...if you have any questions, queries or would like to write to us for more information about the competition please write to: competitions@buildingtrustinternational.org

...for those that have registered you should have the resources pack if you do not have one yet email us with your confirmation email





Frequently Asked Question's

1. Which countries get reduced fees,(what countries are classified as developing countries in the competition?)

Individuals residing and working/studying in one of the World Bank's lower middle or low-income countries get a special registration rate.

Afghanistan, Armenia, Bangladesh, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon,
Cabo Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Congo (Dem. Rep), Congo (Rep.), Côte d'Ivoire, Djibouti, Egypt (Arab Rep.), Eritrea, Ethiopia, El Salvador, Gambia, Georgia, Ghana, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bisau, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Indonesia, India, Kenya, Korea (Dem Rep.), Kiribati, Kyrgyz Republic, Kosovo, Lao (PDR), Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Micronesia (Fed. Sts.), Moldova, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nepal, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Philippines, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Samoa, São Tomé and Principe, Solomon Islands, Somalia, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Swaziland, Syrian Arab Republic, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Timor-Leste, Togo, Uganda, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Vietnam, West Bank and Gaza, Yemen (Rep.), Zambia, Zimbabwe.

2. Is it just the addition of 2 more classrooms or the renovation of the existing building is also expected?

We are not looking at the renovation work to the existing school as part of this project that is part of another country wide scheme funded by GIZ. The design challenge is to increase capacity and should include no less than the creation of 2 new classrooms a small multi-functional space that can be used for physical exercise when it is too cold to go outside and two toilets.

3. My understanding is that the brief is for two classrooms and some some toilets - it is not clear for example, how many students are in a classroom, if the project includes the existing building, how assessment criteria such as gym spaces are to be designed?

The brief is to design a building or extension that includes 2 classrooms, a small gym space/hall and 2 toilets. This will help to reduce the overcrowding in the primary school which currently serves approx. 500 children in 8 classrooms.

4. Is there a plan of the existing building(s) in case we want to make our proposal into an extension? Do you also have floor plans of the existing school?

Please see PDF for outline plan of existing school internal layout. We are trying to get a more detailed survey of the building to share with those wishing to design the extension option:

5. How exact are the two specified possible locations (site A & B), and is it possible to propose another different placement for the building?

The locations given are suggestions from the school committee from consultation sessions. If you would like to suggest another location please feel free to do so, but please give reasons for your proposed siting.

6. Do you have any numbers for the school area? How many square meters should it be? We saw it is for 100 kids, but maybe you could specify even more?

The guidance from the school board, Local Governor and NGO partners is for the following:
Small Physical education room: 12mx6m (72m2)
2xClassrooms: 7.5mx6m (90m2)
Toilets:3mx6m (18m2)
& some circulation space.
(Please note these are suggestions you are welcome to stick with them or offer alternative solutions. We are also looking to phase the construction and proposals that allow for a phased construction may be marked higher due to the greater flexibility offered to government and NGO partners in delivery at this school and potentially for others in the region.)

7. Is there any given size or volume for the new school building, maybe from client side? Do I need to use ground floor size as given as marked blue-green color in two possible locations map, or it is possible to define the size (free to define ground floor size/shape based on our concept, local building code requirements etc., within the plot area given in cadastral map showing school land boundary) by ourselves?

See guidance above. You may propose any solution within the boundary of the school's land with explanation for your decisions.

8. Is there any given requirements for the school levels, maybe from client side? Because, which educational stage at school is also important factor to design school facilities. I have collected following design input from your email as well as the Competition Brief file from the web. The design input information as follows: 2 classroom, 2 toilets, multifunctional space and school for 100 pupils. I understand that main consideration is CLIMATE and SCHOOL, however, I guess that above mentioned information is also important for the design.

The school caters to children of primary age: 6-11 year olds

9. I have a few queries - we are to design a school for 100 kids, how many teachers, classrooms, is it just primary school ; in that case 20 kids in a class with one class teacher and perhaps two auxiliary teachers per class?

We are relying on the existing building to provide office and administration space for staff/teachers. The school currently has two education sessions; one in the morning and one in the afternoon. The 2 new classrooms will therefore provide for approx 50 students in the morning school and 50 students in the afternoon school. (25 students/classroom)

10. We are not clear of the site measurements and units. The drawing you provided us with is not to scale, or units ain't very clear.

The DWG plan in the resource pack should be in mm's and to scale.

11. Is there electricity available?


12. Is there any sewage system on site?


13. Is there approximate budget for the project? We are aware this is a low-budget project nevertheless it would be helpful to understand the budget limits (preferable, possible) and choose the realistic direction of building structure design.

We currently estaimte that we will have approx. $60,000 for the construction.

14. What kind of activities do they engage with during PE?

A range of team based sports and indiviual gym activities for primary grade students.

15. Do you have more specific information about the climate? From the brief we know it varies between -45 and +20 degrees celsius. What is the maximum day en night temperature in Summer? What is minimum day and night temp in Winter? Is there a rain season, when is it and what is the amount of rain expected. How much snow in Winter will there fall in cm? How many sun hours per year for this location?

An online search should help, try the BBC or World Weather Online

16. Is the focus only on the new building (extension) or should we also come up with a (landscaping) design for the whole terrain of the school?

The focus is on the new school facility but you will not be marked down for proposing a wider regeneration plan.

17. How is the existing school heated?

It has a soviet era heating system. Information on work GIZ are doing to improve heating in shcools in the region can be found here

18. Does building have to accomodate disabled chidlren (additional wheelchair space)?


19. Is there information of the actual height of the existing building? And if we will design the new building as an extension to the old one on site A,‍ then which part/point on the old building is connectible to the new one?

We are awaiting conformation on the exact height but it is estimated to be 4.8m tall. It is envisaged that a connection with the corridor would be made and a connection created with the existing wall.

20. In the case we design the new building which stands alone on site B, considering the occupants inside the existing building would like to use the toilet facilities from the new building without experiencing harsh environment outside, would it be preferable to design a linking passage as well?

This is up to you?

21. What is the the outhouse kind of thing near the recommended site 1? Can it be demolished?

We believe thes are outside toilets but again we are waiting confirmation on if they can be relocated.

22. Also the other structures near recommended site 1. Can they be demolished?

The round building on the plan is a ger (Yurt) which can be moved if needed.

23. Is the wall of the existing building a load bearing wall?

Yes. Any added extensions will need to place a lintel in the wall and potentially add support but it is enough to state that this is the intention without going into too much detail (as we dont have the structural drawings for the existing building to allow participants to do this.)

24. is it possible to have a wind path in Khovd? or any related information?

We dont have access to a wind path but you may find some useful infomration here:

25. Towards the Northwest of the existing school building the are a square and a round shape in the plans. What are they? Can they be demolished?

Please see 21 & 22

26. On the west of the existing school building is another building which looks pretty run down on the photos. What is it for? Can it be demolished? Can it be integrated in the project?

It is up to each participant to make their own design submission but please do consider the small budget for the project and demolition of parts of what is already an over crowded school may not be a cost effective solution.

27. Can you please give us an idea of the ground floor structure of the existing school building. This will be very important if we are planning an extension.

We have been notified by the team on the ground that the existing building fabric is made from adobe bricks

28. The budget 60,000 is this only the construction or is interiors and facilities included ?

The budget is for construction

29. Do they have clean water from the pipes or is this from rainwater then we should have a tank for water ? What is the water resources in here? And as you mentioned there is a place for water treatment can you tell more about the location that also effect the design.

The school is connected to mains water supply.

30. How about the height for Physical Education room ? Should they be higher than normal classes or just same same? And please detail how tall the buildings are.

Existing buildings are approx 4.8m tall. We leave it to each designer to design the space according to their own proposal.

31. We have read about materials and we understand that in the rural areas they often build the structure with wood, but also that is not easy to find. Do you have more information about local materials?

It is up to participants to research into the materials that would be most suitable for the build. We suggest you carry out a google search and research materials used to build existing structures in Mongolia and in other cold climate countries.

32.Aside from the toilets being outside, are there any other problems with the existing building? (in terms of available space, comfort, ​circulation, security etc.)

Classrooms are quite dark and generally in a bad state of repair. The layout and size is however quite good and when the school committee were asked about new classrooms they cited the size of the existing classrooms as being a reference. this however may be down to the lack of anything else to base their expectations on.

33. What are the priorities and main concerns for the local people?

Additional space for students and physical education space for when external temperature plummet

34. Are some children from the morning class staying ​in the school for some time after class, or do all children leave right after their class? - for example, it could be interesting to know if there are periods when children out of class can create noise, which can affect children in class

The school runs two schools: one a morning school and the other an afternoon school in order to meet the capacity requirements of the 500 students. Usually the students dont mix as there is quite a break over lunch in between. That said primary classes are noisy so disturbance between one class and another is a consideration

35. What materials are available local to the site?

You can get most materials but nearly all will be transported to site. The existing building is an adobe structure and this is most likely the only material that is in abundance to the site

36. What is transport like if resources are not available locally? Ie are there any potential logistical issues that may prevent the transport of bulky materials or pre-fabricated parts?

Mongolia has a short window where construction can take place due to the difficulties in transporting materials during the coldest months. It would pay to consider this and not specify things that will be difficult to replicate in other locations

37. What tools and equipment are available?

Basic construction tools will be available we will be appointing a contractor or the works who will have their own tools if you specify something that may need specialist tools for assembly bear in mid that this may have a detrimental impact on the overall project cost and our ability to engage a range of contractors for a competitive quote.

38.What are the costs associated with the above items?

Unless you are specifying something out of the ordinary eg. a triple glazed curtain wall system with tensile roof fabric (please don't do this.) then you do not need to be concerned with the tools costs too much.

39.What are the costs associated with labour?

We have factored those in to the total budget we will also be making use of volunteer labour and community engagement where possible.

40.Is the intention for the local people to learn new construction techniques or to utilise the existing skillset?

Yes where possible

41. Do we need to provide points for any electrical equipment such as computers?

It would do no harm to include these.

42.Frost protection for water services (ask how they deal with it now and if it is working properly)

This is something which GIZ our parterns are working on and we will make use of their advice.

43.What internal temperatures should we design to?

At this stage you should design in accordance with your own countries guidelines on internal temperatures.

44. If we design an extension, what is the best technique not to have to shut part of the school during the works?

This all depends on how much the extension proposal connects with the existing building? Is it possible to have a portal connection at the end of the existing corridor or does your design cut in to the roof space?

45. If we demolish existing buildings on site such as the existing Yurt or outdoor toilets do we have to cover the costs of removal of materials and the demolition costs?


46.At what point in the year will the winning design be built? What knock on effects are caused by this ie weather?

We aim to build in June-July which are the best months for construction.

47. The number of toilets required is two. It includes two toilets for male and two for female or just two toilets in total? Can I increase the number?

1 washroom for male, 1 for female. You can increase, however remember to think of the budget and scale of the project in (Q.6 The school board suggests 18m2.)

48. I want to combine the new building with the old one but I dont know what the building beside use for. (see image attached) Do you have information about that ? Can I demolish it ?

We believe you are refering to the toilet block. Yes it can be removed if you wish although you would need to replace with more toilets somewhere else in your proposal.

49. I would like to know if the site plan and satellite image in the resource pack are oriented according to the cardinal directions since there is no north point marked in the drawings.

Yes these are oriented with north at the top of the page, as you can see if you look at the GPS coordinates and plan from google in relation to the images in the resource pack.

50. What is the function and material of the small structure attached to the west facade / end of corridor?

This is a store room but it is in quite a bad state of repair hence the suggestion to replace with a new extension. It is a block work construction.

51. I am not too sure about the main gate for student walk into school site, or something like which path would student come or go back to school? I didn't mean the entrance for school building, I mean the path to actual site. Please see attachment, I marked red part is the possibility, that we are thinking might be the normal student walking path to school. Just to confirm the information with you!

Yes this is one of the main paths

52. What are the term dates for the kids at this school? (i.e. At what times of the year do they have holidays from school? Do they have June/July/August free?)

School summer break starts in June and lasts for 3 months. Jun, Jul & Aug are school summer vacation.

53.What times do the children attend school?

There are two school sessions one in the morning for the morning school and one in the afternoon after lunch for the afternoon school students.

54. What is the yurt/ger used for?

Yurt is watchman's home. It can be moved anywhere. 

55. What is the existing roof made from? 

Rafter is made of iron.

56. The crosses just below the rafters on the roof are they just for decoration or do they serve for anything else? ie ventilation strategy?

Crosses below rafters are air ventialtion for the roof space.

57. What are the existing toilets?

Rectangular white building is school warehouse and toilet. Also toilets are the green timber temporary units to South West of site.

58. What is the run down rectanglaur building (not white) used for?

School Storage building/warehouse











Important information:

Terms and Conditions for Competitions run and administered by Building Trust international. See more...


Terms and conditions for the website.. See more...