School construction

The project

This project involves the construction of a preprimary and primary school that will allow the enlargement of the educative work of the Association, giving to it the needed infrastructure and equipment to embrace a total of 200 students.

In the school there will be space for eight classrooms, corresponding to the eight years of education to complete pre-Primary and Primary school, several multipurpose spaces and sports fields. In addition, the parents of the students will benefit from several formative courses that the organization will provide. The school infrastructure will be used by the young womens association, whom are receiving seminars, trainings and multiple activities. Moreover, the rest of the community will also benefit from the sport courts by joining our sport clubs -football, basketball, etc.- or by practicing by themselves.

Ecological building to invest in the future

The construction of the project is based on the reuse of different residues such as glass bottles and, mainly, plastic bottles of polyethylene terephthalate (PET). This technique, patented by Andreas Froese, a German expert on bio-construction and eco-design, consists of using plastic bottles made of PET, filled with soil. This structural system belongs to BIOCONSTRUCTION, within the field of architecture, whose main principle is to build spaces in order to satisfy the human needs while trying to reduce the ecological impact that is produced.

The determination of Born to Learn to use plastic bottles for its school building project is based on the specific context of Mvuleni, the area in which the NGO develops its work. This small village, near the TPC sugar cane plantation, has suffered deforestation through massive cutting down to obtain wood as a combustible for the manufacture of bricks. Furthermore, the scarcity and inefficacy of the recycling systems make the existence of solid residues a health issue.

How is it done?

Therefore, the use of plastic bottles provides the opportunity both to make the most of this residue as material of construction and to contribute to reduce deforestation by decreasing the consumption of bricks. Bottles, filled with soil, sand and other materials, are used as bricks and form a framework for walls or pillars. They are joined by means of strings and plaster made of clay or a cement mixture which fills the space between all bottles. In addition, this constructive system is inexpensive since due to the reuse of a solid residue that promotes autoconstruction, that is, the construction carried out by non-qualified labour. Because of this technique, parents of the students in Born to Learn school are fully involved in the project, participating actively in the construction of the new school.

Finally, another ecological material is used in the project as well: bamboo, a raw material which is abundant in Tanzania yet whose use in the construction field is not widely extended. The main advantages of this material are its lightness and its fast grow, which makes it a more sustainable material

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