Leave it to Madonna to be at the forefront of any and all trends coming down the pipeline. This time around, the aging pop legend has taken on energy efficiency by bankrolling the Raising Malawi Academy for Girls, a planned school in her son David's homeland.
The 113-acre school will consist of a dining hall, gym, administration building, wellness center, sports field, 30 12 dormitories, 30 classrooms and 18 staff houses. Most of the buildings will be made out of Hydraform bricks, which are constructed from on-site soil. That's just one of the slew of sustainable features at the site--the gymnasium's roof will be covered in solar panels, double roofs on all the buildings will catch wind for natural ventilation, an education center will teach kids about sustainable agriculture, and wetlands will harbor graywater to be used as irrigation for the sports field. See? Madonna can out-green us all.
The majority of the credit shouldn't go to Madonna, of course--Studio MDA, Arup, and British engineer Adams Kara Taylor designed the school, which will harbor 450 students when it is finished in 2012.