Volunteer Building Projects in Thailand
The Dragonfly Community Foundation is committed to promoting the use of sustainable and low-energy building methods and materials in Thailand - luckily these are also some of the cheapest methods! Thus far, DCF projects have focused on adobe (mud brick) constructions using locally sourced materials with low embodied energy as much as possible to replace more common concrete and steel. We build for children and poor communities, people who generally have no other way to obtain the structures they need.
Here in Thailand, our building season typically lasts from late October - late April, which is the dry season. Rain in other months makes it difficult to build walls out of mud :)
Pre-School for Mae Soon Village, Phrao, Chiang Mai
Project Duration: 15-26 February (10-12 days as rate of work dictates)
We're currently recruiting volunteers to help us construct a small pre-school building for the mountain village of Mae Soon in Chaing Mai province. This community of 'hilltribe' ethnic minorities needs a hand to construct a place where their children can get a basic grounding in literacy before heading off to boarding schools. We'll be building from the ground up - foundation & floor, building walls, plastering, sculpting and painting.
Come join us for an absolutely unique experience in the beautiful mountains of Chiang Mai!
See Project Summary for details.
New House for Baan Unrak School - Sangkhlabauri, Kanchanaburi - Winter 2012 (project report coming soon)
Reading Resource Room - Wat Sao Thong School, Suphanburi - Spring, 2012 (project report coming soon)
Community Kindergarten Building - Baan Siplang, Chiang Rai - Spring, 2012 (project report coming soon)
New Girls' House for Warm Heart Foundation, Phrao, Chiang Mai - Winter, 2011 (project report coming soon)
Straw Bale Experimental Cottage - Spring, 2011 (project report coming soon)
Nature Study Center - Winter, 2010 (project report coming soon)
Why Sustainable Building?
To us, building work is sustainable based on 2 criteria, related to materials and technology:
Sustainable materials are those which do not deplete natural resources in any significant way, whether material resources or energy. We dig our dirt on site or else source it as close to the site as possible to limit energy costs from transportation. Dirt is easily made into adobe bricks with the addition of water and rice husks, again found locally. We re-use scrap wood and use bamboo as much as possible instead of new lumber, and also experiment with poured adobe floors so that we can use less concrete. Combined, these materials end up being radically less expensive, both in monetary and environmental terms, than standard materials.
Sustainable technology means building systems that can be taught and shared easily, that are accessible and essentially non-skilled so that anyone can use them, and which can be adapted to suit local conditions and requirements. Volunteers learn to build on the job, and take away knowledge on how to construct a building within only a few days. Children as young as 4 years old have worked with us and actually made real positive contributions to the building process. Local builders quickly adapt their expert knowledge to easy technologies that are flexible and inherently creative. Most importantly, the people we build with and for learn all stages in the process and therefore can independently repair or modify their buiildings as needed.
Mud and other Sustainable Building Resources
We're happy to provide some links here to help you learn more about these building technologies!
|Last Updated on Thursday, 28 February 2013 12:44|