The Skills Training Vocational Education Project supports the Nigeria’s poverty-reduction initiative, which seeks to expand access to basic non-formal skills. In particular, the project will encourage more women, as well as disadvantaged marginalised groups, to access opportunities.
The Capita Symonds design team visited existing colleges in Nigeria, researching the environment and local construction methods as well as the availability of local materials, before embarking on the development of a sustainable design concept.
Local professionals collaborated with Capita Symonds, which uses the Capita Norman + Dawbarn name in Nigeria, throughout the pre-contract stages and the same people are now continuing with contract administration and construction supervision services.
The brief required every campus above to be expanded to increase the intake of students on average to between 1,200–1,500 residential students except for two rural colleges which would be expanded to 300 day students. All teaching buildings have been designed as flexible units that can be adapted to multipurpose use and can fit into any of the existing campuses either as infill development or new complexes.
An environmental study was completed and the results informed the masterplanning as well as the structural form of the individual building to maximise the potential for cross ventilation and ensure that comfortable conditions are maintained. The environmental study in turn informed the architectural design approach, whose key objectives included simple and repetitive construction providing cost effective solutions.
“The key thing about the project is that it is highly sustainable,” said Andrew Pryke. “The walling is made of compressed stabilised soil blocks manufactured on site using a mix consisting of 8% cement and 92% compacted laterite, almost like rammed earth. The majority of construction is to be done by semiskilled labour. It’s getting people employed and trained on the job.”