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A Net-Zero Energy School for Girls in Africa

Aumazo School
Bankondji, Cameroon, Africa

HOK is collaborating with nonprofit Aumazo on the design of a net-zero energy school for girls in rural Cameroon, Africa.

Aumazo Incorporated is a nonprofit promoting women’s rights through secondary education for girls in rural Africa. HOK’s team in Washington, D.C., provided a conceptual design package for the school and will work with Aumazo as the project progresses.

The organization’s mission is to empower girls in Cameroon with educational opportunities that prepare them for successful lives as young adults. The project will help girls stay in school with a curriculum that focuses on literacy, critical thinking, ecotourism, information technology and agricultural education.

The design orients the building to ensure that the structure has sufficient cross ventilation to capitalize on natural ventilation and promote thermal comfort. Because the site has a consistently mild climate, natural ventilation will eliminate the need for heating and cooling mechanical equipment. Screened openings allow for abundant natural daylighting. A water collection system provides enough water for daily use.

The design fits the school into the site’s topography. Several open courtyards act as flexible learning spaces. Building materials, including timber trusses and Zoma block walls, embrace regional and cultural construction practices.

Planned as a series of phases to be built out over time, the school includes a main facility for learning, dormitories for student living and recreation areas. Each phase can act as a standalone hub, with the ability to connect to future developments as funding allows.

HOK team members contributed more than 100 pro bono hours during the initial concept design phase.

View Aumazo.org for more information.


70,000 sq. ft. / 6,500 sq. m.


Landscape Architecture
Sustainability Consulting



Hours donated