By Stacy Straczynski, Associate Editor
Even Madonna is now a part of the give back/go green trend sweeping the design industry. I read today a blog by Inhabitat that made mention of how the music legend recently cut the ribbon for construction on the new eco-friendly Raising Malawi Academy for Girls, designed by New York-based StudioMDA, this past October. The property, which was funded by proceeds from by Madonna’s Raising Malawi non-profit organization, will consist of a 46-acre property and include a library, administration building, gymnasium, dining hall, wellness center, sports field, 30 classrooms, 12 dorms, and 18 staff houses.
Particular attention was paid to sustainability in all the structures. Natural daylighting and ventilation were employed to reduce energy consumption and the gym roof will be outfitted. The buildings will mainly be constructed from Hydrafoam bricks, which are locally sources and made form on-site soil rather than the traditionally-used burned bricks that lead to deforestation in Malawi. Additional, the grounds will house two wetlands and an agriculture space to teach the students about Malawi’s landscape and sustainable agriculture. Completion is expected in 2012.