Gaw La Heh Primaryschool

New classrooms for Gaw La Heh Primaryschool in Je Po Kee village. The headmistress was one of the first to return to this village, and together with her fellow villagers, she has built a primary school that now counts more then 200 students. Around 100 of them live in dormitories. Gaw La Heh Primaryschool is divided in 7 grades, but have until now all shared one classroom.

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Phase I, 2 classrooms out of 6, are built and designed by Gyaw Gyaw 2016 in cooperation with Gaw La Heh Primaryschool and KED by Thara Lay Taw.

15 weeks/539 733 THB

Gyaw Gyaw: Line Ramstad (project manager/architect) Peter, Phillipa, Pah Me, See Da Pah, Ste Pha, Kee Kee Pah and P`Enge. Saw Dee, Paw Eh Wah and Ole Gunnar has contributed in administrative matters.

Villagers have contributed as day labor.

Photo: Vincenzo Floramo and Line Ramstad

6 classrooms for Gaw La Heh Primaryschool

Six classrooms are planned around a semi closed square, following the inclining landscape. 

The main material is adobe, on concrete slabs with insulated tin roof placed on timber posts. We normally aim to use adobe as the load bearing element, but because construction is set to be in hot season for all three phases, all roofs are placed on timber posts to improve working conditions. 

For natural airflow, windows facing south are smaller or closed of with plywood painted yellow. North facing windows are bigger, opening up for air and light without increasing the temperature inside.

To ease the construction period, each building is given a colour that will be reflected on their doors. First phase have blue and green front doors. In an area where the majority are illiterate, colours are practical for communication. 

The village is beautifully placed on a smaller hilltop in a bigger landscape. It´s got tall Burmese mountains to the east and the river valley and slightly lower mountains inside Thailand to the west. The school is placed central in the village, overlooking it all. This gives it a stunning view, but also makes it vulnerable for strong wind that removed their roof some years ago.

Designing six new classrooms therefor required extra caution for strong wind, resulting in a semi closed compound with rounded corners to the outside and square corners to the central garden. The roof also got connected and shaped to avoid turbulence.

Classroom phase I

The first phase was built in hot season 2016. With temperatures above 40 degrees we decided to construct the roof on posts and build adobe walls underneath it. The classrooms would have been just as good and cheaper with load bearing adobe walls, but since we are a team with ongoing projects, we can not adjust everything to the season, and this became an accepted solution to improve the working conditions for everyone. 

Sand is collected and carried in trucks from the river, and timber is locally cut. Only the roof is bought in the nearby town of Mae Sot. We have good experience with insulated tin roofs and have chosen that for this project as well.

Classroom phase II

Classroom phase III


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