Assignment 1- part 1 email response

21 نوفمبر

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 <> 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.


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

Susan Dix Lyons
Clínica Verde

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1 Response to Assignment 1- part 1 email response


Blacki Li Rudi Migliozzi

ديسمبر 11th, 2010 at 10:48 م

Taking this extra step in you research really gives depth to your analysis. Excellent job!

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