Colegio de las Aguas Montebello is the first major project of Fundación Escuela para la Vida1, offering educational facilities to over 240 children from the lowest social classes in Cali, Colombia.
Fundación Escuela para la Vida is a colombian non-profit organization that manages and develops educational projects environmentally and economically sustainable The students of the college participate in different workshops2 that seek to raise awareness about the importance of using indigenous resources for construction. The foundation works to regain Colombian identity in the architectural area, while promoting the use of the natural resource of the country.
The school was located in Montebello with the desire to meet the educational infrastructure deficit has this district, the smallest of the rural area of Cali and the most densely populated. The main objective of the Waters College is to ensure access to quality education to children and youth with limited economic resources, because according to data managed by the School for Life Foundation, only 17% of the school age population access this right, contributing to the low level of opportunity for the people of the area, along with the deepening of the country's social problems.
Excited by the South American type of bamboo Guadua, Andrew Bappler began to contemplate ideas of design and construction using this ancient craft of the bamboo farmers.
The school is built as a collaborative effort of all the students and volunteers, promoting the use of materials such as adobe, red ore to the floor and bamboo, all new structures are constructed using traditional guadua bamboo. A part of the roof of the school was also made of micro-concrete tiles, as a part of one of the workshops. The bamboo is sometimes pre-fabricated by a local organization, EcoBamboo.
The kitchen structure has a green roof that collects rainwater and directs it towards the inside, where there is an open tank for storing water, which then feeds a cistern located in the basement. This rainwater is used for the flushing of toilets. The school has an independent water supply that emerges from the ground.
Cali has a tropical savanna climate with dry winters. Over the course of a year, the temperature typically varies from 19°C to 30°C and is rarely below18°C or above 32°C. Cali has a humid climate most of the year and over the entire year, the most common forms of precipitation are thunderstorms and drizzle. Bamboo acts as an ideal material as it retains or conducts little heat into the building, offers more flexibility for design and is easily sourced.