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Permaculture Designed Primary School in Vanuatu

It was a busy week last week. I was asked by Permaculture Sustainable Consulting to go to the tropical Pacific island nation of Vanuatu to do a site consultation of two locations. The projects being implemented are a community center at the capital town of Vila on the island of Efate and a primary school on the island of Tanna to the south. The organization funding these projects is Muslim Aid Australia (MAA). The CEO of MAA has realised that permaculture design has the ability to assist aid work to actually help people for the long term rather than short term which is very exciting.

Preliminary pegging out of the Primary School site to see if the buildings fit well into the landscape.
Preliminary pegging out of the Primary School site to see if the buildings fit well into the landscape.

It was a quick visit to analyse the sites to see if the initial building designs can be implemented well into the topography and location and to also work well with the climatic factors influencing the sites. The next step is to continue designing the building configuration now that we know what the sites have to offer. We are hoping that the final outcome can be used as a model for other tropical applications. There has been interest from other pacific islands for similar projects so the potential from this project is quite promising.

Of course I intend to keep you updated! Tom

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Originally published:

Tom Kendall

Tom Kendall is a permaculture farmer with a lifelong broad acre agricultural background. He is co-founder of the PRI Sunshine Coast Inc and PRI Luganville, Vanuatu and runs PDC and Practical Life Skills training courses on his Permaculture Demonstration Site “Maungaraeeda”. He is part of the Permaculture Sustainable Consulting team and does regular personal consultations. He has extensive experience in tropical, sub tropical and dry land climates and has the ability to read large scale as well as smaller scale landscapes. With his farming background, Tom is a very hands on and practical man and is solution focused. He has extensive travel experience, integrates easily with local cultures and people and enjoys studying landscapes, buildings and the effects of climate on structures, flora and fauna.

One Comment

  1. Vanuatu holds a special place in my friend Deborah Dupre’s heart after spending time there serving as a missionary to families and young girls. As with other island nations depletion of fuel and materials access is a monumental long-range concern. Here’s where the pole architecture of Micronesia, etc., plays best. The goal is to get the donor-class to provide the vertical poles, simple enough where telephone poles are commonplace. Affixing decking, as well as lesser load-bearing vertical posts can be done by amateurs on the fly. Cross-bracing, be it diagonal decking or flat vertical infill, is a bottom-up proposition, each stage progressively enables the materials and occupants to remain in the dry.

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