Over 4 million Syrians have been displaced by the civil war, and it’s a crisis that’s only getting worse. However, a new innovative and low-cost construction system could bring positive and lasting change. Pilosio Building Peace collaborated with architects Cameron Sinclair and Pouya Khazaeli to develop RE:BUILD, a revolutionary building process that uses scaffolding tubes and locally available natural materials, like sand and gravel, to construct modular structures. The local community can easily build a RE:BUILD structure in as little as a fortnight and adapt it for use as a home, school, or clinic with solar power capabilities.
The RE:BUILD system’s re-deployable and environmentally friendly structures can be easily and quickly assembled by a small team of people with no construction experience. Here’s how it works: scaffolding tubes are connected to form a grid-like framework, which is then filled with sand, gravel, or stone for insulation. The floors are constructed from plywood panels covered in phenolic film and sourced from northern Europe. The roof is covered in strips of soil to support a green roof for crops, and can also be outfitted with solar panels. Rainwater is collected in a special container inserted beneath the canopy. Each RE:BUILD structure can be expanded by adding modules.
“By working with them as co-designers and co-builders we were able to adapt the urban design to a local context and to draw in a cultural history,” Sinclair told Fast Company. “We victimize refugees by treating them as second-class citizens instead of understanding that they are some of the most resilient and hard working people on the planet. By engaging the refugees as paid laborers ensures that they once again feel in charge of their own destiny and leave with the skills to reassemble the school back in their home country.”
Thus far, refugees have assembled two schools in Jordan using the RE:BUILD construction system. One of the schools is located in Jordan’s Zaatari Refugee Camp, the largest refugee camp in the Middle East home to around 81,000 Syrian residents. The 16-meter-by-16-meter structure was built in a fortnight by 9 paid refugee laborers for a total construction cost of 30,000 euros. The school will be used by 120 kids.
You can help RE:BUILD and the future of refugees by donating to the construction of these new structures on the nonprofit Pilosio Building Peace’s online donation page.
Via Fast Company
Images via Pilosio