line decor
   -home -
line decor

 
 
GREEN BUILDING

 


SOLAR PANELS

Though we don't use much power, the electricty we do use is provided by three solar panels. These were installed in February, 2009, and currently provide 205 Watts of electricity. This is enough for 12 seven watt bulbs for four hours a day and 2 hours of charging appliances such as a mobile phone or a small laptap computer.


BAMBOO & THATCH

Above is a picture of our school library, overlooking the Kapeu Stream. Built by and using the architectural aesthetic of the ethnic Taoy, we are really proud of what our community has accomplished in this space. On the bottom floor, we have shelves of books on many subjects, ranging from art and literature, to appropriate technology, permaculture, organic agriculture, etc. Most of our books are in Lao language, some of which we've been translating from other languages for several years. We also have a great selection of English and Thai books.

This library has four balconies, two of which overlook the beautiful stream. Our students will be able to relax and read in the natural evening light, in the breeze, in the crisp, morning air, or whenever they please!

Let us know if you'd like to donate money to help us find books, translate, and maintain our library.

 
EARTH-BUILDING

We have five adobe earth building on site, including the girl's dormitory, the white building in the picture above. Adobe earth building is a low-impact technology that is durable and beautiful when properly done. Bricks are made from earth and rice husks mixed and poured into handmade moulds, which are then sun dried. The walls are painted with limestone instead of acrylic or oil based paints. The girls' dormitory is in the shape of a bean. Black beans are a major crop of the people in the area, and are nitrogen-fixing species that replenish the soil and are a great symbol of ecological sustainability. Every terrestrial ecosystem requires some naturally occuring legume species.

The boy's dormitory, below, is in the shape of a hexagon. We left the outside of this building unpainted to show the raw beauty that earth buildings can take.

Almost all of our buildings are roofed using imperata grass thatching, a locally available weed that can serve as an excellent mulch when it gets old and needs replacing.

NEW! OUR MUSHROOM HOUSE

Our goal is to build a mushroom house for under $100. We have started building it with our 2009 class as a part of their earthbuilding workshop. We used stones cemented together for the foundation (so we only had to spend $4 on cement!) and are using scrap wood to make the window frames. The house is in the shape of a snail or a spiral, which maximizes the wall surface area. This will allow us to grow a considerable amount of oyster and other mushrooms in a clean and organzed way. Check out the pics below:

OPEN-SPACE SCHOOL

The ‘hidden curriculum’ is the set of messages consciously and unconsciously articulated in everything from the way the teacher teaches to the environment and buildings that the lessons are taught in. David Orr (1993) explains that ‘the design of academic buildings is a kind of crystallized pedagogy full of hidden assumptions about power, about how people learn, how they relate to the natural world, and how they relate to one another.’ Our school has no walls because we want the birds and insects to come in and teach us their lessons too. The school dormitories are made of adobe earth, have thatch roofing, and are solar powered. We believe that these infrastructure choices are important lessons for our community. The students are currently learning adobe building through building a spiral-shaped mushroom house, which we will use to grow oyster and straw mushrooms.

 

Custom Search
 
 
 

HELP US TODAY!

Our project is funded by people like you. Our goal is not to compete with other NGOs for funding, but to stimulate contributions that would not otherwise be made, adding a project not preventing one. Click here to find out the many easy ways you can help.


If you don't need a tax receipt, just click below to donate!


e-NEWSLETTER
Get on our mailing list to receive our newsletters by emailing us at ramsey@sustainablelaos.org.