Mahiga Rainwater Court update

Mahiga Rainwater Court update

  • by Architecture for Humanity
  • Apr 27, 2010
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Construction of the Rainwater Court is underway and in full swing at Mahiga! Boslika Building Contractors have hired a large group of the local community, and they are quickly making progress. The primary and secondary schools are both on semester break this month, and the relatively quiet construction site is allowing the team to push extra hard to get foundations securely in place, and up above ground before the Long Rain season takes full effect.

I want to thank George and Elijah from Mahiga for all their hard work helping me document the process over the last week! George is a current student at Mahiga Hope Highschool, and has come in everyday on his semester break to help out; as an aspiring journalist, it's right up his alley. Elijah attended primary school at Mahiga, and recently graduated from a high school in Nyeri. He's in the process of applying for architectural school in Mombasa, and it's great to have him around learning about the process, organizing, documenting, and acting as the official "project intern".

We started with a groundbreaking that had over 40 workers getting after the substantial earthwork required for the foundation trenches. After much hard work the final level was reached, at over ten feet deep on the highest side of the hill. We had a slight delay with the foundation trenches underneath the stage, mechanical and changing rooms. Our team's lead structural engineer, Nicholas Ngugi, of Feruzzi Associates, found that we were resting on a loose soil strata the test pits didn't reveal. But after a few tests, some quick calculations, and addition excavation we were right back on track.

Nicholas was back on site at the end of last week, to inspect the final leveling, and steel reinforcement for the foundation. With everything looking great (even the re-bar I tied), foundation pours started right away. Yesterday, despite rains in the afternoon, the last of concrete of the strip foundation was poured. This week we'll be starting the form work required to pour column bases, and the sub surface walling for the block of rooms.

Fabrication of the steel columns and trusses should be underway at the Boslika workshop by the end of the week, so check back soon for more photos of the progress.

Have a good one,

Read the latest about the Rainwater Court here.