The Building Trust International has recently unveiled a new sustainable design prototype by Atelier Cole for an eco-lodge in Tmat Boey, Cambodia
The unique eco-lodges located in the Kulen Promtep Wildlife Sanctuary are the Building Trust’s latest endeavour in promoting conservation of wildlife. The aim is to assist local villagers to protect their natural surroundings by attracting local and foreign tourists to the area to see critically endangered species, and thus generating income.
Atelier Cole worked together with the Building Trust, the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and the Sam Veasna Center (SVC) to design the sustainable lodges and to help the local community build them through hands-on participatory design and build workshops.
The lodges are set in an area of awe-inspiring natural beauty, and it is hoped that wildlife enthusiasts from all over the world will be drawn there to not only enjoy a stay in a truly sustainable and unique eco-lodge but to see some of the rarest wildlife on the planet.
Using natural locally available materials such as bamboo and earth; the eco-lodges were constructed using traditional building methods. An adobe lime plaster mix was used on the external walls for a smooth, clean finish. The roofs and side wall facades are made of locally sourced bamboo. Recycled plastic bottles were collected from the local community and used to build the staircase leading up to the lodge.
The adobe and lime plaster walls have a cooling effect, and the form of the lodge creates natural air flow. There are also moveable swinging windows, which were built using locally sourced timber, and which can be positioned to allow guests to watch wildlife from the comfort of their own room.
The wrap-around angled roof, traditional to northern Cambodian architecture, is to constructed to reduce solar gain on the walls and also helps the building to blend seamlessly with other local buildings in the dense forest.
The building workshop allowed for a crossover of skills between the local community, local contractors and Building Trust volunteers. The Building Trust are due to host a number of other design and build workshops throughout 2015 promoting natural building, community engagement and sustainable construction techniques.
Ross, Sinclair Director of WCS Cambodia has said: “WCS and BTI share a set of core values, valuing high quality outputs with a commitment to sustainability. We also share a similar approach; community consultation is at the heart of what we do, at every stage of the conservation process, because of this we are excited to work with BTI. Their beautiful, functional and sustainable designs help us increase the benefits that remote communities receive from the biodiversity values of the areas where they live and we work.”