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Nakapiripirit Vocational Institute


Nakapiripirit, Karamoja, Uganda​




MoES Uganda / Enabel


Irish Aid




$270,000 ($535/sqm)



Nakapiripirit Vocational Institute is a technical school focussed on agricultural and construction training. Prior to 2017 the school's facilities were dilapidated and disused, consisting of a few unfinished classrooms and dormitories with no water or electricity provision. The Ministry of Education and Enabel initiated a project to revitalise the institute's facilities and curriculum to give it greater relevance within the local community. The main objective was to empower and strengthen the community to enable them to develop and maintain their own school into the future.

Enabel consulted with teachers, administration, local authorities and students to develop a series of new activities in the form of student 'life projects' in landscaping and construction. The projects provide practical training, whilst also helping to manage the local ecosystem, rehabilitate any unusable buildings and provide new facilities as required by the institution. A new large multipurpose workshop has been constructed to provide a comfortable and conducive working environment for students to receive quality hands-on training. The workshop has been designed according to passive design principles and benefits from excellent natural daylighting and ventilation.

General Arrangement

General Arrangement

The heart of Nakapiripirit VOcational Institute is a green courtyard at the centre of the masterplan, which provides the space for student landscape projects and acts a s a showcase for the school's agriculture expertise. The courtyard is surrounded by classrooms and the dominant new workshop building. Other constructions, such as the new kitchen, BCP (brick laying and concrete practice) workshop and water and waste management facilities are scattered throughout the campus.

Natural Daylight

Natural Daylight

Even Distribution

The new workshop has been designed to maximise natural daylight levels in order to achieve the recommended lux for a multipurpose workshop space. The building has been oriented to increase the effectiveness of the windows, with primarily horizontal openings to create a more uniform distribution of light throughout the space.


As the workshop is a large space with a relatively deep plan, rooflights have been placed to bring light into the centre of the space. Their height prevents the risk of overheating the space.


Walls have been painted with a white wall paint, while the ceiling insulation (Polynum) has a reflective inner surface that helps to bounce light around the interior space and enhance natural daylight levels.

Passive Ventilation


The walls of the workshop have been made extremely porous by designing a large surface area of permanent openings. This allows for continuous cross ventilation during the day, and for hot air and thermal build up to be flushed out during the night.

Mechanical Ventilation

Ventilation is further improved through the installation of 8 wind cyclones on the roof ridge that extract moisture and warm air from the building as required.

Passive Ventilation

Water Management


A 20,000L ISSB tank was constructed by students as part of a student life project in sustainable construction . The tank is made from a single wall of curved ISSB blocks, and stores rainwater from the existing building roofs.

Plastic Tank

A new workshop is provided with four PVC water tanks to harvest water from the building. There are two 10,000L ground bearing tanks and two 5,000L elevated tanks. There is a further 16,000L elevated plastic water tank located near the kitchen, which is fed with water from a new solar powered borehole.

Water Management

Energy Generation

Solar Energy

The new workshop is provided with photovoltaics panels to provide the minimum energy required to run the facilities - lights and a few computer specific plugs. Further solar panels have been located on the existing ICT building.

Solar Thermal

The kitchen is fitted with a solar water heater to preheat water, thereby reducing the quantity of firewood required for cooking purposes.

Energy Generation

Sustainable Landscape

Active Learning

Student 'life projects' are a form of active learning at the core of the Nakapiripirit curriculum. Kitchen demonstration gardens and outdoor classrooms are the green heart of campus, providing interactive learning spaces within the natural landscape.


One student landscape activity is Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration (FMNR); a simple concept of systematically regenerating the natural environment using existing living tree stumps, roots or seedlings. The advantage is that roots are already well developed, ensuring high rates of success with low levels of financial investment. FMNR strengthens the local ecosystem through the propagation of native keystone species, resulting in increased soil fertility and improved pest control.


Native trees grown through FMNR may provide edible fruit, seeds and leaves, which nurture local wildlife and provide food, medicine and forest products for the school community.


Another student life project focuses on interventions to mitigate soil erosion, such as digging trenches, mulching and planting grasses.

Sutainable Landscape