News

May 22, 2011

It is the day after Commencement, and this project is complete. On May 7, we were able to showcase the year's work to our friends and families at Projects Night. This celebration was a happy one, marking the culmination of the project in an open house, banquet, and presentation. It was exciting to share with those we love what we did all year, and to be able to join our professors in an annual tradition that is the final step of the engineering program here at Calvin.

Looking back over the year, this project has helped each team member grow academically, professionally, socially, and spiritually. This growth is probably the most important aspect of what has occurred throughout the duration of the project, and for it we are thankful to Calvin College, its faculty, and the students with whom we have worked and loved.

Along with this thanksgiving, we would like to individually thank the following people for their instrumental parts in this project:

Emery Blanksma, RCA and CRWRC Missionary
Professor Leonard De Rooy, Structural Engineering Consultant
Phil Jasperse, Machinist, Prototype Modeling Assistance
Derrick Jones, Supervisor of RCA Global Mission Programs in Africa
Roger Lamer, Industrial Consultant
Amos Limo Liang'or, On-site Contact; AIC/RCA Project Manager
Larry McAuley, RCA and CRWRC Missionary
Glenn Remelts, Director of Hekman Library
Katryn Shick, Prototype Modeling Assistance
Donald Wotring, Soil Mechanics Instructor
Professor David Wunder, Advisor

Finally, we would like to thank the Lord for the opportunity given to us to participate in this project. He is doing amazing things for the village of Alale, and we have been blessed in working with RCA and AIC staff. It is our wish that some of what we have designed will be able to be implemented at the mission station. However, above all, it is our wish that God be glorified in the work we have done and that He may receive the praise for the many blessings He has bestowed upon us and His people.

May 7, 2011

After months of hard work and anticipation, Projects Night is here. Preparations are finished and we are looking forward to a splendid night celebrating the completion of this year and sharing our work with friends and family.

April 8, 2011

With just under a month remaining until Projects Night, Sifuni Mungu has kicked it into high gear. We are putting finishing touches on design work and creating drawings and detailed specifications. We look forward to the end product, and are prepared to work furiously to create a complete and thorough product that we will be able to hand over to the Pokot people for construction.

March 4, 2011

Truss design is almost complete. It took a little longer than we anticipated, a few postponed meetings and somewhat hard to find load factors. However, the truss layout and design as well as the loading factors are complete. All that is left is the modeling and testing of the structure. We also have enhanced our overall school and dorm layout plans by designing them in a program called Revit. This program allows us to take our designs and render a 3-D model of what the structure will look like. These images can be viewed here:

School Rendering

Dormitory Rendering

The water treatment and storage design has progressed as well. We have decided the best method to treat is to use a slow sand filter. Basically, what will happen is after the rain water is collected off the roof it will enter a storage basin. At the bottom of the basin will be the filter. The water will trickle through the grains of sand, which will filter out any sediment and any biological contaminat. There exists a challenge with this design in that it requires a specific grain size to work properly. However, Alale appears to have a wide range of sand and stone sizes in its soil. After the water passes through the filter, it will enter a smaller storage basin which will store the treated water. This way, as the treated water is taken from the storage basin, more is filtered through and the basin automatically refills.

Lastly is the design for the canopy. Two design options are being explored. First, is a basic design which incorporates a large truss system and then girders running across the trusses to hold up the sheet metal. The idea is to create an overlap within the canopy roof to allow air flow and light to come in. The other option is to use PVC sheet from a company located in South Africa and create a sort of tent design. The advantage to this is the material is very lightweight and could be less expensive. However, the life span will most likely be shorter than a conventional metal sheet roof.

Other than design, we were fortunate to be able to meet with Derrick this past week. He was able to fill us in a little more about what's going on in Alale and hopefully can get us some more pictures soon, which will really help with the rest of the design.

February 11, 2011

As second semester is kicking off, our team is picking up more and more momentum into designing the school. Last week we finally received our first (sketch) map of the mission set-up in Alale (thanks to Larry!). It is slightly outdated but is very useful when cross referenced with google images. We now have a general idea of the layout and soil types present in Alale, although still unsure of where in the village this school is to be built. As for drinking water treatment, more research has been done towards ideas of how to contain the water once it is collected and treated. Right now we are looking at options that include both constructed and prefabricated designs, including systems designed by Aquasantec . As for the actual design, we are dissecting into the method of how previous buildings were designed based on the pictures sent by Emory. We determined the buildings are constructed of solid cement blocks (constructed on site using cement imported from Kitale and aggregate found near the river bed). Their appears to be a cement bonding beam at the top of the blocks for support. Trusses are designed from angle iron and support a corrugated tin roof. We are a little unsure as to the nature of the foundation in the buildings yet.

After a meeting with our industrial adviser, we are looking into the possiblity of a canopy covering over the courtyard in the center of the school. This could possibly be designed as a tin roof with trusses, but we're looking into other canopy coverings, such as a canvas or translucent high-strengthed plastic (similar to a large party tent).

 

To view the most recent update for the AIC Pokot Project from RCA Global Mission, click here.

 

 

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