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CHILDREN HELP BUILD A CARDBOARD SCHOOL

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The 700 children of Westborough Primary School in Westcliff-on-Sea, Essex, have spent a year working beside archite...
The 700 children of Westborough Primary School in Westcliff-on-Sea, Essex, have spent a year working beside architects and engineers to plan an experimental building made of cardboard, reported The Independent on Sunday (p7).

Dump bins in the playground have been filled with egg boxes and cereal boxes which can be recycled as building materials, and the children have learned about sustainable buildings and their benefits for the environment.

Now the DETR has provided£80,000 towards construction of the pilot project, an after-school club, which will be the first cardboard building to be erected in Britain, althought the material has been used in construction in Japan. The Arts Council will pay an artist to decorate part of it.

Dr Andrew Cripps, of the project's engineers, Buro Happold, said: 'People associate cardboard with a flimsy cornflake packet. But it's remarkably tough, and it insulates well - it is as warm as wool.'

One problem for the architects Cottrell and Vermeulen is that the outer wall must be football-prooof, and withstand children with penknifes and sharp fingernails. 'Kids have no respect. They'll kick anything,' said architect Richard Cottrell.
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