Architecture and engineering students from King Mongkut’s University of Technology Thonburi (KMUTT) of Thailand and Bicol State College of Applied Sciences and Technology (BISCAST) of the Philippines learned about the integrated approach to energy efficient low-cost housing design through the topic “Micro–architecture” during the first half of the exchange programme within the framework of the Urban Nexus in Bangkok, which ran from 19 – 25 January 2019.
The topic focuses on resource efficiency and future profiles of engineers and architects in a more complex world with dwindling natural resources. The students formed mixed working groups to design their version of sustainable low cost housing, allowing them to work in an inter-cultural setting and also learn how the culture and norm of each country could or should be reflected in the design. Their designs were presented to experts in the field.
Hosted by the School of Architecture and Design (SoA+D), KMUTT, the first half of the exchange programme took place in Bangkok and was joined by 6 BISCAST students and 2 professors. It featured an introduction to the Urban Nexus project and lectures on Space Components, Requirements for Low-income housing, Climate Change Resilient Pilot House (CCRPH) and relevant Nexus components. The students also visited Thailand National Housing Authority (NHA)’s Din Daeng Low-Cost Housing Complex and cultural buildings in Nang Lerng. At the end of the week, they designed and produced commendable models of sustainable low-cost housing in the context of the Din Daeng housing complex.
The second half of the exchange programme will take place in Naga City, Philippines in May 2019. The students from KMUTT will have the opportunity to go through a similar exercise but in the Philippines context. They will profit from the experiences and best practice of BISCAST regarding the innovative and awarded Climate Change Resilient Pilot House (CCRPH) built by BISCAST with the support of the Urban Nexus project. Moreover, they will learn about the Sustainable Urban Development Plan for Naga City, which offers a vision of how it can be developed up to 2040 within an all-inclusive stakeholder approach with BISCAST supporting the academic input within a design thinking approach.
The two institutions signed a MOU and announced their student exchange programme within the framework of the Urban Nexus during the 8th Regional Workshop on Urban Nexus in November 2018. BISCAST showcases how academia understands and values the Urban Nexus approach as demonstrated by its investment in building the (Philippines National Housing Authority and Green Building Certified) CCRPH and the creation of the college’s own Nexus Task Force and Nexus-based curriculum. KMUTT’s School of Architecture, meanwhile, has been working with the Urban Nexus project on low- cost and energy efficient buildings in Mongolia, Philippines, and Thailand.
The Urban Nexus Project sees the “Strategic Partnership” (Sustainable Development Goals – SDG 17) with academia as a vehicle to improve the sustainability of the Nexus approach, as students, teachers, trainers and professors are natural multipliers of innovation.