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Gollis University

The challenge: Gollis University is the largest private university in Somaliland and the construction of a new main building will need to reflect the high-quality education the university provides. This will be particularly challenging given the non-homogeneous way Hargeisa has been built over the years. The city’s buildings  offer a technical challenge in terms of their positioning and shape and the construction of this large project will be no different.

There are also safety challenges. When construction of the ground floor is completed, the university has asked to use that floor while the construction of upper floors is underway. 

Finally, there are also environmental challenges, concerning a dry river dividing the city in the middle and mini canals/drainages that all feed the dry river. One of these mini canals is located west of the new building and poses construction challenges to ensure this can still be fed by running water.

Our response: To solve the issue of constructing the upper floors while the ground floor is in use, we will install a netted scaffolding structure designed to protect people from any falling objects. These scaffolding structures as well as traffic management will ensure construction continues safely while the ground floor is being occupied by the university. And to solve the concerns around water flowing to the dry river, specific plans have been shared with the university to lift the structure higher on the west of the building to accommodate running water feeding the dry river – this will avoid an adverse environmental impact.

Pharo Construction Limited (PCL) sits at the boundary between the commercial and non-profit worlds. Its collaboration with Gollis University to build a state-of-the-art main building for the university in Hargeisa, Somaliland, exemplifies its purpose as a commercial entity that pursues social goals. Its involvement will be critical in helping the university manage the rapid expansion of the number of students in the city centre campus. Beyond that, we seek to extend the social impact of the project beyond the stage of construction by giving work experience to the students in plumbing, electricity, masonry, painting, and involving Pharo Construction senior managers in giving lectures for the university as part of Gollis University Guest lecture events. Last year students will also be offered work experience in quantity surveying, site engineering, architecture and finance. All these initiatives will incorporate social sustainability into this project.