Tag Archives: wildlife

Building a submerged hide with Cambodia’s 1st green roof

Eco-tourism and Conservation project from the Wildlife Conservation Society, Sam Vensa Centre and Building Trust international. The project will see the construction of a submerged hide with Cambodia’s 1st green roof. The project will bring revenue from tourists and wildlife enthusiasts and help local villagers protect the nearby forests and plains.


Foundations for the hide are dug out


Rebar is placed to create foundations for hide


Sketching out design with local community and WCS staff

This project will be constructed over the upcoming weeks in Dongphlat, Cambodia.

Check out our Facebook album to see more!

Thanks for reading,


Reflecting on the past while looking forward to the future.


Building Trust international, Wildlife Conservation Society and the Royal Government of Cambodia announce details of an
interpretation centre which will act as a hub for eco-tourism activities in the northern plains of Cambodia and stand as a memorial to the past.

We are very excited to share with you the latest designs for an amazing interpretation centre in the North of Cambodia!

Night view

Due to be constructed next year the building will serve to remember the great price Cambodia paid during the Khmer Rouge period, while looking forward to the diverse and spectacular wildlife the country has to offer both local and foreign tourists alike. The centre will be a new type of museum created to educate and raise awareness of both natural and cultural heritage.

Ang Trapeang Thmor is a 12,650-hectare wildlife reserve located between Angkor Wat and the border of Thailand in north eastern Cambodia. The site was once a natural lake located within a forest which was adapted during the 12th century to feed the rice plains of the Angkorian empire and more recently it became one of the large scale, failed civil engineering
projects forced upon the population of Cambodia during the Khmer Rouge period. Of the estimated 50,000 people who were tasked with enlarging the massive reservoir around 30,000 people are thought to have died,testament to the truly horrific chapter in Cambodia’s past.
The creation of the reservoir however has led to an explosion of wildlife with some of the worlds most endangered birds nesting in the area. This amazing revelation led to the area becoming a protected reserve which is managed by Forestry Administration (FA), with technical support provided by Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS.)


Inspired by the forest which once dominated the site. The concept of the building is defined by the untreated rough timber columns that pierce the floor plates and drive up through the floor slabs. Visitors are engaged with the building in the surrounding landscape, with columns breaking free of the building starting in the car park and wetland area.
A standing tall metaphor for both nature and man’s ability to overcome adversity.

water view4

On the upper deck level an outside viewing tower allows guests to take in far reaching views of the wetlands and wildlife. Once back inside the building visitors receive information on the wild birds and other species that can be seen in the area and throughout Cambodia. Also provided are details on protection schemes and education on how to help the conservation efforts. Finally, a cafe and shop which provide support to the local community, has a seating area with wonderful views of Ang Trapeang Thmor. Within the cafe, the feeling of being under a forest canopy is reinforced by the glazed roof which allows light to filter through from the reflection pool on the roof, throwing dappled shadows across the internal

Stay tuned for details of the build in 2015!

Saving wildlife through building community led eco-lodges in Cambodia.


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.

Mixed materials

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.

The roof goes up
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.

Local community help on site
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.

In constructionCommunity ConsultationBamboo and adobe