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Materials Girl: Madonna Uses Hydroform Bricks in Malawi for Immaculate Construction

Raising Malawi Academy for Girls

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.

Raising Malawi Academy for Girls

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.

Raising Malawi Academy for Girls

[Via Ecofriend]

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  • Devorah Firestone

    I don't know what the deal is with discounting celebrities contributions to the world. Yes, there are several who use their good deeds as a means to self-promotion, but most are as motivated as we are to contribute to society and do things that are meaningful. If the deed is good, I don't care much why it's done in this case. Educating girls creates more stable families.

  • David Fieldman

    I also oppose the author's use of the word "aging." The writer continues to say Madonna shouldn't get all the credit. We are not told whether Madonna hired the architects, designers, etc. Whether they contributed to the project as part of their social responsibility, or whether Madonna paid them.

    However, one must congratulate her for her contribution to the young women in a country where typically females are forgotten. Let's face it, how many Hollywood stars, singers, performers, other celebrities or prominent people do what Madonna has done? Forget Brangelina.... Madonna obviously is a compassionate, warm and caring woman. How fortunate the young women at Raising Malawi Academy, not to mention their parents and extended families.

  • james jones md, phd

    It depends on what you're trying to accomplish. If you're primarily interested in educating children, then she's could have built two schools for the price of this. That and use local technology, local builders, local material whereever possible.

    If she's trying to build a showplace, then she's accomplished her goals.
    She's a multi-multi millionaire, I expect her to share her somewhat obscene wealth..

  • Jay Rogers

    I have to agree... would "aging" get used to any of Madonna's male 50-year old contemporaries?

  • Gregory Ferenstein

    How do you all think this influences the students who go to the school? Think it makes them environment protectors for life?


  • Annie Civetta

    I agree, interesting story but referring to Madonna as "aging" is irrelevant at best and at worst---- totally inappropriate.

  • Alison Grieveson

    Great story but why did you have use the word "aging" to describe Madonna? Is that an important fact? Seems negative and unnecessary.