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

Blue-Green Building Design awards 1st price in Hafencity Hamburg Competition

Always seeking to push for a better sustainability performance, the Build4People team member Eble Messerschmidt Partner (Work Package#3 “Sustainable Neighbourhoods”) wins a prestigious competition with an outstanding sustainable design.

The project we-house Baakenhafen in Hamburg’s Hafencity, which is part of the Build4People Exhibition “Green Buildings and Sustainable Neighbourhoods”, features an 8-storey high building with a hybrid massive timber construction system. The blue green concept promotes biodiversity and urban comfort with green facades.

Furthermore, the innovative material flow system for water management incl. grey water recycling and biomass management with an in-house production of the very fertile Terra Preta soil makes am major contribution to a circular economy.

The facades integrate two approaches: PV panels to the south integrated with greening on carbonised timber cladding to the other directions. The edible forest garden and the rooftop green house will produce vegetables and fruits for the residents and the restaurant in the ground floor. The co-housing concept includes a variety of residential housing types as well as community facilities and co-working spaces.

The goal for the very energy-efficient building incl. roof-top PVs is to award the Hafencity sustainability label in the highest standard Platinum.

Copyright: Eble Messerschmidt Partner / moka-studio

Build4People’s Participation at 3rd Meeting of Sustainable Cities Technical Working Group hosted by National Council for Sustainable Development (NCSD)

The third meeting of the inter-ministerial Sustainable Cities Technical Working Group (SCTWG) took place at Hotel Cambodiana, Phnom Penh, 06 August 2020.

The SCTWG was established in 2019 with members from relevant government ministries and agencies, NGOs and civil organizations within Cambodia, and it is host under NCSD. The chief goal of this working group is to share experiences on sustainable city practices, and methods on preparing sustainable city strategic development plans; and provide policy recommendations to government.

During this meeting the Build4People project got introduced by Dr. Seak Sophat, Vice-Dean, Faculty of Development Studies and Coordinator of MSc in Climate Change Program at Royal University of Phnom Penh (RUPP). Dr. Seak Sophat is research partner of Build4People Work Package #6 “Sustainable Urban Transformation”. He presented the project background, goal, objectives, implementation arrangement, current progress of all work package and gave an outlook on future phases of the project.

The General Secretariat of the National Council for Sustainable Development of Cambodia (GSSD) has officially granted the Build4People project observer status in regard of the Sustainable Cities Technical Working Group and of the Technical Working Group on Guidelines and Certification for Green Buildings in Cambodia.

Submission of Build4People project proposal – RD phase

On 31 July 2020, our Build4People team successfully submitted the project proposal for the upcoming four-year Research and Development phase with the title “Build4People: Enhancing Quality of Life through Sustainable Urban Transformation”. 

Based on our experiences of the ongoing Definition phase and intensive internal discussions, we have been able to refine our approach and to develop a comprehensive research design with a sequence of three research phases: 1) societal and scientific problem-based research, 2) transdisciplinary action research, and finally 3) reflection, refinement and re-integration of created knowledge. 

The graph above gives an overview of the proposed Build4People consortium structure of the RD phase with all research, implementation and dissemination partners.