Training center for special education (USAER XXXIV)
The USAER XXXIV -training center (UTC) is an 80 M2 building designed and built collaboratively with special education teachers, parents of disabled children and Impulso Urbano members to provide the appropriate space to prepare faculty members to provide appropriate learning opportunities for children.
The training center was planned and designed within the Belisario Dominguez primary school in Escobedo, Nuevo Leon Mexico in collaboration with teachers and staff from USAER XXXIV, parents of disable children, students from the School of Architecture at the University of Melbourne and students from the school of architecture at Tecnologico de Monterrey. A year later, the UTC was built partially in collaboration with USAER and staff members, parents, students, faculty and volunteers from the metro area of Monterrey.
The UTC was conceived as an incremental facility that will contain the training center, two offices, a reception, a storage room and restrooms totaling 150 M2. In the first phase, the most needed spaces were built (classroom, office and restrooms) and the garden. It is expected that once enough resources are available, the remaining 70 m2 will be completed by teachers and staff members, students from Tecnologico de Monterrey and volunteers. In the second phase it is expected that USAER teacher will lead the completion since they were trained in the construction of the first portion of the facility.
The UTC has become a meeting place for parents, teacher from other schools and community members that request permission to hold special meetings in the building. These additional activities have made of UTC something more than a training center.
The USAER XXXIV Training Center (UTC) was planned, designed and built modularly using a metal post and wood beam system that allows incremental construction to happen slowly. Due to the limited budget, the users decided to build about 50% of the total construction with the intention of continuing the construction in the near future. The team used self-help construction strategies so that part of the labor could be covered by teachers, parents and other volunteers. The UTC was also planned, designed and built considering its deconstruction in the future in case the USAER XXXIV moves to a different location. An additional advantage of the modular and incremental construction system is that teachers could add new pieces to the existing building without having to demolish anything as in the case with conventional construction systems.
The UTC was built with approximately 40 percent of re-used or super-used materials such as wood pallets for the walls, plywood for the floor, polyurethane as insulation in walls and the roof system; used glass for windows, super-used drafting table tops for the ceiling, re-used aluminum-plastic panels, glass fridge doors for the windows, and re-used plywood for the main office walls and second hand thin metal for the roof. Other materials used, re-used or super-used include concrete testing cylinders, metal for the lobby, pecan shelves for the garden and used tires for a playground.