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Problem Definition

GCT is currently renting office space. However, they would like to have their own property with buildings to house their offices, a residence for Navy, and a variety of spaces to rent out such that they could earn rent instead of paying it. They would also like to promote the farming methods they teach by planting a vegetable garden and by selling some of their farmers’ crops through a farmer’s market and restaurant.

GCT’s dream building would be twelve stories high, fifteen meters wide, and twenty-four meters long. Other buildings in the area are six stories high at most, although there are buildings in other areas of Phnom Penh that are much taller than twelve stories.
This building will need to be built in stages as funding becomes available. GCT hopes to begin by building the foundation and first two floors. GCT will need drawings of their future building and other promotional material to raise the funds to build it.

The twelve-story building will only include GCT’s commercial investments, including a restaurant, a fitness center, office space for other NGOs to rent out, a conference large hall with small breakout- rooms for organizations to rent during conferences, hotel rooms, and condominiums. GCT’s offices and Navy’s residence would be housed in a separate building on the property. They also plan to build a pool with landscaping around it and a garden. Most of the rest of the land will be used for parking space.

Navy and Ly have already purchased a 30m x 60m piece of land in Phnom Penh, down the street from GCT’s current rental office building. The land is low in elevation and floods knee-deep during the rainy season. This is especially a problem because there is an open dirt trench along the side of the property through which the neighborhood’s sanitary sewage line runs.

The land is so low because it used to be a pond. GCT and the previous owners have both added soil to the land, as much as three or four meters deep. However, the soil has settled significantly, and the land still floods. The soil type and origin of this soil fill is unknown, as is the soil type beneath the fill and the depth of bedrock.

GCT can connect to the city power grid and water supply. However, water used for drinking and cooking or washing food must be further treated. GCT is interested in alternatives to releasing their sanitary sewage into the trench along their property.


This project will focus on the design of the commercial building only, involving:


Our group has decided on a building size of nine stories and has designed a floor plan for each floor. We have nearly completed the next step, which is modeling the structural components of our building. We used a structural design suite called STAAD. Pro, and we only have a few more items to put into that model. We have modeled the building in Autodesk Revit Architecture to help make drawings and floor plans. A rendering from Revit Architecture can be seen below.

While the Revit model is helpful for producing floor plans, it is not capable of rendering the building very quickly or realistically, so we have begun to model the building with another program called Hammer. Hammer is a program that builds three-dimensional digital environments that can be navigated and interacted with using a physics and graphics engine called Source. Below is a screen capture of the building powered by the Source Engine.

source rendering of building

The Source Engine is developed by Valve Software, and is most known for computer games such as Portal, Half-Life, and Left 4 Dead, which all operate using the engine. Computer games are specifically designed to present a 3-D, interactive environment that looks good and can render frames in real time. Our group hopes to have a complete building that people can navigate through to see what our building will look like when it is completed.

We are also busy completing many of the drawings and schematics that will be part of our final presentation. Click on the sample floor plan below to see more.