scale materials testing with designing through scalar models and drawings. A sequence of brick and rammed earth studies informed the design of the school. A non-verbal pictorial construction manual complemented the drawings as a communication tool.
Building as a Teaching Tool
The Vocational Academy Building Project serves as a classroom space and a learning tool for matriculating students. In addition to housing classrooms for teaching reading and writing subjects, its construction is meant to serve as a practicum in sustainable building practices. Students enrolled in the program will participate on building teams to erect portions of the structure.
It is a building that combines indigenous building practices with state-of-the-art sustainable ethics. A simple rectangular open floor plan accommodates approximately 80 students (40 male and 40 female students). It employs a double roof structure with a thatch pyramidal roof that is covered with a second metal roof. The large metal roof canopy acts as a shade device to protect the interior from the intense heat.
The main structure is made of compressed mud bricks using a compression machine with a hand lever. There is a minimal amount of concrete and steel rebars needed for beam construction. The infill walls between the columns are non-structural rammed earth that is made of soil, and a small amount of cement. These walls are ventilated with fiber cement cylindrical tiles that may be made by the students on the site.
This single volume building is designed as one classroom space, and is intended to accommodate one gender. It is anticipated that two volumes will be built, along with smaller open-air canopies that serve as shade devices, lunch areas, and prayer spaces. Additionally, composting toilet structures will be built on the site.
This building acts as a tool by which students will learn sustainable building practices. This is a prototype structure that may be duplicated and adapted to many other sites in the Darfur region as repatriation takes place. Student/builders of the school will acquire skills such as brick making, rammed earth construction, thatch and metal roofing, installing composting toilets, and water management and conservation. These skills will be the foundation to entrepreneurial ventures as resettlements begin to take place.
Winner of ACSA Being Resourceful Competition
Winner of 2012 AIA 2x8 Competition
CONCEPT DIAGRAM (INSPIRATION FROM TRADITIONAL ARCHITECTURE IN ABECHE, AFRICA)
MAIN RENDERING OF THE SCHOOL (RHINO MODEL, PHOTOSHOP, MAXWELL RENDER)
HAND DRAWING (DIAGRAM OF ALL THE SYSTEMS THAT ARE INTEGRATED INTO THE BUILDING)
The project proposes a prototype school, suitable for all the different regions of Chad. Its focus is to reduce the cost of built by using local … Read More
The project proposes a prototype school, suitable for all the different regions of Chad. Its focus is to reduce the cost of built by using local materials and a more ecological and sustainable way of design. From the aperture of the windows which are strategically positioned to direct the dominant winds from south west and north east for cross ventilation, to the chimney in the ceiling which serves as a hot air exit point, everything in the school is designed for natural thermal comfort. The main walls are made of rammed earth which acts as thermal buffer to create specific microclimate throughout the year. The internal climate is intended to be a modified version of the external one: air is allowed to pass through the foundation and between the brick pillars that are located about 60 centimeters below ground. Since the floors rest on pillars, it allows for air to circulate underneath the floor and bring the cool air into the classrooms through the emaciated slits in the floor tiles. Elevating the classrooms also discourages the attack of termites. In addition, the green space between the two classrooms helps moisturize the environment. The project also takes advantage from the rainy season; it uses the gutters to harvest rainwater and guide it into an underground deposit, where the water is kept until pumped to a container above ground which could be used in the gardens. All the materials used in the building are excavated from the site which acknowledges the traditional building forms and connects the building to its immediate environment, while having a contemporary feel to it. Read Less