Estudio Cavernas is a social architecture non-profit organization committed to achieving sustainable construction in marginalized communities through the development of environmental and well-adapted architecture.
Since 2015, Estudio Cavernas has worked in Mae Sot, Thailand, a border area that hosts a large population of immigrants and refugees facing precarious migration experiences, including habitation challenges, lack of infrastructures as well as quality housing.
The solutions that we offer are sustainable and environmentally friendly, meaning that our projects have a reduced carbon footprint and low energy requirements since we apply the principles of bioclimatic architecture. By taking on this approach, we try to achieve interior comfort through natural ventilation, sun exposure control, humidity regulation and adequate lighting - all while using natural materials.
To achieve our objectives we use a variety of materials and design techniques. These include earth for load-bearing walls, which regulate humidity and temperature, double layer roofing, which controls the amount of solar energy that reaches the building, and strategic orientation of structures, which maximizes the natural ventilation by taking advantage of the prevailing winds of the area.
Other environmental strategies include working with the building's surroundings. In collaboration with community members, we plant trees, vegetable gardens and all kinds of vegetation that will help regulate the temperature and humidity inside the building, subsequently increasing the interior comfort for dwellers.
Through a combination of innovation and design, our team aspires to create functional and unique projects that are well connected to the surrounding natural and cultural environments. The results of our construction projects must be reflective of the community needs and adaptive to suit the climate and customs of our partners.
What do we mean by this? It means that we only work with locally purchased materials, to promote the growth of small businesses, and with a construction team that shares our philosophy and practice.
Our team is composed of migrants and individuals impacted by social exclusion without previous experience in construction. Estudio Cavernas works closely with marginalized communities by providing training on basic building principles in theory and application. By instilling a sense of purpose and confidence, the individuals we work with are able to in turn give back to their own communities in a way that promotes long-term, sustainable change through future infrastructure development.
We encourage our workers to become independent and self-sufficient, so they can provide for themselves and their families. To do so, we combine the process of building with the training of the workers. We ensure a working environment exists in which the learning process occurs in a natural and progressive way, and that is adapted to the needs and abilities of every individual worker.
Our goal is to ensure a process and outcome that reflects and supports the local culture, way of living and environment.
field research supporter
Phyo Htet Kyaw
Field research, Communications and Community Coordination,
K Paw Soe
Wood and Steel
1993 Dawei, Myanmar
Saw Gay Nay Htoo
Wood and Steel
2000 Hpa An, Myanmar
Tan Zaw Ko
1985 Pag Oh, Myanmar
Wood and Steel
1983 Hpa An, Myanmar
Concrete and Steel
1986 Irrawadi, Myanmar