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Earthen School Tipu Sultan Merkez, Jar Maulwi, Pakistan

Earthen School Tipu Sultan Merkez, Jar Maulwi, Pakistan
Earthen School Tipu Sultan Merkez, Jar Maulwi, Pakistan
Earthen School Tipu Sultan Merkez, Jar Maulwi, Pakistan
Earthen School Tipu Sultan Merkez, Jar Maulwi, Pakistan
Earthen School Tipu Sultan Merkez, Jar Maulwi, Pakistan
Earthen School Tipu Sultan Merkez, Jar Maulwi, Pakistan
Earthen School Tipu Sultan Merkez, Jar Maulwi, Pakistan
Earthen School Tipu Sultan Merkez, Jar Maulwi, Pakistan
Earthen School Tipu Sultan Merkez, Jar Maulwi, Pakistan
Earthen School Tipu Sultan Merkez, Jar Maulwi, Pakistan
Earthen School Tipu Sultan Merkez, Jar Maulwi, Pakistan
Earthen School Tipu Sultan Merkez, Jar Maulwi, Pakistan
Earthen School Tipu Sultan Merkez, Jar Maulwi, Pakistan
Earthen School Tipu Sultan Merkez, Jar Maulwi, Pakistan
Earthen School Tipu Sultan Merkez, Jar Maulwi, Pakistan
Architect
Eike Roswag, Roswag Architekten
Engineers/Specialists
Ziegert | Seiler Ingenieure
Location
Asia and Australia - Pakistan - Jar Maulwi, Sheikupera District, Punjab Province
Climate Zone
arid
Design status
build
Date of completion
2011
Site area (m²)
950
Footprint (m²)
125
GFA (m²)
650
Density
0.684
Gross Volume (GV) (m³)
4550
Building Costs
90000 USD
Building Costs / m² GFA
138.462
Building Costs / m³ GV
19.78
Use of renewable ressources - low tech
natural cross ventilation, evapoartive cooling, use of high thermal mass
Renewable, recycled, recyclable and innovative materials

Bamboo, earth, straw

Key Sustainability aspects
solar building integration, vernacular building strategies, public spaces, renewable building materials, recycling and reuse, ecological building materials, innovative bulding materials, integrated planning process, participation of users in planning process, low cost design, zero energy design
Social and ethical responsibility

In November 2011 the School and development organisation Tipu Sultan Merkez (TSM) was awarded Gold at the Holcim Award celebration for its work in Asia. The Holcim Awards for sustainable constructions are presented every three years by the Holcim Foundation for Sustainable Construction (http://www.holcimfoundation.org/T1398/Asia_Pacific.htm).             Tipu Sultan Merkez (TSM) is a privately-initiated school and development project in Jar Maulwi, a small village near Lahore, Pakistan. TSM has been assisting underprivileged rural girls for ten years now. Having won widespread acceptance in the region, the school requires seven additional classrooms to accommodate its growing student population. The new classrooms measure around 40m2, making them ca.10m2 larger than the existing ones. The new structure is two storeys tall, both to minimize land use and to demonstrate the potential earth and bamboo have as building materials for load-bearing constructions. Following earthquake design strategies, the building is divided into two parts which are connected by a wide multipurpose veranda area.

Glassed windows to the south collect solar energy to regulate building temperatures in wintertime. In the hot summers, the earth naturally absorbs humidity from night-time cross-ventilation and then release it into the air during the day. This process cools the interior air to around 8° below outside peak temperatures, providing a comfortable indoor environment.

The ground floor is built out of massive 60cm-thick cob walls (a mixture of earth and straw). For this technique, earth is piled up on the brick foundation without using a formwork. The walls are left to dry, and then the excess is trimmed off with a spade until they have the desired thickness. This project draws upon local earthen building traditions and resident craftsmen's abilities to update the existing method, resultin in a more solid, durable construction. Among other modifications, an underground brick foundation and a horizontal damp-proof course protects the earthen walls against rising damp and splashing rainwater.

As deforestation is an important issue in the region, the simple construction method incorporates bamboo in order to reduce wood consumption. The first-floor walls is built using the wattle-and-daub method: light bamboo frame structures have be constructed and then filled in with earth. The ceilings and roofs are constructed using a system of triple-layer bamboo beams joined with simple knots and steel rods, then covered with a layer of earth. The bamboo is treated with Borax, a natural salt which protects against parasite infestations.

The main ideas of the project are to promote local traditions, reduce reliance on fossil fuels and expensive products from outside the region, and develop natural material and economic cycles. The school is a pilot project for a transformed building method, one which can be adapted for different uses. A private two-storey house has also been designed and will be built as a parallel pilot project on the university campus in Lahore. The school has been built by residents of surrounding villages, most of whom are directly involved with the centre through their children. TSM is a regional social hub, and the new school will demonstrate the potential for future projects in other regions. By promoting local building traditions, the new system will help reinforce rural identity and work against migration to the cities. The method will support healthy living conditions by creating comfortable, safe and durable habitats.                In the rural areas of Punjab, earth is a common building material, and earthen building techniques are still widely used. However, buildings without proper foundations and horizontal damp-proof courses require constant maintenance, and typically last just 8-10 years. Area residents thus often dream of having brick or cement-block homes.

The new building system transforms the existing techniques, creating very durable structures with high load-bearing capacities. Numerous local artisans have been trained and will be certified in the new techniques during the building phases of the two pilot projects, equipping them to set up their own businesses in the future. TSM is preparing a proposal for a long-term training and maintenance program which could be implemented during the second building phase in Fall 2011. TSM and other partners in Pakistan are considering forming an umbrella organization which would support and develop the system under its own trademark in the future.

Ressource efficiency and environmental impact

People in Jar Maulwi have very ecological lifestyles: they build using natural resources, grow their own food, etc. However, residents dream of having more durable concrete and brick homes, even though these are less comfortable and more expensive. This project is designed to promote the area's traditional, ecologically-friendly construction culture by keeping the benefits of the traditional methods while making buildings more durable. The system can be used to construct rooms spanning nearly 6 meters, making it suitable for many modern purposes. The land saved by building a two-storey construction can be used for village gardens. Earth and bamboo are natural, adaptable materials which can be returned to

nature at the end of the building's lifespan, creating a closed natural cycle. Earth's natural humidity activity provides climate control and thus a healthy indoor environment. The use of fast-growing bamboo instead of wood counters deforestation, an important topic in this area.

Economic lifecycle perfomance

Using natural local materials is very economical and saves residents money. More durable buildings provide two advantages: they require less intensive maintenance than traditional buildings, but they last a long time with proper upkeep. Trained craftsmen can start businesses using the new system, and farmers can earn money through bamboo cultivation. Economic cycles are small and locally-based, and rural residents can generate local income by selling their products and services to the cities.

Contextual performance and impact

The design is based on local building typologies which meet residents' specific needs, and it uses local materials in construction. The school is an example of modern Punjabi architecture integrated into the TSM campus. The usage of local materials and the modified building methods connect the project to the region. Modern elements like climate-adapting glassed windows or modern earthen finishes link the project to contemporary green architectural culture.