We’re excited to announce that last week, the prefabricated classrooms for the Phase I Visitor, Training and Education Center were installed onsite at Project Wadi Attir!
This was how it looked the evening before their delivery, with only the main building in place:
The next morning, the caravan arrived with the classrooms:
A little more about this structure: It includes two classrooms, one with basic lab facilities for students and researchers; an auditorium equipped to accommodate presentations for large groups, which will also have the capacity to be subdivided into two work spaces, offices and a storage space; offices for the staff; and restrooms. The various functions are being arranged around a common courtyard, which will be used as an additional space for gatherings and talks, and will make a convenient starting point for walking tours of the project site.
Normally, lightweight structures have poor thermal and energy performance under desert conditions. Therefore, the Phase I structure has been designed to create additional shading via an external shell. The shell will be made of a simple galvanized mesh, which will act as the basic structure for climbers to create a green ventilated façade around the external sides of the buildings. Additionally, a lightweight ventilated shading roof over the structures will significantly decrease the impact of intense solar radiation on the buildings’ roofs, thus naturally regulating indoor temperatures and significantly lowering energy needs for artificial cooling. The open gathering area between buildings will be shaded by a similar structure.
Here’s what the site looked like at day’s end:
The landscape of the site is changing rapidly—you can now see the Visitor Center and the animal pens on the horizon (the goats will be joining the sheep any day now!).
Nizar Egbaria, the Director of the Visitor, Training and Education Center, has already begun welcoming students to the site. We look forward to welcoming visitors from near and far, and members of the Bedouin community into our new home!