A sustainable community offers a long term resource for its inhabitants, enhancing living conditions, providing a sense of place and the infrastructure for work, rest and play. In Haiti the practice designed a masterplan for 200 homes, community buildings and renewable technologies, providing power through wind turbines and solar panels, waste disposal using reed beds and water via a cleaned rainwater system.
Our work in Malawi with the ARUP Sustainability Group took a standard classroom budget of US$20,000 and turned it into a thermally efficient, air-cooled space with indoor and outdoor shaded spaces and solar panels on the roof. This design is currently being used as the template by the Malawi Government.
As architects of the Oasis Academy Hadley in Enfield, the practice, with its experience of building schools in Malawi, is supporting Oasis' educational programme in Uganda. The Oasis Academy Musoto will work in partnership with the three UK Oasis Academies, facilitating exchange visits, and developing curriculum materials and good practice. The Ugandan Government aims to provide universal secondary education but, currently, only 10% of children who complete primary education get a place at a secondary school. The new Academy will provide education for 600 students, and accommodation for 200 boys and 200 girls, covering secondary school from grades S1 to S6.
In the UK, the practice's recently completed RSA Academy has already won the RICS Community Award 2012. At the RSA we took a failing school in an impoverished area with third generation unemployment and transformed it into a true community building which last year achieved 100% success in GCSE grades A to C for the first time ever.