At the first meeting with NGO Cambodian Community Dream Organization, Inc (CCDO) in mid-July 2021 on the project, CCDO informed us that a couple of pre-existing village preschools had recently been badly damaged by inclement weather. There was thus urgent need to produce a quick-to-build but sturdy design that could function without electrical power and withstand the intense heat and heavy rains of the Cambodian climate.
Timber was to be avoided as main structural and building elements and the budget for each school was incredibly low. The design would serve as a prototype to be replicated throughout many villages. BHN Architecture took up the challenge and presented a design that focussed on the following:
i. Ease of Construction
ii. Enduring Structure
iii. Ease of Use
iv. Practicality and Comfort, and
v. Provision of Permanent Natural Ventilation
BHN Architecture designed a permanent vent system using the 2 types of ubiquitous Cambodian bricks and became a prominent feature in the buildings. The firm went on to design accompanying Latrines and Wash-Stations for the Preschools.
Following the steep learning curve that the local team went through to build the first Preschool, the others followed suit with increasing ease. By October 2022, the 6th Preschool had been completed.