Monday, November 29, 2010

Self Sustaining

Seldom, do we have the opportunity to design facilities that are completely self sustaining and/or 'off the grid.' The site for African University is located in the middle of a rain forest. Access to the site is currently via a footpath (as shown to the left). Existing resources to support a university campus are non-existent. Therefore, the African University facilities need to serve as a premiere example of how sustainable design and construction can be implemented.

Sustainability is a broad term. For us, sustainable means designing a facility that will endure time and consume minimal resources. Our team plans to implement sustainable construction methods via the building system design and site development. Building systems include the materials of the structure, mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems. Preliminary ideas for these systems include the use of rain barrels, solar panels, wind turbines, large fan systems, and standby diesel generators.

Sustainable design will focus on selecting local building materials, conserving land and other natural resources, installing energy efficient materials, developing a responsible operations plan, and educating the community.

Knowing the extent of what materials are available and current construction methods are one of the goals of the trip ... which begins in only 6 days!

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