Architects for Aid (A4A) is looking for two volunteer architects to assist on a childcare centre project in Mazenod, Lesotho. The building, undertaken for a partner NGO, is falling behind schedule and specification and A4A has been asked to help. The roles available are for volunteers but expenses will be paid. Placements are available for two weeks starting in early March 2007 and for three months starting in late March.
Having visited the site I have identified several areas that need to be addressed prior to the continuation of construction:
there is no appropriate foul-water-disposal system;
there are no arrangements for connection of 'as-built' plumbing to either the mains water system or to an onsite water tank;
electrical installation seems inadequate and there is no apparent provision of connection to the main electrical supply;
access does not allow safe escape in case of fire;
the drainage of rainwater from the courtyard is inadequate;
buttresses to the retaining wall do not tie in to the structure to ensure proper shoring of earth; and there are no roof ties fixed into the existing blockwork.
This list is not exhaustive and other elements may need to be completed prior to the continuation of construction.
My recommendation is to have the building fully surveyed in its current state, to provide a full set of plans (which I believe do not currently exist) and a comprehensive list of shortcomings.
If you are interested in becoming involved with this project, please do not hesitate to contact A4A on 020 7466 1222.
Victoria Harris, chief executive, Architects for Aid