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Sumate school in Lota

Building Occupancy / Site Capacity: 

The Sumate school in Lota is part of the Happpy Hearts Fund – SURA school rebuilding program. The school has been developed with the support of Architecture for Humanity involved in providing architectural support for: peer reviews during the design development stage, project coordination and construction administration.

The school
The Sumate school is located in the community of Lota within the VIII Region known as Biobio, 50 km south of the city of Concepcion. After the 8.8 Mw. earthquake affecting Chile in February 2010 most of the community was disturbed by the seismic movements destroying many houses within the community, followed by the Tsunami affecting people in the coast, as well as the post-earthquake sackings that took place in many of the town’s commercial business.

The Project
Happy Hearts &SURA decided to partner with Sumate, a local foundation which is part of Hogar de Cristo, the most important social organization in Chile, in order to implement a new school that will benefit the most unprivileged households in Lota. Sumate runs a very innovative educational curriculum as their role has been focusing in providing education to young students that have left school by diverse reasons and want to go back to continue studying; The organization also has programs that will generate opportunities for students to have further technical training in different professions.

The new school project includes:
• 2 classrooms.
• 2 Workshop classrooms.
• 1 Library/Computer lab.
• 5 Administrative offices.
• School cafeteria.
• Kitchen for the school cafeteria.
• Toilets.
• Courtyard including a sports pitch.
• Perimeter wall including main entrance

Sustainable features
Environmental Sustainability:

  • The new school building is designed in a way to provide good cross ventilation. The windows enable entering and exiting points that allows natural air to cross the classrooms, cooling and renewing the air as needed.
  • Natural light by orientating the buildings in a position in which the classrooms will reduce the need to use electric light during daytime activities.
  • The materials used provide adequate insulation to the local climate. It is considered polystyrene to protect the main building areas from environmental and sound pollution.
  • The main façade facing east has a protective sun louvres in order to reduce sunlight and heat in the classrooms during the morning sessions.
  • Use of locally available materials.

  • Architecture for Humanity
    Architecture for Humanity provides technical support by elaboration of peer reviews during the schematic and design development stage. Once construction takes place Architecture for Humanity will closely monitor the construction progress and provide construction administration services in order to build a quality educational facility.

    Activities and stages of the project
    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.

    Architecture for Humanity initial visit 2011
    Document describing the stakeholders and the proposed project.
    Architecture for Humanity: Peer Review
    Analysis of construction documentation for the second bid.


    Carr. Quiranilahue esq. Luis Cruz M.
    Lota, Bio-Bio (VIII)


Project Details

NAME: Sumate school in Lota
PROJECT LEAD: Architecture for Humanity
LOCATION: Carr. Quiranilahue esq. Luis Cruz M., Lota, Bio-Bio (VIII), Chile
START DATE: January 19, 2012
CURRENT PHASE: Construction complete
COST: $845490 USD (Estimated)
SIZE: 1141 sq. m
, Laura Giannini
DESIGN FELLOW: Diego Collazos
DESIGN FIRM: G - Arquitectos