Category Archives: Architecture

Panyaden Secondary School Design Concept | Chiangmai Life Architects

Project Year : Construction started in 2018 and is estimated to finish in 2022.
Design Team: Chiangmai Life Architects (Markus Roselieb and Tosapon Sittiwong)
Location: Chiang Mai, Thailand
Photograph credits: Markus Roselieb CLA

We are humbled to bring to our readers an insight to one of the ongoing project of CLA, an architectural practice based in Chiang Mai, Thailand. The practice is well known for their work with organic architecture and sustainability. We went ahead and asked them about the concept and ideas behind designing of Panyaden Secondary School, along which they have also uncovered various techniques that are employed in the building.

We are personally in awe with their values and respect their determination in establishing an unconventional precedence. Read on to find what they have to say on the project!


Markus Roselieb and Tosapon Sittiwong ; img via CLA

Panyaden’s main concept for design as well as curriculum is to connect. Connect us to our environment, connect natural materials with state-of-the-art engineering science, connect value-based education with the highest academic standards, sustainable architecture and 21st century comforts. It is about bringing aspects together that were thought to be mutually exclusive; including not excluding.

Bringing the subtle vibrations of nature into the room through organic shapes and natural materials and letting them create a peaceful atmosphere, and equipping the room with the most modern science equipment and 5G embedded in an IB curriculum.

Panyaden School is situated in northern Thailand where the temperatures vary greatly all year round – from 5 to 10C° in winter to 45C° in summer. So the design and materials had to accommodate these differences with a minimum use of air-conditioning or other high energy consumptive devices.

“The architectural design concept by Chiangmai Life Architects is based on organic shapes. Flowing natural lines that are in tune with the environment and maximize natural ventilation effects.”

The main materials chosen for construction are clay and bamboo. Clay in the form of adobe bricks, rammed earth or wattle & daub walls and bamboo for the roofs and as main material for open buildings in Thai language called “sala”, like the canteen. For 2-storey buildings the local building commission demanded a reinforced concrete frame work. Also all foundations were cast from reinforced concrete.

The bamboo roof is based on long bamboo bundles that are made of bamboo poles that are connected to each other with bamboo dowels all through their length and thus create a steel cable like tensile structure. The tiling is done by several layers of split-bamboo tiles with tar sheets sandwiched in between for water proofing as well as thermal insulation.

The earthen walls create a nice cool room climate that is enhanced by the characteristics of the bamboo roof. Additionally, clean fresh air is circulated into the rooms after having been cooled down through heat-exchange in underground pipes.

“Thus the carbon footprint from construction as well as from operation is minimal.”

Construction Glimpse


‘Green Nudges’ programme for Universities | UNEP

UN Environment Programme had launched on 1st September 2020, an easy to use sustainable campus guide – ‘The Little Book of Green Nudges‘. The book defines nudges as positive and gentle persuasions that are meant to influence behaviour and decision-making. Such interventions include choice architecture, default setting, social influence and increased salience.

via The Little Book of Green Nudges by UNEP

Developed by UNEP in collaboration with Behavioral Insights Team (BIT) and GRID-Arendal, it contains 40 ready-made nudges – simple measures that make it easier to make green choices – which university campuses can deploy to encourage students and staff to embrace more sustainable behaviours.

This book can be used a guide by anyone who wants to create positive change at their university, anywhere around the world, from provosts to campus sustainability coordinators to professors to student leaders.

Continue reading ‘Green Nudges’ programme for Universities | UNEP

Building Green with Dharmalaya | Institute for compassionate living

Have you ever wondered about inciting spiritual metamorphosis of self, committing to human service, and living closer to nature, while practicing sustainable architecture? We have and we care to share with you about a place where it is possible, a place that teaches sustainable and compassionate living in parallel to physically building one, a place called Dharmalaya. Since its conception in 2008 by three of Earthville’s directors – Mark Moore, Mai-Linh Leminhbach, and Dara Ackerman, the institute has welcomed numerous workshop participants, volunteers, architects and nature lovers.

Nestled in the Indian Himalayan foothills of Bir, this charitable organisation transpires educative empowerment to traditional wisdom and integrates innovative modernity in its various participatory programs. They have focused on sustainable village development, contemplative service-learning, immersive ecotourism and preservative adaptation of vernacular intelligence.

“The Institute provides ‘green’ job skills for rural labourers and serves as a model showcasing sustainable living practises such as eco-friendly earthen construction, high-yield organic agriculture, and more.”

-Dharmalaya via dharmalaya.in
Continue reading Building Green with Dharmalaya | Institute for compassionate living

Warrior of a Resilient Community | Ar. Diébédo Francis Kéré

With no electricity, sparse drinking water, and a life that took a pause with every sundown, the village of Gando had not foreseen the incoming change. Remotely located in Burkina Faso, a landlocked country of extensive plateaus in eastern Africa, the village has gained global attention through the remarkable works of one of its own community member, architect Diébédo Francis Kéré.

As a boy of young age, attending a lecture in a poorly ventilated classroom during the hottest days of the year, Kéré had an inkling that reality could be much better. This slowly turned into a vision of uplifting the Gando community, which he believed needed an external perspective. For those who seek, there are always means and that is how a scholarship knocked at his door for studying architecture at the Berlin Institute of Technology, which he believes was brought to him by luck.

Continue reading Warrior of a Resilient Community | Ar. Diébédo Francis Kéré

Green School | Fostering this generation for ground zero Sustainability

Young minds are untarnished and malleable, they follow wherever we lead them. They are our biggest hope and potential risk as well. If they are taught in the same manner as we were, the results will be morally, socially, economically and environmentally worse. For we grew up in a society that settled itself away from nature, whereas every answer to sustainable living lies within it.

Hence it isn’t difficult to arrive at a common solution to our global problems, which is to take these young minds back to nature. While many are still contemplating on its cons, John and Cythia Hardy have already setup a remarkable model – Green School.

“We owe it to our children to give them the skills to adapt. Now more than ever.”

Continue reading Green School | Fostering this generation for ground zero Sustainability