The mission of the UNESCO Chair for the Conception and Construction of Sustainable and Solidarity-Based Schools is to develop knowledge and practical skills that will enable the construction of learning spaces in solidarity with their environment, focusing primarily on their sustainability, through their materials and construction techniques and the activities they support.
The UNESCO Chair for the Conception and Construction of Sustainable and Solidarity-Based Schools is attached to the McEwen School of Architecture at Laurentian University and the School of Architecture at Laval University. Associate Professor Dr. Emilie Pinard, is the co-chair of the UNESCO Chair at Laurentian University. Dr. Pinard has expertise in the study of person-environment relationships and collaborative design. She has also been associated for several years with the projects of the Habitats et cultures group. She is collaborating on this Chair project with André Casault, collaborator and former co-chair, Luis Casillas Gamboa, co-chair of the UNESCO Chair at Université Laval, as well as colleagues from the Collège Universitaire d'Architecture de Dakar, in Senegal, and the Innu community of Uashat mak Mani-Utenam, in Quebec.
Since 2020, the members of the Chair have been working on the following five areas of action research and collaborative research: 1) the study, enhancement and transmission of vernacular and local building skills and techniques; 2) the development of building materials and innovative techniques based on local know-how and renewable resources; 3) the conception of the school as a pedagogical tool for sustainable development; 4) the experimentation of collaborative approaches to building design, construction and maintenance; 5) the modes of dissemination and mobilisation of knowledge adapted to their application context.