Post 1: 23/10/17
Welcome new readers to the Tanzania Project blog as hosted and maintained by myself, Katie, the new Simmonds.Mills Intern!
- A Little about Me…. I joined the team in early July from Loughborough University, where I study Textile Design. Working in an ecological architecture company has allowed me to broaden my vocational knowledge and learn more about an industry that has interested me for years.
At Simmonds.Mills we would like to introduce you to one of our latest projects, currently under development in Tanzania. The aim of which, is to create buildings that will be sustainable into the future.These developments are all part of a larger project called The Children’s Eco Village established by the charity, iHelp and location of the site is in the Mkuranga District south of Dar es Salaam; covering around 40 acres in total.
(Right:Simmonds.Mills architects, Adele Mills and Andy Simmonds, meeting with Laurian Mchau -centre- an engineer who is involved in the project.)
So how did Simmonds Mills get involved? They were initially approached by iHelp, via a network of contacts. Simmonds Mills were deemed suitable for multiple reasons, including:
- Location: whilst iHelp is based in Birmingham, SMA are based in both Herefordshire and Shropshire; near enough to develop a good working relationship.
- Simmonds.Mills have an eclectic mix of design skills and have hands-on building experience with natural, ecological materials.
- Over their 25 years practice history, they’ve also worked with many charities and NGO’s and educational projects.
- Their commitment to education and dissemination of ideas encapsulated in well-designed, sustainable architecture.
Whilst being involved in the project I observed how communication is a vital part of any project, especially when working in different parts of the world. Throughout the build, the team have been communicating through ‘WhatsApp’. Which proves to be invaluable, from a quick question answered to an issue identified, tackled and resolved.
A little about The Children’s Eco Village project… it started in 2012 and its main aim is to give orphaned children a better and brighter future, whilst promoting practices that are sustainable and environmentally aware. It will further demonstrate to the community that it is possible to live comfortably with the use of technologies such as wind, solar and biogas. To achieve this, they have started to integrate these into all areas of life, from the buildings completed to the produce grown. Another key part of the village is an emphasis on use of local materials. “The Children’s Eco village is committed to exploring environmentally beneficial solutions that can be locally produced and utilised.” (The Children’s Eco Village, 2016).
(Left: The Eco Village’s Mosque, complete with 3 water tanks which provide fresh water for ablutions which is then recycled again to water produce. The mosque also minimises electrical use by very good daylight, cross ventilation avoiding air-conditioning.)
(Below: A project meeting under a tree providing some valuable shade!).
Stay tuned for the next post, where I’ll be looking further into the Test Building and finding out why exactly it’s being built?
Katie, SMA Intern