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Druk White Lotus School, Ladakh, India

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Established in 1992, the Druk White Lotus School is considered one of the best Asian Educational Buildings and is a symbol of sustainable design (The Druk - "Thunder Dragon" of Bhutanese mythology and a Bhutanese national symbol). The primary and secondary school is intended for 500 children. The school was started at the request of the people of Ladakh who wanted a school that would help maintain their rich cultural traditions, based on Tibetan Buddhism, while equipping their children for a life in the 21st century. School was designed by the architects and engineers from Arup and Ove Arup & Partners.

The ventilation system of the school is realized by the so-called pit latrines the main feature of which is that they don’t need water. The system of passive solar heating is directed by the unique climate characteristics of Ladakh which is too hot in summer and extremely cold in winter. However, thanks to the south-east orientation of the educational center and intense sunlight even during winter, sun energy is accumulated in the special thermal walls. Water is an actual problem in Ladakh, that’s why the building makes use of snow-melt water. The roof of the school is made of local wood and mud. The building has got a number of prestigious awards for sustainable design – World Architecture Awards (2002), Design for Asia Grand Award (2009), etc. However, the project is not complete yet (2013). As the school is built by phases, the advanced team of designers and architects plans to extend it for 800 pupils and set a brilliant example of a green and sustainable educational facility.

By Astghik Atabekyan,



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