According to the World Bank, educating all children worldwide will require the construction of 10 million new classrooms in more than 100 countries by 2015. At the same time, millions of existing classrooms are in serious need of repair and refurbishment. Spartan Building Scientists have taken the World Bank challenge to design, build, and deliver low cost, sustainable classrooms to meet this demand for African and world populations.
In a typical remote Africa village with constrained resources, Spartan can deliver US made LEED-Green rated modular buildings, equipped with new sustainable power systems, which will deliver much needed educational systems to this region. Spartan will ensure that once installed, this integrated system will be maintainable and dependable.
Spartan will combine modern school design, utilizing renewable energy technology with effective educational content delivery for schools in Africa and global locations that require sustainable sites.
All proposed educational facilities will be constructed using local Africa contractors and tradesman where possible. While delivering state of art school systems Spartan will train the locals to build and deploy these systems in their own regional districts. Using local labor will stimulate the local economy while teaching new low cost construction methods and western building standards.
The Spartan Solution
In Africa, pre-existing schoolhouses are over-crowded and the people of the local villages are poor which magnifies the predicament of delivering quality education in a poor, remote village in west central Africa. This presented a great challenge to engineer a low cost solution to deliver educational technology & training programs, utilizing energy systems that would take into account a sustainable lifecycle of the schoolhouse and planned future of additional buildings.
Although building a school building should be a fairly routine task, providing the learning atmosphere, educational content, and the energy source that the facility required was the challenge. Because of the remote location of the schools and lack of traditional power source, an innovative idea had to be utilized for the area—a wind and solar photovoltaic power system were chosen. This renewal energy source was just the answer to harness the required power to serve the proposed school house as well as future infrastructure improvement options such as medical clinics and potential expansion for this school and others in the area.
This sustainable power system will be used to convert the sun’s solar radiation and wind energy into electricity via one wind turbine and (10) solar panels. These solar arrays & wind will provided 6.0-kW of power at a current of 60-A with 24-V of potential energy. The electric charge derived from these solar arrays will be stored in a battery bank. This will give the system the 24-V and 60-A needed for the electrical system to maintain the demand coming from the school.
THE BEAUTY IS IN THE SIMPLICITY
The proposed systems are actually very simple to deliver and install. Spartan will deliver US manufactured technology that provide insulated pre-fabricated buildings, with piers to anchor the building in the ground, no concrete will be needed, and the project will reach efficient economies of scale very quickly. All items for the complete school building, computers, Internet, desks, chairs, black boards, and educational content, will be included in the shipment to complete the school house in 10 days, including solar wind power systems, if all these options are chosen, which are listed as extras. The standard building shell can be completed in 2 days, which includes the building, windows and doors.
The more difficult challenges will be to ship all of the building components to the remote sites in the world well worth it. Each of the components come from the USA and are of the highest quality and due to bulk purchases, costs are low and quality is high.
Basic maintenance of the system is relatively uncomplicated. School administrators in fact can manage most of it easily. While the arrays must be kept clean and the panels will need to be replaced if they are broken, the system itself should be completely maintenance-free for 15 years. Such a factor of the planning approach will be critical to the schoolhouse’s sustainability, and longevity.
The building envelope and electric power systems will be designed, and built at the factory and all parts of the system will be tested and integrated before it arrives in Niger. The building is guaranteed for 50 years, and the electrical systems are warrantied for 15 years. The total building will be designed per international building code standards.
There are no Home Depots in Africa
In integrating full building solutions in Houston Texas, the total integration and delivery will insure that all parts are of high quality and have been tested and packed carefully to complete one sustainable school classroom with LEED standards.
Working in Africa for over 12 years, Spartan Staff members have concluded that, when strategically deployed, western standard classrooms and sustainable power, low power computing solutions, linked to the Internet and the proper educational content, holds great promise in helping bring quality learning to some of the worlds poorest and hardest to reach communities.