Energy Optimized Learning Center

Portable Bridge School in Bangalore

Portable and Comfortable

Built Environments Education


Bengaluru as a metropolitan city, has observed migration of construction workers over several decades. Many migrant workers who work as construction workers and house maids are expected to work more than 12 hours, typically from 7am to 7 pm. The extended work hours and absence of amenities within the community prohibits many parents from ensuring child care and education that impacts children’s holistic development. The impact is felt not just on younger children, but the older siblings too have no access to quality care and education as they are bound to stay home and take care of the younger children of the families.


Portable Design

Due to the temporary nature of the community, the school was designed to be portable in nature. This structure can be dismantled as its made majorly using steel pipes which are joined together using a nut and bolt system. The wall panels and the roofing sheets can also be removed and moved along with the community.


Child-friendly Design

Child-friendly design elements were provided such as a verandah which acts like an interactive space for children to sit, play, eat meals and for outdoor classroom sessions to be taken. Ample storage space has been provided for all materials according to curriculum. Interactive graphics are provided on the wall and floor surfaces that was developed for younger and older children.


Climate Responsive Design

The design accounts for unpresented water levels during heavy rainfalls and rodent attacks, for which a raised plinth was provided. The walls are made of Bison board (a board made of a mixture of husk and cement) for good thermal performance. The roof is made with insulated and recycled tetra pack sheets to reduce heat entering the space. Careful positioning of doors and windows help in capturing adequate daylighting and ventilation.


Rainwater Harvesting

As the community suffers from water shortage, provision of rainwater harvesting in the school building has helped the community overcome this shortage.


Learnings from a census made a few NGOs aware that close to 40 students were deprived of schooling at the local government schools as they lacked early child care or primary education. Another visit by Government Officials resulted in the initiation of the need for a learning center or a bridge school for the children of the community.

Although a temporary learning center was built as a starting point, the materials used in the construction were locally sourced tarpaulin sheets. SELCO approached the underlying issue through migration, land ownership and cost effectiveness through a portable structure encompassing all the required utility and child care space thermal comfort standards.

Pre Intervention scenario

The previous schools were built as temporary sheds. These were makeshift in nature, generally made using tarpaulin sheets, casuarina poles, asbestos or GI sheets, ply board which are available at construction sites or bought locally from recycled/reuse material stores.

“Due to the segregated play and learning areas designed for different age groups, managing and teaching the children has become easier and days are much more productive”



Teacher, NRI Colony Tent School


The child-friendly and climate responsive school has increased the number of children who attend the school. The school environment has encouraged better learning and attendance for the children.

The installation of a solar powered projector and other interactive teaching tools has made it easier for teachers to take lessons and keep the students interested and involved in the subjects taught.