Nasma; Sustainable Climate-Responsive Schools for Syrian Refugees in Lebanon

Nasma; Sustainable Climate-Responsive Schools for Syrian Refugees in Lebanon

K. Najjar B. Madi A. Nouraldeen

Department of Architecture and Design, American University of Beirut, Lebanon

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The paper discusses research that concerns itself with the design explorations of high performance structural and climatic systems. It also examines their efficient and low-cost application techniques in refugee facilities. Initially, the paper presents a survey of the current conditions of refugee schools in Lebanon. The survey highlights the need for alternative design strategies in the provision of environmentally friendly educational facilities with low-cost yet adequate learning conditions. Considering the current conditions, the premise is set that required design strategies call for an integrated strategic approach. This is to promote sustainable development models as post-disaster responses. The “Nasma” project is then taken as a case study that exemplifies a sustainable pilot project as a post-disaster response. It is an educational unit developed and implemented in Lebanon by the author in collaboration with a team from Transsolar climate engineers led by Christian Frenzel. It therefore represents a paradigm of integrated architectural and environmental design strategies taking into considering the complex socio-political context of refugee settlements in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley. The project aims to provide visual, air, thermal and acoustic comfort. It also integrates innovative structural systems and construction methods that allow the school to be rapidly deployed and relocated. Strategies that aim towards social impact include using local materials and engaging the community in the building process. Finally the paper concludes by assessing the actual performance of the structure as a replicable post-disaster response.


alternative design strategies, high performance structural and climatic systems, integrated strategic approach, post-disaster responses, sustainable development models


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