TRADA helps promote sustainable building in Sierra Leone

12 December 2016

It’s not every day that you get asked to help out a community project several thousand miles away. But when TRADA was asked to provide free access to its academic resources to aid a British carpenter in delivering a course on timber building in Sierra Leone, the UK’s leading source of wood information didn’t hesitate to help.

David Jones was asked by The Prince’s Foundation (part of the Prince’s Trust) to deliver a session on timber as part of its six-week course in Freetown to educate engineers, architects and builders on sustainable building design.

Mr Jones, whose wife is working as a doctor in a hospital in the city until 2017, approached TRADA to gain access to its impressive list of academic resources, mainly the domain of UK educational establishments.

As a leader in timber information – as well as a strong proponent of sustainable building – TRADA didn’t hesitate, particularly as the course is helping educate local skilled labour to take part in a number of projects in 2017, including the renovation of a Krio two-storey board house.

This dilapidated building currently forms part of the Freetown school and houses 216 of the school's 470 pupils. Security, space and sanitation are very poor at 6 Horton Street, and the building itself was recently deemed structurally unsound. 

“The plan is to strip it down to re-use as much as possible,” explained Mr Jones, “rebuilding sympathetically and keeping it as true to the original design as possible.

“The project hopes to return the responsibility of this historic building to the community and ensure the continued education of hundreds of children.”

Tim Belden, TRADA’s University Engagement Programme Manager, said he didn’t need to think twice about getting involved.

“Sierra Leone is a country that has been devastated by poor social and economic conditions,” he said. “We are delighted to get involved, in any way, with a project that will ultimately benefit so many disadvantaged children." 

Click here to find out more about this project.

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