Continue reading below
Our Featured Videos
Butaro Doctor Housing, MASS Design Group, local materials, local artisans, doctor housing, rwanda

The Butaro District Hospital serves over 400,000 people and it was built from local materials by local craftspeople and artisans. Not only is the hospital quite beautiful, it also provides much-needed healthcare for the community and it works to empower the surrounding villages. Doctors are a critical part of the equation, so to ensure the hospital retained good medical providers, they needed good houses to keep them around. MASS Design Group worked with the Rwanda Ministry of Health, Partners In Health, and the Daniel E. Ponton Fund at Brigham and Women’s Hospital to design and build four light-filled duplexes located on a hillside near the hospital. Completed in the fall of 2012, these duplexes provide housing for eight physicians, who will work in the community.

The story gets even better, though – 900 individuals were employed to build these eight sustainable homes. During construction a great number of people were trained and educated in a variety of building techniques and crafts using locally-sourced materials. Each home was built to be earthquake safe using compressed stabilized earth blocks (CSEBs) made with soil from the site. By the end of construction, 30 people were taught how to build with CSEBs, and they will go on to improve construction throughout the country. In addition, 138 people learned masonry skills; 60 people learned about steel bending and carpentry; and 50 locals learned terracing practices, which are used to stabilize agricultural hillsides.

Ultimately, the construction of the Butaro Doctor Housing contributed $400,000 to the local economy, taught 900 people new skills, and ensured that the community would continue to have skilled doctors. Learn more about the Butaro Doctor Housing project and the Buro Happold Effectiveness Award.


Images ©Iwan Baan