The island, located in Sumatra off the Aceh coast, was hit by the 2004 tsunami in which it lost 85 of its 110 schools. In conjunction with the Ministry and Department of Education, the Catholic organisation ‘Cordaid’ developed a brief to provide 65 new earthquake-resistant schools. Using local materials, the design resulted in an innovative modular system allowing maximum flexibility. The buildings are constructed of prefabricated steel frames, reinforced concrete slabs, steel sections bolted to the concrete and steel ring-beams, infill timber panels and roofs. Buildings withstood the 2008 earthquake and the newly installed water system supplied the local community. Classes continued undisrupted.