A system which allows for the quick construction of vital facilities such as hospitals, schools and accommodation is being pioneered in the Za’atrai Refugee Camp, Jordan, which currently houses more than 80,000 displaced Syrians.
The Pilosio Building Peace organisation, along with architects Pouya Khazaeli and Cameron Sinclair, have developed RE:BUILD which uses wall panels formed with scaffolding and grids then assembled and filled with gravel, sand or earth, to create well-insulated interiors at low cost.
Labour is undertaken by the refugees themselves with many women volunteers taking an active role in the construction process.
The programme has become known as “Beneath Your Feet” as it utilises materials directly from the earth- such as sand and soil.
The soil is used to fill roof panels which act as insulators and also bedding to grow fruit and vegetables.
Schools are the current focus of the projects in Za’atari as, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and Save the Children, more than 1.3 million displaced persons originally from Syria are under the age of 18.
The agency says they desperately need access to education as many have been out of school for almost three years.