In developing countries, most construction activity is done by masons with deficient technical knowledge and by self-builders. Basic training would have great potential not only to improve the quality of housing stock but also for CO2 mitigation.
The trade education centers operating in Nicaragua and Ecuador provide dual education for masons and builders, integrating classroom and construction. Youngsters and masons with only empirical knowledge are educated to be knowledgeable tradesmen.

ecosur

Implemented in

  • Latin America / Caribbean
  • Ecuador
  • Nicaragua

Sectors of activity
Buildings and construction, Education, Industrial Sector

Type of initiative
Capacity Building & Implementation, Education & Awareness Raising

Type of lead actor
Civil society

Start date
01/01/2003

Objectives

The objective is to promote better production of building materials with less embodied energy and to teach engineers, architects and masons to build more efficiently and more disaster resistant without raising monetary and ecological costs.

Capacity building on all levels of the housing delivery in the formal and informal popular market lowers vulnerability in natural and man-made disaster situations and is the base for sustainable use of raw materials.

Activities

Dual education integrates schooling and practical work on the constructions ite and sets new parameters for popular construction.

The integrated teaching program qualifies small and medium producers of blocks, tiles, panels, pipes and other cement based materials to streamline their production. Empirical masons are educated and trained to build resilient structures with low ecological footprint and prepared to become small entrepreneurs at the service of their neighborhoods. They are educated to act with responsibility and bring quality and some level of formality to the informal market that dominates social housing. As independent builders they will fill the existing void in the popular market where masons not only act as builders, but also as architects, engineers and quantity surveyors.

Professionals are guided to a holistic approach in planning and implementing social housing programs, they are also prepared as instructors for the training of masons. This will support the development of creative projects of social housing, where good design combines with solid structures that can be copied by others and by self-builders.

EcoSur network operates two education centers in Nicaragua (for more than 15 years) and in Ecuador. Our experienced specialists have designed different programs for institutional clients in other Latin American countries.

We are offering our services to institutions and companies to assist in the setting up of construction teaching programs.

Impact and Results

Since 2003 several hundred builders and some 50 professionals have been prepared through the program. Many of the masons have since become successful small entrepreneurs.

Extensive teaching aids and curricula have been developed



Next steps and how to get involved


Ecosur is offering its services to institutions and companies to assist in setting up of construction teaching programs