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INTRODUCTION

The efforts put into developing the Kerkenes Eco-Center involve the villagers of Sahmuratli as well as staff and students from METU. The villagers benefit directly from the results and the project will be a means of spreading, through an educational institution, knowledge and convictions touching the important issues of environment and sustainability. The project also gives to interested staff and students from METU an opportunity to participate actively in efforts focusing on an environmental friendly way of life.

Project Activities
At the start of the project the activities chosen to be either priorities or nucleus activities around which further development can take place were:

1. Coring for water;
2. Installation of pump and simple drip irrigation system;
3. Reuse of grey water in the garden;
4. Separation of waste for recycling and composting;
5. Use of solar energy for water heating;
6. Purchase of a mud-brick press for improved and stabilized mud bricks;
7. Production of alternative building materials such as mud-bricks, strawbales and papercrete;
8. Participation of students from METU in building activities and related studies;
9. Involvement of students taking Arch 325 course, 'Architecture in-situ: Hands on Building';
10. Dissemination of information and results for publication on the web.

General aims and objectives
The general aims and objectives of the project concern a wider proposal which it is hoped can be pursued over the coming three or four years. The above activities are designed to act as a catalyst and set an example to be followed by villagers from Sahmuratli and the surrounding region. The aim and objectives focus on the welfare of the Sahmuratli Village and provide an opportunity for the development of a viable and sustainable framework and organization which will allow the activities proposed to become self-supporting in the long term. Activities will be initiated by the Kerkenes Eco-Center Project but, once firmly established, it is anticipated that the Eco-Center would become self-supporting and largely run by the local contingency.
The first grant for the Kerkenes Eco-Center was awarded by the Australian Embassy and funded the water coring, grey water and garden activities. The drip irrigation scheme, including the reuse of grey water, composting, the wind pump, are all installations chosen to demonstrate the viability of the proposed activities.
Other activities related to building materials and studies on the environmental building performance were also initiated through the participation of METU students and the British Council Partnership grant. Experiments with alternative building materials and a study of the results will be the first step in the construction of facilities for the Eco-Center. Activities will give an opportunity to students to have 'hands on' experience on which to base their studies.
Finally the Kerkenes Project itself was able to demonstrate that renewable energy was the way forward by installing the first solar water heater in the village.


 
 
 
 
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