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16 de Septiembre School

Building Occupancy / Site Capacity: 

The 16 de Septiembre school is part of the Happpy Hearts Fund – SURA school rebuilding program. Architecture for Humanity is providing architectural support for site selection, peer reviews during the design development stage, landscape design and construction oversight.

The School
The 16 de Septiembre School is located in the community of Coscomatepec in the State of Veracruz in Mexico. The existing school is affected by poor drainage system and improvised infrastructure meaning that each year the school is affected by water entering into the classrooms and roof leaking. To make things worse the school’s plot is not appropriate in terms of size and also it is next to chicken farm. The school’s community has managed the donation of a new plot with more than 2,500 sqm. that is safe for construction.
At their current location 205 primary school students are studying in improper basic infrastructure conditions not only affecting their educational performance but also risking their health.

The Project
A new school project will be developed in the new plot site in a partnership between Happy Hearts Fund, SURA Group as well as collaboration from the Instituto de Espacios Educaticos del estado de Veracruz. The school students will benefit from a brand new school including a state of the art computer lab. The new project consists in the preparation of the site and the construction of a new school facility for primary students within the limits of the recently allocated plot including the provision of the landscape works.


The new school project includes:

  • 8 New classrooms
  • 1 New computer lab including computers
  • Toilets appropriate for students.
  • Administrative area.
  • Main courtyard.
  • Green areas.
  • Perimeter fence.
  • Landfill works for proper rainwater drainage.
  • Basic services connections
  • Drainage system.
  • Sustainable features

  • Cross ventilation by permitting the building to have adequate orientation in order to let fresh air flow across the room, cooling and renewing the air in the classroom.
  • Natural light by orientating the buildings in a position in which the classrooms won’t need to use electricity during daytime activities.
  • The materials used provide adequate insulation to the local climate in order for the classrooms not to need heating or air conditioning devices.
  • Use of locally available materials such as: cement, sand, rebar reinforcement.
  • Labor transport impact reduced by having the workforce relocated to the worksite during construction.
  • Promotion of green spaces by providing green leisure areas.
  • Water evacuation and protection not affecting the local environment.
  • The complete building is affordable to maintain and easily to repair in order for not be a burden for the school’s administration.
  • Community based organization for the land donation and preliminary landfill works.

  • Architecture for Humanity
    The role of Architecture for Humanity is essential throughout all the school project development. Firstly by evaluating the existing school and assessing the safety of the plot allocated for the new school. Secondly during the design stage Architecture for Humanity is involved in providing architectural support and peer reviews to the school design project and development of the landscape design. During construction Architecture for Humanity will closely monitoring the construction progress and provide construction administration services in order to build a quality educational facility.

    Relevant documents during project development & construction
    The following list includes the links to the reports and presentations of the most relevant activities that took place during the design and construction process as well as other school activities.

    School evaluation
    Evaluation form with most important data, information, images and details describing the school and its surroundings
    Architecture for Humanity Landscape Proposal
    Schematic proposal celebrating the existing site plan with minor interventions in order to highlight the existing terrain and local culture
    Construction report: May 2012
    Worksite progress report including gantt charts and change orders summary
    Construction report: June 2012
    Worksite progress report including gantt charts and change orders summary


    Coscomatepec, Veracruz

    Project Details

    NAME: 16 de Septiembre School
    PROJECT LEAD: Architecture for Humanity
    LOCATION: Coscomatepec, Veracruz, Mexico
    START DATE: April 03, 2012
    CURRENT PHASE: Construction complete
    COST: $360378 USD (Final)
    SIZE: 675 sq. m
    PROJECT TYPE: Education Facility - Primary School
    , Patricia Hoyos
    DESIGN FELLOW: Diego Collazos
    BENEFICIARIES: Primary school children