problems2solutions

Assignment 1- part 2

24, نوفمبر 2010

As the founder of Clinica Verde specified in her email, there are many concerns that make this project difficult to complete. Mrs. Susan Lyons mentions the struggle of eco-friendly design vs. comfort and utility, as we agreed upon in Part 1 of this assignment. But she also mentions the fundraising aspect of the project, something we had not originally considered as a negotiation.

The taxonometric categories we labeled this design with originally still apply: sustainable, environmental, and community design. But we could also add Donation Design and Societal Improvement to that list of tags.

In order to learn more about the eco-friendly aspect of this design, we will have to delve more into the details of the sustainable qualities of the building.

Which elements of the clinic will be environmentally friendly?

The clinic is completely self-sustainable completely taking advantage of natural day lighting, passive cooling, water conservation, and solar electric energy generation.

What effects on the usefulness of the building and the success of Clinica Verde’s vision would the eco-friendly aspect have?

Directly from their website, under frequently asked questions, one asked, “Why are you building “green” clinics?”

We believe that health should start from the ground up, beginning with sustainable building practices that take a holistic approach to the environment, community and life quality of the people we serve. Sustainable building and design saves energy, protects and conserves natural resources, contributes to a safe, healthy indoor environment, and has a positive impact on the community.

Bill Bylund, the architect of Clinica Verde:

Bill Bylund is architect and principal of Valley Architects. He began his career as a designer at HOK Architects in San Francisco, where he worked on such projects as the Stanford Library, Ryhad Airport and Moscone Center. In 1980 he and partner Tom Faherty founded Valley Architects, whose projects include the Napa City/County Library Expansion, Japan Airlines Flight Training Center, Santen, Inc. corporate headquarters, Towpath Village Expansion and a number of wineries including Domain Carneros, Domaine Napa Winery, Rossini Winery, Villa Francioni Winery in Brazil and Monte Xanic Winery in Mexico. He is a member of or has been active in the following civic groups: The Napa Valley Environmental Design Group, National Trust for Historic Preservation, St. Helena Community Center Group, Urban Design Group, Sierra Club, Napa Land Conservancy and Calistoga Arts Council. He has been a LEED Accredited Professional since 2006. (from clincaverde.org/BillBylund.html)

Societal Improvement comes into play when considering the social quality of life in Nicaragua. With a very high infant mortality rate (more than 30 times of the United States) and a staggering maternal mortality rate, Nicaragua is in dire need of social reform.

These charts show the causes of death in children under 5 years old. 100% of the deaths are caused by neonatal deaths, relating to or affecting the infant during the first month after birth. This clinic is designed to educate the women and provide healthcare and supplemental teaching materials. Clinica Verde also focuses on supplying information on what types of foods are safe and good to grow for children.

We would also like to know how the women are going to be able to travel to the clinic. There are few means of transportation available, so the location needs to be fairly easy to get to by foot in order to make this truly a community design. If the community cannot use it, what’s the point?

Clinica Verde is located in Boaco, Nicaragua, having a population around 56,900 people, around 1% of the inhabitants. The terrain throughout the city is very hilly, hence the nickname, “Cuidad de Dos Pisos” (or The Two-Story City). Although the land was donated by the mayor, is this the most ideal place to have a clinic?

please refer to the video from the Assignment 0 post for more details:

http://clinicaverde.org/movie.html

Assignment 1- part 1 email response

21, نوفمبر 2010

After waiting for a few days, we received an email from the FOUNDER AND CHAIR of Clinica Verde:

Dear Emily, Jennifer, Olivia and Becca:

Thanks so much for reaching out to us! We really appreciate your interest. I’m going to answer your questions below, but I’ve also forwarded your email to our U.S.-based architect and project manager. I think it would be great if they could come to speak with your group.
And, yes, we’d love to have you help promote Clinica Verde on your campus and in your community. Just let me know what we can do to help.
Warm regards,
Susan Dix Lyons
Founder and Chair

Clinica Verde

On Fri, Nov 19, 2010 at 11:14 AM, Lenke, Emily C <elenke20@gatech.edu> wrote:

To Whom it Concerns,

We are doing a group project through the College of Architecture at the Georgia Institute of Technology. The main focus of our project is to research a case study that has a vision of change through the design process. We found your organization through online research and we are very intrigued. My group members and I  are curious about this design. We would love to help promote your organization on our campus and in our local community. Would you mind answering a few questions for us?

-How will you go about managing this organization to keep up with advancing technologies of the medical field throughout the world?

We’re fortunate to have a very talented board of directors, including not just physicians based in the U.S. and Nicaragua, but the former Minister of Health of Nicaragua, who is currently doing medical work in Angola. The medical professionals who work on or contribute to our project cover a range of specialties and areas of interest, and stay up to date with advances. The challenge, of course, is adapting that knowledge to work effectively in a developing country with a paucity of resources.

-What is the projected completion date of this building?

We expect clinic construction to be complete in mid-December of this year.

-What would be the necessary annual income of donations to keep this organization running successfully?

We currently estimate that the cost to operate Clinica Verde in Nicaragua will be about $160,000. If you add to that administration costs we’ll probably be around about $200,000 annually. That’s for the first Clinica Verde alone. As we expand our program and services and consider whether we feel confident scaling our project, that number will of course change.

-Where else do you plan to expand your design projects?

We still don’t have an answer to this one. Getting Clinica Verde off the ground has involved an enormous effort and we feel that we need to focus on refining this model and making it work in the community before we consider expansion. The most natural way for us to expand would be in other rural areas of need in Nicaragua. We would not consider building in a country without strong local support, involvement and commitment – all which we have in Nicaragua.

-Are there any substantial problems that you have faced while developing this clinic?

(-; There have been many challenges along the way – too many to enumerate! The first tough hurdle was gaining legal title of the land on which we’re building the clinic. Nicaragua has a long history of civil war and conflicts during which land was frequently seized or redistributed, so the question of legal ownership/title can be a tough one. The legal – and personal – navigations in this process took nearly a full year, which was very frustrating. On top of the legal issues, the cultural differences in how business is conducted was a challenge for our founding board members, who for the most part have a more typically American perspective on time and efficiency (-; In addition, we redesigned or modified the building plan numerous times along the way as we considered everything from sustainability, cultural sensibilities, funding, and simply the organic process of thinking through design challenges as a group. We had both American and Nicaraguan doctors review the plan throughout the design phase in concert with the architect and project manager, and toured other clinics ourselves to consider flow and community clinic space considerations. We also invited and encouraged the perspective of women patients, since we wanted to design not just a traditional clinic structure, but a welcoming community where physicians worked and served the local population. This is reflected in our courtyard playground space, working garden, cafe and community room with demonstration kitchen. The issue of energy and local resources was an important and interesting challenge as well. We designed a large underground cistern to collect rainwater, but during the construction phase this cistern actually overflowed, raising the concrete cover (the challenge of building during the rainy season). On top of those design issues and many others, fund-raising is a huge and never-ending effort and we faced the added obstacle of raising funds for a developing country that most people don’t care much about during the worst economic downturn the U.S. has seen since the Depression. We had to convince people to care enough to donate and support our cause, which was – and continues to be – a big education process that has to tied to personal passion and commitment.

Any other information that you would be willing to share and would be helpful to our project would be greatly appreciated.

Let me know what other specific questions you may have. We’re happy to have your interest and would love to discuss ways you can learn or become involved with our project.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,

Emily Lenke- Architecture major
Jennifer Taylor- Architecture major
Olivia King- Architecture major
Becca Ramia- Building Construction major


Susan Dix Lyons
Clínica Verde
www.clinicaverde.org

health + hope

Help us to change lives. Make a tax-deductible contribution to Clínica Verde via check or credit card: http://www.clinicaverde.org/Contact.html

Join our Cause on Facebook: www.causes.com/clinicaverde

Assignment 1- part 1

19, نوفمبر 2010

After reading the requirements for Assignment 1, our group decided to email the organization directly.

To Whom it Concerns,

We are doing a group project through the College of Architecture at the Georgia Institute of Technology. The main focus of our project is to research a case study that has a vision of change through the design process. We found your organization through online research and we are very intrigued. My group members and I  are curious about this design. We would love to help promote your organization on our campus and in our local community. Would you mind answering a few questions for us?

-How will you go about managing this organization to keep up with advancing technologies of the medical field throughout the world?
-What is the projected completion date of this building?
-What would be the necessary annual income of donations to keep this organization running successfully?
-Where else do you plan to expand your design projects?
-Are there any substantial problems that you have faced while developing this clinic?

Any other information that you would be willing to share and would be helpful to our project would be greatly appreciated.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,

Emily Lenke- Architecture major
Jennifer Taylor- Architecture major
Olivia King- Architecture major
Becca Ramia- Building Construction major

We decided to send this email because we want to know more. We asked these questions:

-How will you go about managing this organization to keep up with advancing technologies of the medical field throughout the world?

What qualifies the doctors and advisors of the organization? On the website it mentions that the doctors are part of the    Nicaraguan community. However, how will they ensure that the doctors and medical technologies are up to date? We    understand that this organization is not going to have all of the equipment that countries, like the United States, have      today. How will they manage to run a clinic that supports the healthcare of women and children, while using outdated    ways of practicing?

-What is the projected completion date of this building?

Although the building might be finished on a certain date, the resources that the clinic provides might not be    available until later dates.

-What would be the necessary annual income of donations to keep this organization running successfully?

Although donations of any size are accepted graciously, what is the realistic amount that is needed? What would    happen if they did not reach that amount? The progress of this project is a direct reflection of the economies of global    countries since the donators are located around the world. As the economies suffer, the donation levels decrease and    put a strain on the process. Another thing to consider would be once the building is erected, what would be the    required amount of donations that is needed to keep the clinic running? If they didn’t meet that amount, would they    shut the clinic down temporarily?

-Where else do you plan to expand your design projects?

This project is potentially a great idea. There are other third world countries that are suffering from the same issues in    Nicaragua. Could they spread this design process throughout the world?

-Are there any substantial problems that you have faced while developing this clinic?

The idea of a self-sustainable building involves a large thought process while designing. What is the upkeep with this    technique and how can the community of Nicaragua be involved in repairing any parts.

Besides these questions, we are concerned with what actually goes on in Nicaragua and the healthcare problems, especially with women and children.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CXLLyPkBqK4

How will the women bring themselves and their children to the clinic? Is the organization located in a central place for easy access? If few Nicaraguan women can afford the transportation necessary, how can they be helped?


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