Theoretical knowledge of and insights in innovative sustainable building solutions, are put at the service of a real-life challenge. The BBB participants explore, experiment, design and build while collaborating with the local inhabitants, craftsmen, multidisciplinary experts and building professionals.
In doing so, innovative sustainable building solutions and exemplary built works of architecture are conceived and built, which contribute to science and society.
Built works of architecture have:
- a high beneficial impact on the local community at large,
- a support base within the community,
- financial and practical support from the community and sponsors/donors,
- high qualities of innovation in sustainable architecture,
- the possibility to act as a demonstration and capacity-building project.
The challenge for 2020-2021 is the context of the ‘School Blessed Family’ in Kagulu, a small rural village situated in the ‘pearl of Africa’, Uganda. The quality of living in the village of Kagulu is strongly affected by copied building habits. Today, trees are cut to fire the field kilns to produce burned bricks. Not only the bricks are of inferior quality, the deforestation caused adds to climate change and droughts, loss of biodiversity and overheating because of lack of shading.
Here, the Byakika family founded a primary school in order to increase the educational level of children. The ‘School Blessed Family’ aims to be a best-practice school in the context of Uganda, both regarding pedagogical matters and infrastructural matters. Within this starting point, the school has initiated the idea of upgrading and upscaling the school infrastructure in order to demonstrate contemporary education within a sustainable infrastructure. The latter is not only beneficial for the school and its pupils, but also for other schools as ideas may be adopted, and for building actors (laymen, DIY builders, architects, contractors, …) as ‘design’ aspects (physical-spatial and building-constructive) and ‘build’ aspects (executional) may incentivise more sustainable ways of designing and building.
Sustainable building in Uganda
Prof.dr.arch. Mark Olweny is associate dean of the Faculty of the Built Environment of Uganda Martyrs University. Over the past years, sustainability and environmental design have become an essential part of the curriculum and were the main focus of many research projects of the Faculty of the Built Environment.
Environmental challenges in Uganda
Arch. Achilles Ahimbisibwe is lecturer at the Faculty of the Built Environment of Uganda Martyrs University. He was involved in several research projects on sustainable technologies and construction practices for East Africa and Uganda.