Project entry 2020 for Middle East Africa

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    Rebuilding Erupts in Cabo Verde

    Timeline of the eruption.

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    Rebuilding Erupts in Cabo Verde

    The Educational Complex in the community of Chã das Caldeiras, is a project that aims to be a catalyst for the re-development of the prior devastated community, whilst promoting both the use of locally available materials and the value education at all levels. The building of the school was a community endeavor from the design process to the build its users were involved on all levels from stating their demands and needs to pressing rammed volcanic rock.

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    Rebuilding Erupts in Cabo Verde

    The community of Chã das Caldeiras has had a deep bond with the Volcano, whose crater they call home, for generations. Though it destroys part of their village every 100 years they always return, it is friend, not foe. After the most recent eruption, we worked with the inhabitants to aid a sustainable rebuilt and redevelopment of the village. This centered around the design and build of a school, the construction of which acted as a workshop; how to use volcanic rock as a construction material.

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    Rebuilding Erupts in Cabo Verde

    Educational Complex and the rebuilding of the community.

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    Rebuilding Erupts in Cabo Verde

    The Educational Complex as a catalyst for social development.

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    Rebuilding Erupts in Cabo Verde

    Phasing of the Complex.

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    Rebuilding Erupts in Cabo Verde

    Responding to the climate of Chã das Caldeiras.

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    Rebuilding Erupts in Cabo Verde

    Using lava’s thermal properties in the climatic design of the school.

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    Rebuilding Erupts in Cabo Verde

    Building a volcanic vernacular.

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    Rebuilding Erupts in Cabo Verde

    A school in the making.

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    Rebuilding Erupts in Cabo Verde

    Leão Lopes and people from the community.

Last updated: November 13, 2021 São Vicente, Cabo Verde

An on-site workshop: collaborative construction methods

The project begins with the participation of the local population in the construction works. The people of Chã das Caldeiras were involved in a training process that enabled them to practice specific construction procedures for the site. This was consolidated as an on-site workshop acting as a production centre for pre-built elements (e.g. bricks, slabs). The workshop is of strategic importance to the project because, in addition to supplying locally produced materials, the population quickly realised the advantages of using them in their own buildings. This positive implication throughout the community was proved; it has been implement throughout the retrofitting of 40 family homes in a process where each family is directly involved in the construction, assisted by the M_EIA’s team

Passive cooling and rain-water collection in a very hot environment

Considering Cape Verde's extremely-hot climate, environmental comfort through passive design is the focus of this project. Effective air cross circulation is ensured through the channels in the masonry walls, this balances the thermal amplitudes between exterior and interior. An expressive shading visor minimises the solar incidence within the building, allowing the wide fenestrations and shutters to contribute to the entry of light and natural ventilation. The school is equipped with a 60-ton cistern for storing rainwater and supported by a filter system; sand, charcoal then gravel, that allows the used water to be purified in order to be used in irrigation systems for the surrounding vegetation. The cistern is large enough to support the school for the year.

Volcanic vernacular: introducing new construction technologies

Volcanic rock, in various forms, and basalt are materials locally available in Chã das Caldeiras and are thus the primary construction materials. This contributes to; low construction costs and negates the need to bring materials to site, saving resources and preventing pollution. These local materials were incorporated into the on-site workshop and were thus introduced in the buildings vocabulary as pre-fabricated construction elements, such as the bricks, corner pieces, slabs and stones produced with the aid of simple equipment, operated by the inhabitants of Chã. We developed a low cost, functional Volcano Vernacular that interacts, utilises and speaks to the surrounding environment all while enabling the locals to the otherwise destructive lava, now volcanic rock, as a resource.