METI Handmade School
Anna Heringer for Dipshikha
This Modern Education and Training Institute (METI) school in Rudrapur, Bangladesh, was designed by architect Anna Henringer and constructed using local materials (such as clay and bamboo) and local labour.
The Handmade School designed by Anna Heringer for Dipshikha’s METI (Modern Education and Training Institute) is a sustainable design for a building made entirely with local materials, technology and labour. It employed over 50 locals over the 6 months it took to be built. It is made out of bamboo, mud, straw, bricks, and other locally sourced materials. Measuring 325 square meters, it has 3 classrooms in the ground floor, two dividable classrooms on the upper floor, and 6 “caves” where children can read or relax. The design won the 2007 Aga Khan Award for Architecture.
*Please note that building designs are being included as “products” in the Habitat Sector of the Solutions Library to allow readers to learn from how projects were designed and constructed and how they are serving the occupants, whether effective or ineffective.
The project had a budget of €35000 ($41,198.53USD, as of May 2018)
The project heavily relies on locally sourced natural materials that may be limited by local availability.
Goal 11: Aims to create sustainable design using local labour and materials.
168 students in the village (or the NGO who uses the building for its METI project)
The foundation is laid down using bricks with concrete with a damp proof course. The floor beams are made with three layers of bamboo post, protruding by a meter in a balustrade. The walls are made of packed mud mixed with straw. The structure is made from more bamboo stalks, fastened together using nylon ropes and steel dowel pins. The roof is made from iron coated with zinc.
Building designs generally fall under architectural copyright.
N/A because METI Handmade School is a unique building design.
Indication of whether design can be replicated in multiple locations
Number of individuals. 1 family = 5 persons.
Number of days from start of construction to completion
Surface area of footprint
Number of occupiable floors (ground floor only = 1)
Primary materials used
Composite estimated R-value
As calculated by designer
As calculated by designer
Based upon primary structural system as per the International Building Code
Based upon Structural Occupancy Category and soil conditions of site; as per the International Building Code
List of suitable climates for use of this design
The building can be maintained by a worker with general construction experience.
To repair a mud wall, it is possible to wet the broken piece and place it back. Bamboo pieces can be replaced individually.
It’s full lifespan is not known, but so far it has endured over 11 rainy seasons.
The building is designed to be comfortable and functional for occupants.
Structural analysis was performed by professional engineers.
Day-labourers working on the construction are subjected to the risks it entails; heights, heavy objects, tools, among others.
Since access to electricity is limited, a complementary technical system could be an off-grid energy source.
Ashraf, KK. This is not a building! Handmaking a school in a Bangladeshi village. Architectural Design. 2007 Nov;77(6):114-117
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