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Improving access to education by building safe, well designed schools and learning spaces



We start by getting to know the communities with which we work. Our team will embed themselves within the local context; to learn about the culture, vernacular architecture, materials and local construction methods. All of the schools that we design represent the environmental, economical and cultural needs of the community. We research each of these factors, and take special care to respect the individual hopes of each population.


We develop tools to enable representative stakeholders from the local community to apply their knowledge and share their aspirations throughout the project. Through workshops, we create an enabling environment for the community to engage in the design process. These workshops lead to a better understanding of the community and help us successfully design an appropriate and maintainable building, that is a source of pride for all those involved.


A school is not just a building, it is a space that promotes human relations, enhances creativity and provides safety. As such, we take its thoughtful planning to heart. We not only create appropriate learning spaces but also respectfully integrate the latest architectural design and engineering practices with local traditional architecture. We involve local communities in our designs because the roots of the best outcomes start with the needs of the users.​


Through extensive procurement research, logistics planning and community input, we ensure that our projects are achievable and, above all, appropriate to the local setting. We specifically source sustainable building materials and work with local skilled trades people on all of our projects. Our approach allows us to assess, design, build and deliver projects in the most remote and challenging locations around the world.


During construction we focus on delivering quality; adopting local building methods whilst implementing technical improvements and educating on best practices, so that the quality of construction gradually improves within the local population. We look for opportunities to incorporate training and construction skills development alongside the main construction programme. We empower local tradespeople and community members through construction skills training workshops and programs, and aspire to be able to offer a high number of these training opportunities to women.


We choose to work with partners that have a long-term presence in a community; not only those wanting to build a school, but also help maintain, operate and deliver permanent change. On every project, we agree to a robust maintenance plan with the community. We commit to support in any technical matters, and the community members commit to following the maintenance plan. Together we create a school; together we will maintain it.


At the end of each project, we commit to review our work, reflect upon our collaborations, collect community feedback and share all the lessons learned. Each project helps us grow and improve in our mission. To encourage the sharing of valuable local knowledge and express our appreciation of the community's cultural capital: we compile what we have learned during each project and promote this experience amongst our team and our partners.

Participatory design workshop
Nonprofit architectural design
Nonprofit school construction


Community Beyond Construction bridges the technical knowledge gap between local organisations, charities and international actors, and the ambitious construction projects that are often planned in low resource settings. Our approach, incorporating ethnographic research and participatory design workshops, values local heritage and empowers local people as decision makers in the design process.




Community Beyond Construction is where these three core principles come together, in collaboration with the local community.


Our founders have experience working in architectural and engineering design, anthropological research, and construction management. These three distinct professional perspectives make CBC what it is; allowing us to design, build and deliver quality projects whilst respecting the local community needs.


After working in the private sector and with other international NGOs, the founders of CBC identified an urgent need for change in the way projects are carried out in low resource settings. We believe that one of the key success factors to our projects is giving the community a voice, and empowering them as decision makers in the design process.


Community Beyond Construction wants to make a positive impact without creating a skills vacuum at then end of our projects. We accomplish this through sustainable project development and delivery, with a focus on construction skills training for local tradespeople and builders.


We also recognise the enhanced opportunity to make a greater lasting change in communities where girls are disproportionately represented in education, and therefore specifically engage with projects that help to improve access to education for girls.

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nonprofit design and nonprofit construction


· A school is a means to provide greater education opportunities to those in need ·

 · A construction project is a route to short-term employment and long-term skills development ·

· Architectural design is an instrument to showcase local heritage, culture and pride ·


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