In February this year, I got an email from a contact of BREEAM, Tom Dollard from PTE Architects, asking if I would be interested in taking on an exciting challenge. That challenge would be cycling 500 miles around Myanmar, whilst raising money for charity and undertaking building research in the healthcare sector. This presented a fantastic opportunity combining three of my main interests; cycling, travelling and the built environment. Naturally, I jumped at the chance, and the BRE Trust has very kindly agreed to support me in this adventure.
After months of planning and training, I will be leaving on November 3rd to embark on this journey alongside twelve other built environment professionals and a local Burmese student. Over 9 days we will cycle 500 miles, conduct research, deliver lectures in local education establishments and raise as much money as possible for the charity Article 25.
Article 25, the world’s largest architectural non-profit organisation, is a charity dedicated to creating a world where all people have access to good quality homes, healthcare and education buildings.
Myanmar, once known as Burma, has one of the fastest growing economies in South East Asia having held their first openly contested elections in 2015. Decades of military rule and conflict in Myanmar has led to a neglected infrastructure, unregulated building quality, particularly in the healthcare sector.
Cycling in humid conditions with temperatures of up to 33 degrees Celsius across tough terrain with many inclines, we will carry out field research on
- The country’s healthcare system
- Local architecture and building techniques
- Build local capacity and knowledge
At the end of the trip, the team of cyclists will write a design guide for use by Myanmar Government to use as a blue print to improve the healthcare system across the whole country.
Throughout the trip I will be sending photos and updates to this blog for you to follow. Watch this space!