Architecture Projects Using Local Materials and Workforce

By providing training opportunities for local workers and artisans, and by using materials sourced on site whenever possible, MASS Design Group makes the actual construction of a building a tool for sustainable progress. MASS involves local people in all phases of the construction process, making sure buildings such as hospitals and schools are designed for the community. This also ensures that the local community know how to physically maintain the buildings themselves.

We need to be asking about the human handprints in the built environment, which is a thing made by people that includes materials extracted by people, and is ultimately used by people.

Michael MurphyCo-Founder and Executive Director, MASS Design Group

For example, to create the Ilima Primary School in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, MASS architectural design students and local carpenters trained the village residents how to work with wood, and used local materials for 95% of the building’s structure. They also exclusively employed local workers for the construction of the building. Since 2015, twelve buildings have been constructed using MASS’s methods.

Why you should care

Buildings are responsible for up to 30% of global carbon emissions and consumes up to 40% of all energy. By using locally sourced and environmentally friendly materials, as well as training locals in maintenance, the environmental impact of construction can be significantly reduced.

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