Sustainable by design 2050

An initiative of the UIA

Velux model home 2020




Abu Hindi Primary School

Abu Hindi Primary School
Abu Hindi Primary School
Abu Hindi Primary School
Abu Hindi Primary School
Abu Hindi Primary School
Abu Hindi Primary School
Abu Hindi Primary School
Abu Hindi Primary School
Abu Hindi Primary School
Abu Hindi Primary School
Abu Hindi Primary School
ARCò - Architettura e Cooperazione (Alberto Alcalde, Alessio Battistella, Carmine Chiarelli, Valerio Marazzi, Claudia Romano, Diego Torriani, Luca Trabattoni)
Further Specialists
Vento di Terra ONG - Promoter
Middle East and Eastern Europe - Palestine - Abu Hindi, near Al Azarije
Climate Zone
Design status
Date of completion
Site area (m²)
Footprint (m²)
GFA (m²)
NFA (m²)
Gross Volume (GV) (m³)
Building Costs
40000 EUR
Building Costs / m² GFA
Building Costs / m² NFA
Building Costs / m³ GV
Use of renewable ressources - low tech
natural cross ventilation, use of high thermal mass, others
Renewable, recycled, recyclable and innovative materials

Bamboo (500 m2), Straw (3000 kg), Lime plastering (325 m2), Soil (20 m3), Sandwich panels (314 m2), Wooden pavement (180 m2), Steel structure 5x5 (810 m), Stabilised straw and mud bricks (120 m3 per 15600 kg)

Key Sustainability aspects
solar building integration, vernacular building strategies, accessability for disabled, renewable building materials, recycling and reuse, ecological building materials, integrated planning process, participation of users in planning process, low cost design, use of innovative design tools
Social and ethical responsibility

Abu Hindi primary school project was born from a strict cooperation and exchange of ideas and information about needs and desires between the Jerusalem Bedouin Committee Anata, the promoter Vento di Terra NGO and ARCò team. This building refurbishment answers to children need for a safe, clean and performing school and to the need for an identity collective place of the whole Bedouin community. Local inhabitants are employed as workers in a process of complete and transparent participation.

Ressource efficiency and environmental impact
Refurbishment activity is a highly efficient use of land, moreover of basic importance in a country with land scarcity as Palestine. We use low tech materials, easily available and recyclable, with minimum environmental impact; off-grid energy for illumination, that will be generated by a PV roof plant; passive mechanisms for thermal energy balance, offered by the bamboo shading panels, ventilated air cavity of the external walls, transpiring walls made of straw and mud, ventilated roof.
Economic lifecycle perfomance

The financing of this project comes from voluntary funding raised by Vento di Terra NGO. The building activity, carried on as auto construction by Bedouin workers with the supervision of ARCò team, brings improvement of their professionalism and possibility of new highly qualified job. Low cost and easy availability on site of materials used make local communities independent from any scarcity, commercial embargo or inflation. All the materials have low environmental impact in their Life Cycle Assessment, and can be reused in the future.

Contextual performance and impact

ARCò uses simple cheap materials to reach high performance and architectural quality. The colour and texture of bamboo panels, naturally changing with sunshine and time passing is in harmony with desert landscape. The creation of strip windows on top of external perimeter walls, together with classrooms internal white plastering, creates a warm and beautiful natural light inside the building. The restoration of the building brings a great positive impact on children perception of their everyday school-life and on the whole community.