Ladakh Environmentally-Friendly School
The school is situated in a remote Buddhist village in the Himalayas, at 4,000m above sea level, where until recently the local people made their living only by agriculture. The project forms a part of a comprehensive long-term school development project and is supported and the majority of funds are provided by His Holiness 14th Dalai Lama. The region is very dry and sunny (300 sunny days per year) with extreme temperatures of +30°C in the summer and -30°C to -40°C in the winter. The new campus is designed to satisfy the needs of 300 students, offering accommodation for students from remote valleys. The new school is designed to function as an independent unit with its own source of electric power (solar panels) and water, using and developing the local, well-proved over hundreds of years, construction materials, construction techniques and principle, to the highest possible extent. As the main construction material compressed dirt was used to build walls that accumulate heat energy from solar radiation. The dirt is also used to produce bricks for partitions and it is abundantly used in ceiling structures, roofs and plasters. Water is drawn from wells. Rain/snow water and waste water is filtered and is used to irrigate the school garden and orchard, using an improved traditional channel irrigation system. The campus comprises of classrooms (for preschool, primary school, junior high school), labs and computer labs, accommodation blocks for boys and girls and teachers, kitchen with canteen, technical facilities, lecture halls and meditation premises, libraries, offices, classrooms for teaching fine arts and music, drama and dancing.