Refugees and immigrants from the armed conflict in neighboring Karen State of Myanmar come to Thailand in a daily flow and settle in places located just a few kilometers from the border. One of the institutions offering accommodation is the CDC School (Children Development Center), which hosts more than 500 students. The Center works under the auspices of the Mae Tao Clinic and has recently expanded its premises by building four new dormitories. The construction was funded by the Embassy of Luxembourg in Bangkok. The first dormitory was built in 2012 within four weeks and accommodates up to 25 students. The open-plan interior provides semi-privacy and includes storage space for the students’ personal belongings.
The buildings are made from recycled timber, which accounts for 70 percent of the total construction cost and can be sold for 80 percent of the price once the buildings are disassembled. The material originates from old demolished town houses. The use of recycled timber is not only an environmentally friendly way of building, but also raises awareness of deforestation and illegal trafficking issues that plague the local area.