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eMi - Dominican Republic
Why are we here?Why has eMi organized a design team composed of 18 engineers/architects to work in the Dominican Republic? eMi projects are typically in economically challenged, developing nations. The Dominican Republic does not exactly fit that general descriptions when some think of the nice vacations resorts that are currently being constructed. However, the water here is not suitable to drink, there are many parts of this country that are poverty stricken, and some of the construction in the poor areas are not very robust when considering earthquakes and hurricanes. Since the island of Hispaniola is in a high seismic area designing buildings that are focused on the poor and needy is right up eMi’s alley. The main three criteria that eMi looks for when determining if they will send in a design team are the following, but any project will be considered if a solid case can be made. The first is will the work and the people being served advance the gospel. Thus, most of the projects that eMi designs are in coordination with many of the world's ministries or some of the world’s largest NGO's. Not all projects however, last year I work on a housing development with eMi for the United Nations. The second is will the work and project serve the poor and needy. After traveling to Haiti and seeing some of the poverty stricken areas of the DR, you can clearly see how their lives will be affected and improved by something as simple as clean, drinkable water. The third major consideration is there must be a high likelihood that the project will be built. Here in the DR, the vision of Comunidad Cristiana de Restauracion aligns with eMi’s vision precisely. Their heart and focus on the poor and needed, their solid leadership who are already running six water purification sites along with so many other successful programs for the needy, and their relationships here in the DR have brought eMi here to help. Schematic StageOver the past few days we have been working through schematic design stages for electrical, solar, building (cabin, kitchen, multipurpose, etc…), water and wastewater, bridge, road, site master planning, etc… The Survey team is working in the heat to provide the required information to move the design from the schematic stage to the design development phase. Many of the design team members have been working with local contractors and people to compare costs and local building practices to determine the most economical options. Each night we meet with the church leadership to discuss our progress and provide them with enough information to make decisions with. Beyond the design we are also staring to clarify costs and budgets so we can work on the proper phasing of the project.Today Daniel was on site digging holes to determine how deep the expansive clay layer is on site. Beside the challenge of a sloped site, expansive soils must be properly considered in foundation design. I have stayed at the church today and have been working with the architectural team to assist with determining the structural systems for the numerous buildings that the church will need for a successful camp. A building material has yet to be determined, so we are preparing Pro vs. Con information for each for tonight’s meeting with the church leadership. It is a challenging site structurally and for all the team. The site is located in an area of high seismicity, exposed to hurricanes, on the side of a hill with expansive clay, not near any development or public utilities except a few older high voltage power lines. It have been and will be a good week. The team has gotten a tremendous amount done. Welcome SignDaniel Choe - DiggingWe Need a BridgeSite Key FeatureFinished Hole
Filed Under: Community, Degenkolb
Posted by noblestudios on September 27, 2011 4:39 PM
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