In Uruguay waste is piling up and materials are lacking, however an association called TAGMA has decided to build a school 100% sustainable development. The building is built mainly from waste and is self-sufficient in energy, it will teach young people to consume better and to recycle.
Since the beginning of the year, the village of Jaureguiberry works there. In this small Uruguayan village of 400 souls, there are now over 200 volunteers from around the world who are building this brand new public facility: the “Escuela Sustentable”.
An indispensable building
This new kind of school addresses two problems that affect the country. It is in Uruguay that there is the highest literacy rate in Latin America, this country has an education system that is bearing fruit. Unfortunately, the lack of equipment, especially in the countryside, is a major obstacle to the overall expansion of education. On the other hand, the country produces a lot of waste, but does not know how to get rid of it or recycle it.
The Escuela Sustentable has been designed to answer these two problems: the school, built with more than 60% of waste, allows the children of the neighboring villages to have access to the same education as in the big cities. Cans, plastic bottles, cartons, old tires: these detritus of everyday life served as a basis for the foundations of this building. And everyone can find something for them: waste that takes a second life, and a hundred children who meet there to learn with joy.
A 100% green school that teaches children about sustainable development
Energy self-sufficiency and sustainable education
But the school does not just empty the streets of its waste. It is also designed to be completely self-sufficient in energy: the roof, covered with solar panels, allows to generate the electricity and the heating which they need. Ecological, the school also bets on the recovery, the treatment and the storage rainwater: enough to feed the bathrooms, kitchen and vegetable garden.
Because the building also has small organic crops, used to supply the canteen with fresh products. The goal is also to teach responsible gardening to children so that they can reproduce it at home. Because within this school, the focus is particularly on the teaching of nature, its phenomena and its protection. Schoolchildren are thus made aware of the principles of sustainable development, recycling and the reuse of materials: knowledge that will allow them to innovate in their daily lives and to promote inexpensive resources as in India where the practice of innovation is very important. widespread.
A project by Michael Reynolds, champion of eco-construction
Behind this large 270 m2 project is Michael Reynolds, a leader in ecological architecture. The American architect became known in the 1960s for his research and experimentation for an alternative and innovative architecture, betting on recycled materials bound by mortar. From research to concrete, there is only one step, which is crossed by Michael Reynolds in 1972: an experimental community, made up of more than 70 ecological houses, is born in Taos, New Mexico.
Since then, his concept of “Earthship” has been spreading around the world. Escuela Sustentable is a striking example. The volunteers were trained locally by Earthship Biotecture, the company of the American ecologist. With the NGO TAGMA, also carrying the project, the architect does not intend to stop there. Given the success of this initiative, the purpose of this idea is to replicate it elsewhere, in other villages and why not in countries with no public school. It remains to find funding and motivated volunteers!