Research for a sustainable Cambodia: the Build4People Project

The Build4People project aims to research and promote the use of sustainable buildings and sustainable urbanization in Phnom Penh. Therefore it focuses on people’s aspirations and their behaviour. The project is fully funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research.

Project Objectives

Our project promotes sustainable buildings and sustainable urban development from a people-centred perspective. We aim at lowered greenhouse gas, pollutant emissions, a better indoor environment, an increase of urban green, a healthier urban climate. Read more.

Project Originality

The trans-disciplinary Build4People project connects scientific-conceptional and analytical aspects. The superior normative bracket is always the urban quality of life. We align people’s needs and aspirations with tools to benefit their living. Read more.

Project Relevance

Cambodia’s traditional architecture took climate conditions into account. Today dynamic economic growth affects the way buildings are built and operated which is not energy-efficient nor tropical climate adapted. Reasons enough for B4P. Read more.

Project Set-up

10 partners across continents join forces to implement 7 work packages: from Behaviour Change, Sustainable Buildings and Neighbourhoods, to Urban Green, Urban Climate to Sustainable Urban Transformation and Coordination. Read more.

Project Approach

The Build4People project considers sustainable, people-centred urban development as a crosscutting task. A genuinely people-centred planning system can neither be expected to “evolve by itself” nor is it feasible through legal regulations only. Our diverse team includes Cambodian and German partners which cooperate on a trans-disciplinary basis. Together they will develop innovative concepts aimed at urban sustainability that are based on scientific and regional expertise. The notion of urban quality of life links the different work packages. The research consortium will carry out field research together with the most renowned local universities. Based on these insights, context-specific interventions will be implemented together with a number of core actors such as the Phnom Penh City Hall and by means of a secondary education demonstration project (Green School). Locally established multipliers such as the European Chamber of Commerce or the Cambodia Architect & Decor fair will support the further dissemination of our approaches.

A strong partnership to deliver research results

Academic Quality
We gathered a team with a proven record of academic excellence, extensive regional expertise and solid project experience.

Transdisciplinary Approach
We draw from expertise and methods from Human Geography, Architecture, Urban Planning, Enviromental Psychology, Civil Engineering, Remote Sensing, Geoinformatics and Climate Research.

Cross-border cooperation
German Universities and private sector actors collaborate with Cambodia partners from the academic arena, the municial setting and responsible ministrial offices.

Work Packages

Work Packages

The work package teams cooperate together, share their findings and develop joint deliverables. Tools and products systematically build upon each other. Learning curves and feedback loops are incorporated into the project design.

Latest News

Stay up-to-date with our latest activities

Invitation to Poster Exhibition at META House, Phnom Penh

The key aim of the Build4People exhibition „Green Building and Sustainable Neighbourhoods” is to raise awareness by reaching out to a wide public.

Thereby, the exhibition with 32 posters in A1-Format provides information with easy-to-understand language and a focus on graphic visualisation and many photos.

The main target group for this exhibition are the general public, but also architects, construction and engineering companies, developer enterprises and students / lecturers from institutions of higher education.

In Phnom Penh highly dynamic urbanisation is giving rise to more resource-intensive lifestyles, going along with new values and life concepts being formed, with new aspirations and new possibilities are set into place. 

Therefore, the development towards a modern consumer society in urban Cambodia strongly affects the way buildings are designed, built and operated. 

All in all, the potential to promote climate-adapted architecture, energy efficient buildings and sustainable neighbourhoods is far from exhausted.

Implementing green buildings and sustainable neighbourhoods will reduce energy costs – which are the among the highest in the region – but it will also contribute to an overall higher urban quality of life through increased thermal comfort, better access to urban green, improved indoor and outdoor air quality.

Curator of the Build4People Exhibition „Green Buildings and Sustainable Neighbourhoods“: EMP: Eble Messerschmidt Partner Architects and Urban Planners PartGmbB, Tübingen, Germany

Funding Institution: The exhibition is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education & Research (BMBF) as part of the research project “Build4People: Sustainable Buildings for People – Enhancing Urban Quality of Life in Cambodia.

Location: META House – German Cambodian Cultural Center, #47, Street 178, Khan Daun Penh, 12206 Phnom Penh

Duration of the exhibition: 03 – 12 March 2020

Free entry

Publication of the 2nd video clip of the Build4People project

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This video clip published via YouTube is a documentation of our successful Build4People project launch & conference event at Sunway Hotel, Phnom Penh, Cambodia, on 26 November 2019.

The Phnom Penh based company Studio4 under the guidance of the Build4People consortium leader, the University of Hamburg, Germany, has produced it.

Thanks for the valuable support and inspiring input of all involved.

Bi-lateral exchange in Tübingen, February 2020

Project Manager Dr. Michael Waibel and Rolf Messerschmidt, CEO of EMP (Eble Messerschmidt Partner • Architekten und Stadtplaner PartGmbB), EMP staff Marcelo Rivera, Oliver Lambrecht and Petra Messerschmidt intensively discussed the content and design of the Build4People poster exhibition on “Green Buildings and Sustainable Neighbourhouds” at EMP’s office in Tübingen on 11 February 2020.

EMP is the main responsible of developing this exhibition which will inform and raise public awareness on general principles of various fields of sustainable urban development among the general public. The first edition of the touring exhibtion will mainly focus on case studies of Germany and of Europe.

It will be officially openend at META House in Phnom Penh on 03 March 2020.

Fruitful meeting with representatives of Phnom Penh Capital Administration, 12 December 2019

On 12 December 2019, the principal investigator of the Build4People project, Dr. Michael Waibel, the local project manager Dr. Susanne Bodach, and the director of the Cambodian Institute of Urban Studies, Dr. Tep. Makathy met with representatives of Phnom Penh Capital Administration, first of all Tema Vichekal, Deputy General Secretary of Phnom Penh Capital Administration.

This fruitful meeting served to further explain about the Build4People project in general and to discuss the upcoming activity “eco city transition lab” scheduled for March 2020.