Green Building; Mantanani Style

by | January 1st, 2012 | Camps International, Mantanani Kindergarten, News | No Comments

Green building mantanani style

Arkitrek’s Ian Hall will be talking to the Sabah Society on 4th January about ‘Green Building; Mantanani Style’


Sustainability lessons with the Bajau Ubian of Pulau Mantanani.
Lesson One – You can’t build that, people will laugh at you!
Lesson Two – You can’t build that, the cows will laugh at it!
Lesson Three – Orang Putih use a lot of water!

The first two lessons relate to how the aspirations of the islanders can be at odds with the aspirations of the incomers from the tourism industry. This talk will look at how a community tourism operation can be run and more specifically, how green building principles can be taught and implemented within this context. The final lesson concerns the Mantanani community adapting to the tourists and the dawning realisation that the new way of life may not be as sustainable as the old.

The Bajau Ubian are not the only people to learn about green building on Mantanani. Arkitrek implements community projects, not as a design consultancy but as an international education program. Projects are designed and supervised and to some extent funded by architecture, engineering and construction students from around the world. During the program, students get to design and build projects which challenge conventional attitudes to the use of natural resources in the construction industry. The fact that these lessons take place in a stunning natural environment makes them more poignant.

Change does not happen quickly and built infrastructure must be developed contemporarily with social infrastructure. The link with responsible tourism operator Camps International is critical in this respect in providing continuity and livelihood. To date, Arkitrek and Camps International have implemented, or are in the process of implementing three built projects on Mantanani. ‘Green Building, Mantanani Style’ will be illustrated with images of the Camp Mantanani buildings, the MCP Learning Centre, Mantanani School Library and Mantanani Kindergarten.

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