We are so very pleased to announce that we are the winners of a United Nations Climate Change Award. Only 10 awards were given out this year and we are the Low Carbon winner. We, in partnership with the Auroville Earth Institute designed and built the Kaza Eco-Community Centre with key participation of villagers in Kaza and local earth craftsmen of the Spiti Valley, in India. We thank everyone who helped us achieve this.

During the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Marrakesh, Construction21 announced the 10 international winners of the United Nations Climate Change Award.

Low carbon award104 buildings and 25 eco-districs from all over the world competed in this edition.

To determine the winners, 57 experts were mobilized during the national phase of the contest, then during the international phase. Thousands of professionals also voted online.

Joan was at the GBCS Award ceremony in Marrakech to receive the award. Joan was given the opportunity to deliver a speech and a video was shown about the project.

 

About the conference

Marrakech 2016 – United Nations Climate Change Conference COP22

The United Nation Paris Agreement Climate Change Conference was held in Marrakesh on the 14th of November.

Spiti Projects has been awarded the Green Building Solution Award 2016 in the Low Carbon Category.

Its time for action! What is the result of climate change? The focus on a global level is to promote clean energy through solar solutions, to reduce carbon emissions is essential. Nine million people are involved in this energy revolution and together we can build a better future.

More typhoons and more hurricanes in the world. In the Himalayan region more rain and flooding due to rapid snow melt on high peaks. This has a tsunami effect and destroys villages, effects crops or in contrast the climate change can bring draught to vast areas as we have seen in Africa and beyond. We must educate young people to honour the planet and its gifts of water and solar energy.

Joan’s speech for the event

When the local people, Tibetan by culture, asked us to build a Community Centre, for their meetings and cultural activities. we decided to return to the ancient traditional mud brick methods, for its thermal qualities, which has been practiced in this area for thousands of years. Living above the tree line, trucks of firewood wood, were brought in by the government each winter. Apart from the exorbitant cost to the families, I was horrified to see forests being destroyed in the lower valleys, and felt that an alternative must be found. We also wanted to take advantage of the abundance of solar energy in the valley, to give warmth, to houses and to save on using combustible fuel. I approached Satprem Maini at the Auroville Earth Institute, with the type of the building we had in mind. Satprem and his team developed this architectural plan for the Kaza Eco-Community Centre.

This innovative exciting structure was developed to our specifications, built with Compressed Stabilized Earth Blocks’s, in combination with rammed earth. The foundations were re-enforced with steel as protection in this earthquake zone. Trombe walls, another innovative idea, were introduced to encourage the flow of warm air around the building, and keep it above zero temperatures in winter. The people of Spiti are proud of this magnificent modern looking, Eco-Community Centre, which is fast becoming their new meeting place, and the focus of life in Kaza. The inhabitants of Spiti are already using this environmental thermal technology , for the building of their new homes, this will save on fuel bills and Co2 carbon emissions. The building was officially opened in July 2015, and we are encouraged that the government plan to use this technology for their official buildings.

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