The Jamnya Primary & Secondary Schools consists of 400 students and 14 teachers, the majority of student’s board at school, using classrooms as sleeping dormitories. Teacher’s accommodation consists of small, dilapidated bamboo thatched structures. Sewage and wastewater from the school and teaches quarters drain into a creek on the western periphery of the villages. The majority of homes and the school use indoor, open fires to cook and heat water.

A lack of adequate and permanent accommodation in the village discourages female teachers from living in the area as it is unsafe to live alone and there is insufficient space to accommodate families.

The building will be a model dwelling for replication which has been designed and constructed to address pressing environmental sustainability issues such as natural resource depletion, domestic water management and quality issues and insufficient, non-renewable energy supply. Critical human health issues such as spread of disease due to lack of adequate sanitation facilities and consumption of contaminated water will be addressed by incorporating a safe, clean water supply and an effluent treatment system into the dwelling.

In response to the identified need to attract female teachers to the school, this project now aids in providing adequate housing which provides safe, durable and comfortable housing for two female teachers and their families.

The project includes a safe water supply and private sanitation facilities for each dwelling incorporating efficient, hygienic and low costs household water management and effluent treatment systems.

Sustainable design principles include renewable energy systems to provide a consistent, reliable source of power for lighting; alternatives to the heavy reliance on burning wood for cooking and heating water; and maximize local and low emission intensive building materials.

Located in a school environment the project is designed to enhance an engaging and stimulating learning environment for all.

Background & team

Preliminary research and consultation phases of the project during 2013 & 2014 followed by construction of ground works and footings in early 2014 established a solid grounding for the project to continue to completion of construction in 2015.

Technology transfer and skills sharing were identified as key strategies for providing a contextually appropriate building methodology for this project.

The aim was to provide greatest potential for improved sustainable building techniques to be developed and implemented on this model project.

The development of cement stabilized earth blocks (CSEB) and bamboo construction was identified as most appropriate building methods to achieve the technical outcomes required of this project.



With the support of the Australian Aid: Friendship Grant, the second phase of the housing
project with two duplex teachers quarters and the capacity to house an additional four
teachers and their families launched. Technology transfer and skills sharing were
identified as key strategies for providing a contextually appropriate building methodology
for this project. The aim is to provide greatest potential for improved sustainable building
techniques at the same time as housing teachers.


Housing project phase 2 announced. Planning for two duplex teachers quarters buildings to be constructed. Further assessment of suitability and treatment of bamboo. Purchase of automated CSEB brick press and construction of bamboo treatment facilities.


House CSEB walls completed, doors & windows installed. Bamboo roof structure completed and tetra insulative reflective roofing installed. House ready for fitout & services installation.


Construction continues. New batches of CSEB are produced and bamboo is harvested and treated. With the remote location and seasonal challenges the project is moving along slowly. The focus is now on power and water infrastructure at the school and local village. A draft water management plan has been prepared for consultation. Sustainable roofing materials are being ordered. The Swinburne tradies team returns.


Construction & skills sharing with Swinburne Tradies and continued liaising with SVM & community to develop plans for the teachers quarters. Sustainable construction, green technology research & reporting. And a documentary was filmed.


Finalise site & design for new house, CSEB training, soil testing, materials procurement, CSEB & bamboo technology transfer, CSEB manufacturing, commence construction, women’s issues discussions, consultation with local community, gather & analyse weather data, repairs to existing school toilets & water supply system.


Analyse project brief, determine constraints & opportunities, prepare concept master plan for school, consultation with teachers & local community, research appropriate building techniques, select site for new house, install weather station.


Project inception, consultation, preliminary designs, fundraising.


This project could not have been possible without the following key supporters:

CERES Global – stakeholder liaison, vision, administration & fundraising

Swinburne University of Technology – trade and IT teams

Environ Global – financial support to kick start the first phase of construction

MODUS Architects – building design, materials technology and project coordination

Norditech – weather station for data collection

DFAT – Building of the second phase of the project incorporating accommodation for 4 teachers and their families through Australian Aids: Friendship grant.

We look forward to working with new and inspiring partners through the ongoing development of this project so please don’t hesitate to contact CERES Global if you would like to get involved.