Project Duration- 1 month - Wintersession in Costa Rica
Group Project
Material- Primarily teak and melina

Project Brief- RISD has been engaged, since 2007 in collaborative studios with Earth University, the world’s foremost school of sustainable agriculture. EARTH commissioned students at RISD to design and build a classroom prototype that will serve as an example of sustainable building practices in the dry tropics. This Wintersession 2013 studio was a culmination of a year of research and design study on the development of a prototype classroom – off the grid, hi-tech/low-tech – for rural schools in the dry tropical region of Costa Rica. We will build the learning environment at the La Flor Campus of Earth University. This prototype will be the focus of a 2013 Green Energy Conference.

The floor plan is based on a simple 2x2m grid system. The program primarily includes a classroom space, an outdoor deck, a lockable storage space and 2 bathrooms. The roof collects rain water and stores it in a tank outside. It is filtered and pumped into the tanks above the sink and to the toilets. The building is naturally cooled taking into account the direction of the wind. The prevailing winds hit the east side of the building and the east roof creates a chimney effect. The pivoting walls can be opened and closed accordingly. There is place for solar panels on the South roof and a wind turbine system could also be implemented.
Due to lack of time, we were unable to finish the structure but we did construct the basic framework. It will be completed by Earth University.

Process Sketches  








photos of structure  

photos of details