This fall, two of our team members worked with Building Goodness Foundation (BGF) to perform the structural design for a school in Guatemala. Brian Koerner and Daniel Rohrer designed the concrete footings and columns as well as the wood trusses. The school is being built in Pozo Azul. In December, the foundation was poured.

“This is a cool project because they are using Eco-Blocks for infill on their walls,” said Daniel. Eco-Blocks are basically plastic bottles that are filled with trash, sand, or dirt, strung in place, and then parged with mortar. By using these blocks, they are reducing plastic pollution and getting rid of trash. This method was detailed at the 2011 Smithsonian Folklife Festival. You can read more about it here.

One of the biggest challenges for this project was using local seismic data in conjunction with the current International Building Code. By reviewing the location along with meteorological data, the wind speed was determined. “We had to use our judgment as well as gather information from people familiar with the area,” said Daniel.

Check out BGF’s Facebook page to get the latest updates on this project. There are BGF volunteer work trips planned in February as well as March 2019. If you are a skilled volunteer, we invite you to participate in one of these transformational experiences.

Photos courtesy of Building Goodness Foundation

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