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Monday November 12, 2012

‘Natural’ work of architecture

Eco-friendly place: Children exploring the community learning centre building as Hall (centre) chats
with a Camp Borneo staff member in Pulau Mantanani. Eco-friendly place: Children exploring the community learning centre building as Hall (centre) chats with a Camp Borneo staff member in Pulau Mantanani.

KOTA KINABALU: A group of international volunteers has made use of natural products to build a green community learning centre (CLC) at Pulau Mantanani, off Kota Belud.

The unique centre, about 90km from the state capital, was built using unconventional materials such as driftwood to construct posts that were combined with hollow cement blocks and bamboo wall panelling.

Made by the volunteers from Camps International, the centre is an energy-saving structure that fits well into the island's weather conditions and provides good ventilation.

It is designed to meet the requirements of a community-friendly educational facility.

The project was funded and supervised by Camp Borneo, a subsidiary of Camps International, an award-winning international volunteer organisation that advocates responsible tourism and offers assistance for poor rural communities around the world.

Camps International Asia and Australasia director Rory Hall said Mantanani CLC was among the best that they have put up.

“During my eight years or so in Borneo, I have been privileged to be involved in some great (projects) and also to be part of constructing many buildings in rural villages.

“But I have to say the CLC on Mantanani is, perhaps, one of the most impressive and beautiful buildings I have worked on,” Hall said.

He said the building was “a very innovative and unconventional way to construct all modern buildings”.

Hall hoped that through Camp Borneo's efforts, the local community, made up of mainly fishermen, had been exposed to new ideas of livelihood sustainability and protection for their surrounding natural environment.

The learning centre would act as a hub for Camp Borneo's environmental awareness, educational activities and resource sharing.

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