White Canvas: Health center and school in refugee camp, Bassikou

The project takes on the difficult task to provide public amenities in refugee camps. The submitted proposal for a health center and school was specifically developed for the Mbera refugee camp in southeast Mauritania of more than 70,000 people, near the border with Mali. Foldable and easily-erectable tent structures form the basic units for the school and health center facilities. Phase Change Material (PCM) accumulators are used for air-conditioning, taking advantage of the temperature differential between day and night for creating livable and safe conditions without additional energy requirements – the colder air at night cools the hot air during the day. The use of this simple but effective technology in semi-desert or desert areas helps to improve living conditions in the camps, upholding the human dignity of the refugees and enhancing their chances for stability and self-reliance.