To reduce our carbon footprint the design of the Mpirigiti Rural Training Centre includes a number of environmentally sustainable features including:
- Rainwater harvesting: Rainwater is collected on all major roof surfaces and flows by gravity to our 40,000 liter tank farm for use as drinking water (after being processed by our water purification system) as well as for bathing.
- Waste water recycling: The center processes waste water through an anaerobic bio-digester and through the use of twin constructed wetlands, using natural processes for cleaning up waste water before returning it to the environment for re-use.
- Solar water heaters: Water is heated by the sun for use at all residential buildings using roof mounted solar water heaters.
- Photovoltaic panels: Photovoltaic panels collect energy from the sun and convert it to electricity, supported by a rack of batteries for storing power. The electricity generated powers all security lights and most office equipment.
- Ventilation: Natural passive ventilation, ceiling fans and shade trees are used to keep rooms comfortable, avoiding the need for energy consuming air conditioning.
- Use of local building materials: Using local materials supports the Ugandan economy while reducing transport costs. Example: 30,000 compressed earth blocks were made using innovative, muscle powered technology and soil from our property (saving approximately 42 tons of firewood since these compressed earth blocks do not require firing).
- Use of local technical expertise and labor: Use of local architects, interior designers, engineers, and contractors insured that professionals familiar with Ugandan conditions were in charge of the project. Use of these experts as well as the use of local labor supported the Ugandan economy.
- Fresh produce: Gardens and orchards on the property supply fresh produce without any transport costs.
- Furniture and furnishings: The majority of the furniture and furnishings were sourced locally which supports the Ugandan economy and reduced transport costs.
Part of our concern for the environment extends to our neighbors in the community. We have built soccer, basketball and volleyball facilities on the campus and have made these available to the public to encourage healthy lifestyles for children and adults. We have also installed a community well available to members of the community to insure access to fresh water.
Architectural design and engineering services were provided by Studio FH based in Kampala, Uganda. The general contractor was Soleco Construction Company, Limited, based in Kampala, Uganda. Compressed earth block fabrication and construction was managed by HYT, Uganda, based in Jinja, Uganda. Interior design services were provided by Irene Nyangoma, based in Kampala