Who we are

We are a group of architects and friends who believe that education is a universal right and needs to be accessible for all. We decided to embark on an adventure to build schools in remote villages and began our first mission in Senegal, Africa.

 

What we do

We build schools in underprivileged areas in the world, using sustainable and local materials. We act as a laboratory of research for innovative and low-cost construction techniques. Our techniques can be adapted to diverse and distinct sites, and require little or no construction skills or knowledge.

 

Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.

— Nelson Mandela
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Our Mission

We focus on finding techniques of construction that are affordable. Our techniques are user-friendly and require no need for specific construction skills. We use locally sourced, and readily available, materials.

Our long-term goal is to benefit local communities by empowering them with newly acquired skills and building methods, that are practical and cost-effective, and can be implemented and replicated independently whenever required.

 

How we work

We investigate the site and learn about the educational needs and facilities in that area. In some villages, classrooms are often crammed with up to 80 students per classroom due to the limited number of schools. 

Each area and site require a specific plan of action depending on present conditions. However, we have established for all a standard four-part process:

01.
We start with investigating the gaps in the particular village. 

02.
We identify the available materials on site and explore the possible techniques of construction suitable for the climatic conditions of the site and, which are easy to teach. 

03.
We help the local community by sharing the construction process so that they can get build with us and ultimately  replicate as required.

 

04.
We build classrooms Together providing a fresh atmosphere and a great environment to teach and learn. 

 
 
 

How We Build

We design thick walls made up with the available earth material (soil, sand, clay, etc...), which benefits from performing thermal qualities and keep the classrooms fresh. We design window openings large enough to let the air in and refresh the classrooms. We build the roof at an elevation from the walls, leaving a significant gap for natural ventilation, as well as natural light. Ultimately, we use local materials to build a best suited building to the climate.

These simple design techniques help overcoming the overheating issue in the existing schools, built with blockwork walls, small windows and a zinc roof. These materials and design create a very difficult work environment for students and teachers alike, affecting their ability to perform and succeed.

Our goal is to spread a technique of construction fast and easy to learn which will create a great atmosphere to study. We team up with both local people and specialists to conceptualize sustainable and ingenious methods.

 

Test Walls

LOCATION: Ngekhokh
CONSTRUCTION: December 2016

We tested both the sand-bag and tyre construction techniques on site in Senegal to determine which materials are best suited for local communities. Trials proved that the best approach is to build the classrooms using tyres for the foundations and sand-bags for the walls. A protective outer layer made up of a sand and 8% cement mixture was applied to the sand-bag walls. 

This became the primary construction method of the foundation and walls for the school we built in Keur Racine.

 
 

Number of out-of-school children in Senegal

 Source: Unesco

Source: Unesco

 
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