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Mbesese Build: An Experimental Experience

The Same’ Polytechnic College is a proposed vocational training institution in the United Republic of Tanzania to provide educational opportunities which increase human capital, with the goal of reducing severe levels of poverty.

Published onOct 24, 2019
Mbesese Build: An Experimental Experience
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Abstract

The Same’ Polytechnic College is a proposed vocational training institution in the United Republic of Tanzania to provide educational opportunities which increase human capital, with the goal of reducing severe levels of poverty. The college is the pilot project for the Mbesese Initiative for Sustainable Design (MISD). MISD has partnered with design firms and the university to develop a framework for campus development. The university team established overarching planning principles for buildings and related infrastructure to support 1,200 students.

The project provided a platform for collaboration between faculty, students, and design professionals. The campus proposal encompasses architecture, planning, and a variety of engineering disciplines. Students researched topics that are requisite to building; energy usage and generation, water conservation and reclamation, natural ventilation and thermal comfort, day lighting and solar exposure, construction materials and structural systems, pedestrian and vehicular traffic patterns, and, site access and maintenance. The masterplan recommendations are based on computational analysis and design, results from laboratory experiments, and feedback from design professionals. The students then developed building strategies for implementing the aforementioned concepts, while learning how those design issues are intertwined.

In 2018, students, faculty, and MISD volunteers constructed a micro structure in Tanzania based on the master plan recommendations and results from laboratory experiments. The building process allowed the team to better understand how cultural, environmental, and technological considerations influence design and building in developing areas. The linkage between experimental research, design, and construction is a hallmark for the project both at the university and in Tanzania.

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