Skip to main content

Energy-efficient design to support communities in developing countries

A collaborative event giving students the chance to contribute to real-life design and construction projects in developing countries, in partnership with CAUKIN studio.

CAUKIN studio is an architectural design studio specialising in community projects in developing countries. This collaborative event gave students studying MSC Environmental Design of Buildings, MSc Sustainable Mega Buildings and MA Architectural Design the chance to use their design skills to contribute to these projects.

The activities focused on projects CAUKIN are working on in Zambia, Vanuatu and Fiki to design and construct community facilities. As fuel and electricity supply is extremely limited for these projects, the students worked together to apply passive design to improve occupant comfort. Passive design is an approach which maximises the use of natural resources for services such as heating, cooling and ventilation. This zero energy approach requires consideration of social and economic factors influencing the communities being helped.

Student groups were formed based on the project they wished to support to create a design proposal. Passive design strategies influence choices on the buildings' location, orientation form and materials. Other considerations included the use of local materials which didn't need specialised tools, fixings or skills.

At the end of the day each group presented their design proposal to a CAUKIN team representative along with the evidence supporting their ideas. The design materials provided by the student groups were provided to CAUKIN to help communicate the ideas to their team of designers. The event proved an effective way of including specialist skills in challenging designs that do not have the financial support to engage consultants.


Dr Vicki Stevenson

Dr Vicki Stevenson

Reader, Course Director for MSc Environmental Design of Buildings, Director of Postgraduate Research

+44 (0)29 2087 0927