|Typical Ugandan school building with|
uninsulated wriggly tin roof
|Hot, humid, airless interior|
with class sizes up
to 150 pupils
However, there is far more to the design of these buildings than that! They are brilliant examples of bio-climatic architectural design, where every element has been carefully refined to create a comfortable, well-tempered environment inside with no energy inputs! The heavy mud walls stay cool and reduce the internal temperature. To stop them being heated up by the sun they are shaded by deeply overhanging roofs which also protect the mud walls from the torrential rains that occur twice a year. They are topped by perfectly formed conical roofs, made from thin, flexible, round wood saplings, lashed together with palm fibre ribbons.
The thatch covering this lean and structurally efficient
frame, which is light enough to be lifted into place in one piece, forms a deep
mat of plant fibres that prevents rain entering the interior. This deep roof covering contains pockets of
air that provide insulation, preventing the heat from the equatorial sun
entering the interior; working in combination with the thermally massive walls
to maintain a comfortable, well-tempered environment!
|Traditional Ugandan home made of mud walls|
with thick, insulating thatched roof with
deep overhanging eaves that shade the wall
|Cool dark interior with mud stool and|
passive, evaporative water cooler
|Food processor (right) and stove (left)|
both made from the earth of the site
|Built-in adobe storage unit|
Ultimately, I believe that it is essential that we return to designing buildings which are directly shaped by their climate and made from locally available and plentiful materials if we are to meet our needs in a sustainable manner; weather that is in Uganda or Britain. To help us to realise this dream please donate to Pop-up Foundation so that we can commence the realisation of the vision!