Friday, October 17, 2008

Update from Tanzania 10/17/2008

The process of building the Same Polytechnic Technical College in Same, Tanzania, Africa has taken another step forward. Our month long research trip was a great success. We were able to visit local construction sites and learn the techniques of the Tanzanian work force as well as interview several contractors in the area about labor costs. The Construction Management team that traveled to Same, Max Brandt and Erik Wright, spent many hours in hardware stores and construction supply depots gathering a plethora of material cost information. While they were haggling prices one of the Architects, Julie Reynolds, toured local schools and visited one of the four public technical universities in the country. This insight into how the Tanzanian education system runs will prove invaluable as she instructs her design team about classroom sizes and dorm layout. The most fun for all of us was when the day was spent on the Project site surveying and marking the boundaries as goat herds and school children followed everyone around. We even had to hire the local villagers to chop a trail from one end of the site to the other so that we could 'shoot' a line. One of the most memorable days was when a semi-truck stopped and three burly men came running towards Max and Erik as they were carrying the survey equipment. Startled at first, they came to learn that the men were former heavy equipment operators for mining companies in Sierra Leone and South Africa and just wanted to give Max and Erik their contact info should we need operators. All the team members met with the local planning department and government officials and were met with great support and appreciation.The Same Polytechnic Design Build Project team has just recruited new members. Jullie Reynolds, the Lead Architect, has recruited two architecture students to complete design for several buildings and build models that can be taken to Tanzania. One of the advisers, Professor Abe Lyn of the Architectural Engineering (ARCE) at Cal Poly - San Luis Obispo, has several ACRE students working on structural calculations and meeting with the CM team to do construct-ability reviews. Our Construction Management team, headed by the Lead CM Max Brandt, has just recruited three new students to continue research into designing the gray water and rain water recycling systems. Holly Powdrell, a CM student that is LEED AP ( Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, Accredited Professional), will be working on trying to register the project with US Green Building Council and determining how we can build the project in the most sustainable manner. Another CM student, Brett Thompson, is currently organizing a benefit concert to be held in downtown San Luis Obispo, CA in the spring of 2009. What is our goal for the year? Our mission is to have Construction Documents 100% complete by June of 2009. This will be a grueling year for the team and we will be looking to industry for help in some areas such as civil infrastructure and mechanical systems. As of today Schematic Design is 100% complete. This means that there is no more design work to be done, just inputting the design into a computer program and creating construction specifications. The ARCE students will be using their calculations for determining how big the structural members will be and then creating the drawings on the computer. Beginning in January 2009 the CM team will begin creating a schedule for construction and estimates for the cost of construction. Their fall will be spent completing research for the different sustainable systems and meeting with industry representatives. This is a large undertaking by the team but we are confident we can complete the task because come Summer and Fall of 2009 we want to begin the construction of this incredible project.
If you have any questions about the project or suggestions please feel free to contact me. Thank you for all your support and I look forward to hearing from you.
Maximilian H. Brandt