MASS is a design group that focuses on using building projects to empower communities by employing a mainly local workforce and utilizing local materials.
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.
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.