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Sustainable House
Case Study

Sustainable House

As part of the end of the IB Primary Year Program, five Grade 4 students had to produce a project to showcase all they have learned. The girls had a rough idea of creating a three-dimensional sustainable house and reached out to us to help them actualize it.

The main requirements for the project were:

-      There had to be two sources of renewable energy that the house could use
-      The physical dimensions should not exceed 50cm on all planes
-      Each member of the group had to actively contribute and participate

The first step was to understand the details of the girls’ varying visions for their project. Each one made sketches to showcase their ideas. We then facilitated a brainstorming session to consolidate all their ideas into one feasible house design.

The final features the girls agreed on were:
- Solar panels and a windmill would serve as the two sources of renewable energy
- The house would have two levels
- A spiral staircase would connect the two levels
- They would use only plywood, wooden dowels and thick acrylic sheets

The construction process was divided into four main stages:
-     Measuring and marking out
-     Cutting
-     Finishing
-     Assembly

To ensure student autonomy and minimal teacher involvement, we gave the girls an hour of training on the machines and tools that they would use for their project. Each member of the group was then assigned specific tasks at every stage in the construction process.

The design features that challenged us the most, was the spiral staircase that the girls agreed on in the brainstorming session. This would have required a more flexible and pliable material to create the curved railing required. Adding more materials would affect the sustainable aspect of the project, therefore we modified the design into a two-stage staircase with a rest platform, which could be constructed using. This maintained the aesthetic the girls were going for, while retaining the overall sustainable aspect.

The overall project took 6 hours to finish. The sustainable house and the solar panel models were entirely created by the students with the aid of StuDIYo Lab, except for the windmill, which was outsourced.

We are thrilled to be part of the girls’ journey as they transition from the Primary Year Program, into their Middle Year Program!

Testimonials from the Sustainable House project

“For their end of PYP project, my daughter and her group chose to create a sustainable Brazilian Rainforest house.
There were 5 of them in the group and as such 5 varying and expansive ideas. The staff at StuDIYo Lab were able to sit down with the girls and hone in on their imagination with expert support and inspiration.  The result was a lot of hard work from the group and a wonderful project that they were proud to present to their teachers, school leaders and peers.”
- Itunu Griffin

“It was a wonderful group project - extremely well planned and very creatively executed .The Staff at StuDIYo Lab and the entire journey was fabulous!”
- Rushina

“Having embarked on a final project to showcases the skills acquired during Primary School, my daughter and her teammates engaged in a series of productive, student-led sessions at StuDIYo Lab. They have brought in a vague idea which needed to be developed into a 3D model and a concept that underpins it. The staff at the Lab have helped them navigate the process in an engaging manner which allowed for further questioning and exploration. An idea developed into a solid, well thought-through project, that was executed entirely by the children under gentle guidance and supervision. The girls have thoroughly enjoyed it and I am grateful for the facilities that allow for such visual projects to come to life.”
- Daniya