Monday, February 6, 2012

Back on Track – and More Exciting Than Ever

The project is now entering a new phase – with secured funding, accelerated design and construction schedule and new partners.

Amazon Promise Pre-Clinic work:

Our team went to Belen in the winter of 2010 and has successfully tested an off-grid drinking water purification system and a composting toilet system. The testing of the solar-powered water treatment system showed that it has sufficient capacity to provide ample water for the clinic needs. The design of an off-the shelf composting toilet was analyzed with the participation of local craftsmen, and it was determined that similar in function units can be constructed from local materials. The next step will be to fully commission the systems in the course of 2012 for the continuous use by Amazon Promise personnel.

The Big Clinic:

After several years of hard work, the project team has succeeded in securing by the close of 2011 a firm commitment from SIEMENS AG to provide full funding for the clinic. Due to the increased resources available for the project, it became necessary to engage an additional local medical NGO – Project Amazonas – in order to fully utilize the capabilities of the planned medical facility. Also, based on the recommendation of the Peruvian Ministry of Health, the site for the clinic has been moved from Belen to Mazan – outside of the flood zone and on a major path for people traveling to the Iquitos area for medical treatment. The clinic will now serve a more diverse group of patients in the region of Loreto.

The Next Steps:

The Mazan clinic team is starting a comprehensive re-design effort to adjust the existing clinic design to the new physical setting and a different utility connection situation (no reliable water or power supply). Also, the nature of the project will require considerable budget management capabilities. This new reality, combined with a tight projected construction schedule, will necessitate a dramatic expansion of the team. We are looking for qualified volunteers for the following areas:

· Geotechnical

· Structural

· Architectural

· Water and waste water treatment (turn-key off grid)

· Electrical (off-grid)

· Project management and tracking (including budget and bookkeeping)

We will be presenting more detailed information during the General Body Meeting on March 1.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

This Project is Still Alive and Kicking

First and foremost, I want to apologize for the delay in posting an update to our blog. Over the last year the project has been in a 'cloud' where it has been adapting slowly to meet the needs of possible financial donors. Due to multiple reasons which are all extremely justified, our partner NGO has been unable to raise the funds required to realize the project. Due to this roadblock, our project team members have been searching for other means to ensure that all of the tremendously hard work and effort put in by over 100 dedicated engineers and architects in the last 5 years does not fade away.

Long-story-short, EWB-NY is working with Siemens AG to develop a way to realize this project. I cannot go into the details at this moment; however, I hope to provide further insight over the next days and weeks to explain everything that has been going on and provide updates as progress is made.

Thank you.

Friday, January 22, 2010

EWB NY Professional Chapter in collaboration with The Happold Trust and AIA have organized a Lecture and Fund Raiser event at The Center for Architecture to benefit EWB NY projects in Belen, Peru and Usalama, Kenya. Thom Mayne, F.A.I.A., a highly acclaimed architect with recent projects such as Cooper Union building and Federal Tower in San Francisco, CA, presented a lecture on performalism, which is a concept our teams without a doubt utilized in designing both the Belen clinic building and the library in Usalama.

The event was a great success, drawing well over 150 architecture professionals. The funds raised from the guests and sponsors of the event will play important role in fulfilling our project goals for 2010.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Belen Team has started coordination with a major corporate sponsor (to be announced later) regarding receiving financial and equipment support for the construction of the clinic. We expect start receiving substantial contributions in the spring of 2010.

Amazon Promise has completed construction of a temporary "pre-clinic" on an adjacent property (see the photo below). EWB Belen Team will be working on designing and building of water purification system and a sanitation system for this new structure. This will provide a unique opportunity to field-test scaled-down versions of these system for the main clinic and gain critically important experience of doing work in the area.

The conceptual design of the clinic has been finalized (see renderings below) and the team is now concentrating on preparing submittals for the local regulatory approval.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Recent Updates

It's been a while and well overdue for a project Blog Update...

The Architectural/Sustainability/Systems Integration group of the Belen project has experienced a rapid (and timely) growth over the course of the past month. Many talented and experienced architects have jointed our team and are now moving ahead with finalizing the architectural design, which had undergone a considerable evolution following the analysis of the results of last fall's assessment trip to Belen.

Effective of April 3rd, Mr. Mashiyat Ashraf, an experienced architect, will take a lead on managing the architectural design process.

In addition to the good news, the Architectural/Sustainability/Systems Integration group has provided new sketches of the Clinic.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Let's get started!

The Structural and Geotech group has officially started the design of the clinic!

For the past few weeks we have been meeting - updating drawings, finalizing loads, researching codes, updating the ever changing BOD, and even the modeling of the building in etabs.

Last week we had an updated meeting with the Architectural group to trade ideas and get pointed in the right direction.
Exciting times... and the best is yet to come.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Some of the pictures below are from our November trip to Belen, Peru. More can be found on our Picassa site:

All photos can be professionally printed at various sizes and sold for donations. Contact us at for information.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Project Status Update

We have created a new group comprised of the Spanish speakers and lead by Manuel, who will take the lead on translating the pertinent and applicable parts of the Peruvian code, specific to the Poly Clinico designation of our project. Manuel and his group anticipate having Executive Summaries of the codes by the 11/29 meeting.

At the 11/29 meeting, we will discuss recent conversations with Amazon Promise and share the answers to the questions we sent to the Peruvian professionals, who Manuel is in contact with, though has yet to receive anything back from. We will also discuss in detail the creation of a Basis of Design, which will serve as our 'design bible' of sorts for the duration of the design process. We will have a sample posted on ProjectSolve early next week. Each Discipline will contribute their respective code summary as well as disciplinary write up, which will help solidify the coordination process.

For now, all Disciplinary Groups are asked to stay in touch with one another and continue to brainstorm ways to improve the conceptual design. Translation of the code and answers to our numerous technical questions -- each of which is expected by the next meeting -- will open up a lot of work for each Group.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Groups Report Progress

The project team split into several working groups including:
*Structural and Geotechnical Engineering
*Water and Sanitation
*Sustainability and Architecture
*Fundraising and Marketing

The groups met individually to discuss the conceptual design, evaluating its feasibility, developing alternatives where appropriate and determining the scope of the groups work. Each group is now compiling a brief write up describing their role in the project to be included in a presentation to Amazon Promise of the conceptual design. The groups are also developing a Request for Information (RFI) for Amazon Promises consultants in Peru.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Conceptual Design

The Sustainablity and Architechture group developed a conceptual design based on Amazon Promise's wish list and the initial floor plans.

The conceptual design was developed to meet the needs of Amazon Promise while working within local environment. Constraints include the reliability of electricity grid, heavy seasonal flooding, tap water quality, and vultures.

The conceptual design (shown left) of the health center includes a two-story building, elevated above high flood levels. The building is accessed via a floating dock by either foot or boat depending on the season.

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