The building has certainly progressed over the Christmas break but it has been a clear example of 'Less haste and more speed'. Many of the finishes have been rushed and completed to an unsatisfactory standard.
A site meeting was held on Monday which provided a good opportunity for our professional team to present their comments on the building. Sadly most of them indicated a resounding dissatisfaction with the finishes. This has led to a number of instructions to strip paint, plaster and in some cases brick work and re-do the finishes. I certainly hope we achieve our goal second time round.
The pitch has been put on hold. The contractor has finally admitted to themselves that they need external expert help. They are looking to appoint a professional sub-contractor to complete the pitch work and surrounding paving sub-base. I sincerely hope by this time next week I can say - "the pitch has started and is in good hands."
I leave AfH soon and hope that I can leave with the building and pitch in good hands or with a clear plan to completing the building as best as possible.
Its going to be a busy week - wish me luck and hold your thumbs for us!!!
The year is at its end and we have unfortunately missed quite a few milestones. This is due to continuous bad weather and the contractor having ordered the incorrect roof.
I can not say we were not warned about the Pietermaritzburg's crazy rainfall - I put it down to urban myths. I was mistaken! The summer rain in PMB is continuous and relentless - you are either awarded a week of grey miserable drizzle or heavy thunderstorms that leave pavements looking like rivers!
The contractor hoped to continue works to the pitch, despite the rainfall throughout the last month - the clay soil seemed to hold for the fist few compacting runs however it shortly turned into a site of sludge and heaps of mud resembling a bowl of chocolate cake!
Its been a collective decision to put the pitch on hold and focus on getting the building complete. In theory this seems a task that any contractor could do whilst blind folded - however in practice its been a whole different story.
Streetfootball World and Architecture for Humanity have in last 2 weeks worked hard to assist the contractor in progressing the building and ensuring procurement is in hand. There was some change but not enough to over come the holiday challenge. PMB seems to shut down after the 16th of December. Ensuring materials are on our tiny site before then has been a tall order!
On the plus: the roof installation has commenced and the steel stair is installed. We a little stuck because the roof sheeting company is closed. AFH and the Main contractor are working hard to resolve this before the Big Christmas close!
I will continue to keep you posted however The turn of events at Edendale never fail to surprise me!
Fingers crossed - The new year will come with sunny skies, better procurement and a completed building!
Til then - Merry Christmas and Happy New Year Everyone! Enjoy the holidays and be safe!
After many weeks of trial and error the contractor has completed the complex structural beam. This beam not only keeps the building together it also allows for a double height space. This creates a better functioning multi-purpose training room.
The building is looking good and we are close to finishing all the brick work. We hope the roof can commence within a week and this will also allow some of internal finishes to commence- we should shortly see some real progress.
Whilst we have tried to reduce the scope of the pitch and make the site levels slightly more modest, the weather has certainly not helped us with heavy thunderstorms over the past 3 weeks leaving muddy clay soils drenched.
No doubt the contractor is in major delay, however there is credit for an extension of time due to bad weather, we also hope to enhance the final product by introducing paving!
Time is of the essence however with very rainy days which are followed by very hot days, its difficult to strike a balance - consistent productive weeks are becoming a rarity.
Works have been well on there way for almost 5 months and time is of the essence.
The brickwork has accelerated and is coming along just fine. The finer structural intricacies are holding up works a little but we hope our helpful Structural Engineer can help us through! The next big step is our structural beam and then onwards and upwards towards placing the first roof beam and topping the building!
Panic mode is bound to set in soon with the Practical Completion date fast approaching. Programmes & schedules have been checked, reformatted and
re-checked. All teams are on board and hoping to work at 100% to complete the works on time.
The next month is crucial and hopefully the construction image will change substantially.
Preparation for the pitch in under way and the retaining structures required to hold back the huge amount of gravel fill are almost there. Soon we should see the spreading of G5 (gravel) and begin to get a sense of the hugely anticipated pitch!
The first floor slab has been successfully cast however there has been a couple of hiccups in completing the first floor concrete beam. We hope with a little remedial work and testing the beam can be cast within the week.
The Contractor has begun excavating for and constructing of the retaining structures that will form the perimeter of the pitch. With a very tight site and tricky access to the existing WKU-Academy, its all a bit of sequencing game! Creative Tetris as I like to call it.
2 months remain of the contract period....this is beginning to get serious!
We have to take leaps and bounds in the next month or else face a difficult Christmas!
Lets hope the heavy rains which have occurred will restrict itself to the weekends - its been obedient thus far! Wish us luck and hold your thumbs!!!
The ground floor masonry is complete and preparation is on its way for the first floor slab.
Work on site is progressing, steadily however great strides are yet to be seen in the external works department.
A new program has been issued by the contractor who hopes he can fulfil his contractual requirements (i.e. finish the project) within the allotted 6 months. AfH will be assisting and monitoring this closely.
Much assistance and motivation has been required from AfH to assist in progressing the works on site.
The past few weeks have presented a few contractual challenges which in many ways could/can be expected!
It seemed the contractor had quite a lot of housework to do and this of course impacted on the quality, and progression of work on site.
AfH took some very serious and brave steps to find a amicable and sustainable solution - this process is ongoing. However it seems that some of the first steps have been awarded an initial turn round by the contractor.
Work has started again, the default brickwork has been replaced, the door and window frames are being postioned and suddenly, for the first time one can begin to see the building rising from the ground.
Clearance of the site and setting out for the pitch has begun - very exciting indeed!
We can only hope that the September rains are shy enabling work on site to progress expediently!
The foundations to our new centre and the ground floor slab were successfully completed.
The last 2 weeks have seen the progression of masonry work and electrical first fix. Progress on site has been slightly slow due to lack of materials however there was plenty to keep our spirits up.
Charlize Theron and her team, took the time, to visit the FFH_Centre in Edendale.
I had the opportunity to show Charlize and her team around site and explain the Football for Hope Movement. Not only did her visit lift our spirits, it also allows for greater partnership opportunities between WhizzKids Academy and the Charlize Theron Outreach project.
The buzz around the Whizzkids Academey was infectious and celebrations continued throughout the week.
The Whizzkids United Academy held a baby shower for one of the staff members!!! I was lucky to catch a few of these amazing moments.
After days of endless ground water delays and badly timed heavy rain, site works are finally moving forward!
The past 2 weeks saw the completion of the concrete footings and the construction of the foundation masonry. The contractor fulfilled his promise!
During the delays even the most spirited of the team found it difficult to see the light at the end of the tunnel. The contractor continued to promise the team that once the brickwork commenced, he would make up some of the time lost due to slow workmanship or unforeseen site conditions.
The masonry brickwork which was initially scheduled to take 15 days was accelerated by a very driven masonry sub-contractor, longer working days and weekend overtime meant the footing brickwork was completed in just 5 working days.
This brings us a little closer to getting the programme back on track.
Week ending: 05.07.2013
The project delays and the persistent rain, left the team's spirits dampened.
I thought that a reminder of who the project is for and how much of a difference the project will make, would help us through the grey week!
I interviewed Gugu Mofokeng from WhizzKidz United! The interview certainly did the trick!
The interview has inspried me to continue...
Every 2 weeks an interview will be filmed and broadcasted. This will serve as a reminder of the purpose behind the project, it will also demonstrate the progress on site by its ever changing background!
The key word at the end of each interview will provide us with a little more content for the Mural which will celebrate the entrance to the centre.
Week 3 - the completion of a successful French drain diversion & construction of a new manhole. Just as we were looking to pour the first batch of concrete, the heavens opened and the rain poured all day, setting site works back to almost square one.
Whilst excavating the messy, muddy trenches to combat the water and creating temporary sumps to control further water ingress, a large boulder unravelled itself, threatening to destabilise the foundations.
After deliberation, it was agreed - the boulder had to be removed!
The reluctant rock did not nudge at first attempt, it did however require a team of 7 men to carry it out the 4ft trench .
Our supportive and extremely helpful Structural Engineer, was on site to assist every step of the way! The wet trenches, required thorough ground testing and an instruction by the SE to excavate a little more, compact and blind our trenches ensuring that if it rained again we would be better prepared.
As sure as anything - it rained again!!! It must be reported that we are making progress - one trench at a time. The water is however relentless and demands 24hr attention. We hope that by this time next week our masonry will be in good form!
I decided a little reminder of what the project is about and who the project is for was needed to lift our spirits. I interviewed Gugu Mofokeng from WhizzKidz United! The interview certainly did the trick!
The first few weeks ....
Earthwork surprises: Our site probably more vulnerable to unknowns than most, due to its location, on the periphery of hospital grounds and adjacent an electrical substation. We were bound to find surprises within the trenches.
An expected unearthed electrical cable has been successfully lengthened and deepened allowing for our foundation trenches to proceed.
Whilst making headway we came across an expected manhole and an unexpected agricultural drain. The flow of both water points and a long weekend resulted in a couple of days of 'muck n mire'. 5 days on and we are on track to getting out of the ground.
Whilst site works seemed a little stuck in the mud, I caught up with our Centre Host for a cup of tea and a brainstorming session. Our conversations unravelled a possible source for a newer better kitchen for the centre and a possibility to involve an artist to help develop and paint a mural which will celebrate the entrance to the centre. The mural will be a collaboration of work between local artists within the Edendale Twonship ( whom we met at the 'Art in the Park' festival ) and the children at the centre.
Spreading the news and finding a volunteer artist! My facebook entry read:
Preshanta Vandeyar shared a link. Wednesday
A little help please: The new WhizzKids Centre in Edendale, PMB http://openarchitecturenetwork.org/projects/whizzkidz is in need of an artist who would be happy to volunteer their time to mentor local artists in creating a mural that will 'Celebrate the entrance' to this new facility. The intention for the mural - is to involve the children at the centre, whilst making a difference to the lives of struggling artists within the township. Any suggestions or contacts would be much appreciated.
To follow the story of this development and others like it visit AON. Thank you!
Whilst we look to climbing greater heights next week, we focus on the possibilities the new centre holds...
As the newest member of the Edendale Team and as a new Design Fellow for Architecture for Humanity, I am privileged to announce that Construction Has Begun - 2013_05_27
For those who have followed this project closely, you will be well aware of the many ups and downs experienced by the project team at Edendale.
A big thank you, to Rogerio Costa my predecessor who was successful in getting the project back up on it's feet. He saw the project through the arduous PDA process, he brought the Tender documentation up to scratch and he managed the council submission, all whilst keeping spirits afloat. He will be missed by the team, but is off to continue his magic in Tanzania. The team wishes him well!
Back in the land of rolling hills and roaming cows, a successful Ground Breaking Ceremony was held.
In my and Rogerio's absence the PMB team held a site hand over meeting on 2013_05_22, the contractor used the remainder of the week to prepare for the occasion. By Monday the 27th hoarding was up, a site entrance gate was installed, the site office was positioned and we were ready to roll!
The beginning of any construction project is always tricky, the project is vulnerable to delays given its location i.e. hospital grounds and its adjacency to an electrical substation. However we remain optimistic and enthusiastic that by this time next month we should be out of the ground and reaching greater heights with our masonry work.
Touch wood and cross fingers and toes...Here we go!
New Year; New Life. Well maybe not entirely New, but certainly reNewed, as we all return from the yearly interlude with our convictions and resolutions strengthened. And I dare proclaim that 2013 will be FFH-Edendale Year! The year in which we will see another FFH Center materialize. Two crucial steps for this grand objective where accomplished this month. Firstly the construction drawings and bill of quantities where corrected, consolidated and delivered to the contractor for revision. Secondly, the drawings where successfully submitted to the local Municipal office, and have started undergoing the required approval process. Concurrently the PDA process executed by the Edendale Hospital management has too progressed and entered its final stage of municipal approval. All in all, it seems that these three deeds will be finalized, almost simultaneously, during the first half of this year, which is to say that even though we are dealing with different sided issues, they will all come into place like Aztec stone walls, for the construction of FFH Edendale to commence within this period as well.
Other signs, albeit small, like the arrival of Greenfield containers and the opening of a trench to lay down a new electrical cable for the hospital, add to reinforce our enthusiasm and hope of the upcoming construction of FFH Edendale. Our hopes in 2013 are very high, and I’m certain that we will be blessed with a soccer match for Christmas.
3 months ago I arrived from Portugal on South African soil to tackle a challenge of building a Football for Hope center in Edendale, a town adjacent to Pietermaritzburg - the capital city of the province KwaZulu-Natal. I was warmly met at the airport by Kevin Gannon the regional program manager for Africa, who had travelled from Cape Town to meet and direct me in my first steps.
Through Kevin I met all key consultants, the center host, brought to date with the project status and presented with Architecture for Humanities role and objectives. It was a fast and thorough induction. Initially I had stepped in to move the project through construction phase, but reality revealed other intentions. The project was tied down to Edendale’s Hospital expansion project (for it lies within hospital ground) which is currently under progress and stuck in a bureaucratic maze of red tape, slowly being trimmed with blunt scissors. Furthermore, it had been decided the building be moved from one spot of the site to the other extremity. This allowed much savings in earthwork and foundation system, but required a small amendment to the bill of quantities. In the wake of the PDA process (that inhibited any construction initiating), soil tests were conducted to ascertain the best foundation system, and all construction drawings were consolidate, both for submission to the municipality and for final adjustments to the bill of quantities. At the same time the team convened weekly with several city officials, informing them of our project progress and upcoming obstacles, and worked together to find reasonable solutions for our undertaking.
It has been a stimulating 3 months – fast passed juggling scheme with several objects of different sizes and shapes. I’ve met many new people, seen South Africa’s rainbow of cultures, and made some new friends already.
But what I’ll really like to see is Edendale kids playing soccer on a new green pitch.
Hopefully Father Christmas will leave us a nice present… :)
The quantity surveyor is currently working on project costing, hopefully will be received for review by Friday February 18, 2011
· Luvuyo – Design Fellow is working with Architect of Record to finalize schematic design package while waiting for the costing
· DF awaiting initialing of site plan by the Department of Health as final step in confirming extents of site
· DF to hold off on design progress until estimate comes in.
· DF on leave but attending to project urgent matters
· Physical model is the next task, volunteer sought for assistance
Brief approval received from streetfootballworld signaling the start of schematic design
· Boundary and extent of building confirmed by Department of Health representative aided by center host Whizz Kids United
· Luvuyo – Design Fellow to send latest diagrammatic layout of proposal for initialing by Department of Health
· Luvuyo – Design Fellow working on finalizing a package for costing by Quantity Surveyor and review by Architect of Record since all necessary confirmations have been received
· Luvuyo – Design Fellow to engage Architect of Record for comment and input for furthering design
Architecture for Humanity would like to thank Eco-Insulation for their commitment to donate free insulation towards the construction of the Football for Hope Centre in Pietermaritzburg! They have committed to providing free insulation for ceiling and interior wall cavities!
Eco-Insulation is a South African based company that manufactures sustainable building insulation. Their roof insulation is made in South Africa from recycled paper and milled (cellulose) to optimum density.
For more information please visit http://www.eco-insulation.co.za/.