Building Trust international have worked with the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and SVC on a new eco-lodge designed and built by the local community, NGO partners and through a hands-on participatory design and build workshop. Building Trust were requested by WCS to work with the local community in Tmat Boey, in the north of Cambodia to design
and construct a new lodge facility for WCS and SVC’s well established ecotourism project. The project is located in Kulen Promtep Wildlife Sanctuary and is managed by the Ministry of Environment.
Birdwatchers from across Asia and beyond flock to Cambodia for a glimpse of two of the world’s rarest birds: the giant ibis and its cousin the whiteshouldered ibis. The birds’ nesting grounds sit at the outskirts of Tmat Boey, a rural village where WCS and SVC have worked with the community to develop an eco-tourism project. This ground breaking project has turned
village farmers into custodians of the natural habitats the wildlife around them inhabit. Protecting threatened forests and in doing so providing an income to the whole community.
The design makes use of natural materials such as earth and bamboo. An adobe mix was created to place on the external walls with a lime plaster used to form a smooth, clean finish. Bamboo was sourced locally and used to create the roof and side wall facades. Recycled plastic bottles were collected from the local community and used to help create a staircase to reach the lodge itself, while also educating on the importance of recycling and reusing materials.
It is hoped the newly designed lodge will attract wildlife enthusiasts from Asia and beyond who will benefit from the sustainably built lodge. The adobe and lime plaster has a cooling effect creating a natural airflow throughout. The new building features moveable swinging windows which were built from locally sourced timber and can be positioned to allow guests to watch wildlife from the comfort of their own room. The overhanging split roof was used to create a frame protecting the natural materials within. The concept of the wrap around angled roof is based on reducing solar gain on the walls and defining the building against the dense canopy.
The workshop itself allowed for the crossover of skills between the Tmat Boey community, local contractors and Building Trust volunteers. Working alongside the community ensured the project was owned by the people it supports. Building Trust are due to host a number of design and build workshops throughout 2015 promoting natural building, community
engagement and sustainable construction techniques.