Sunday, September 29, 2013

House Assembly Begins

Panel forming quality improved with each panel made … controlling the variables.

All panels have been completed and most all “welded” together. Panels are chemically welded together with same structural foam materials. A very good bond.


For this house, a foundation is formed with the wood columns integrated, which will hold up the roof structure. In poverty housing situations, IDP and refugee camps (to save funds and speed construction to 2 days), the house will be assembled direction the ground, and then a floor installed within the walls of the house. This will in no way affect the performance, or life of the house.


Thanks again to IADDIC shelter for their help and support prior and during this trip, and the prototype construction.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Ground is Broken for the new Malava Well

The new well at the Malava home for orphans and school will serve over 200 children, faculty and staff upon its completion. Currently water is drawn from heavy silted and contaminated river some 1 ½ miles away …

                                             Breaking ground … cheered on by the children.

                                                        Well digging is nearing total depth … 
            this area’s clay is not as cohesive so additional culverts will be used to keep well walls intact.

                                                Culverts are being lowered into the well.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Chesamisi Well Completed

Final steps of the Chesamisi Well work over have been completed.

Concrete surface work area and well head mount in the final stages.

                                                Down hole pump bore lowered into well.

    Water production tubing comes next.

                                                         And final the pump plunger and rods.

A group from the 450 total students at the school come to the well opening.

This well work was funded by donations through Russian Radio 7 - 1010 AM, Portland, Oregon

On behalf of the Children, Faculty, Administration, & Staff of the Chesamisi School, 
the Wind & Water Foundation sincerely thanks the listeners of Russian Radio 7, Portland, Oregon, for their generous contributions and to Eugene Volosevych for his support.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

The Kitale Around Us ...

A variety of scenes from the Kitale area.

 Street Market Place

Forms of hauling lumber and charcoal 

 Morning visitors as they go from forest home areas to locations to scavenge for food.

 "virtual town tour"

Monday, September 23, 2013

Little Helpers

The Children of the Orphanage are eager helpers as well as mimicking many of the adults.

             Gabriel on his "cell phone".                                  

          Michael wielding a big hammer.

As we begin to work on the wood truss structure for the roof, the local lumber continues to be a challenge with its irregularities in size, and some severe bows & bends. “Stay Calm and Plane On”.

The Bishop has decided he would like the house directly inside the front gate, a real compliment, but requires moving some large piles of sand and rock ballast. No problem with good help from Daudi and Zachery.

The house will be painted for weather protection and appearance. A color similar to the clay soil houses will be used to resemble the typical construction in order for it to be “accepted” … sort of a Swahili HOA you might say.

It has rained every day but only in the late afternoons and with heavy cloud build up as a 30 min warning sign. It helps cool off the days though, and we've adjusted our work schedule to account for this timing.

Door panel and a window panel completed

Light weight individual panels ... a plus to construction / assembly.

Two panels chemically “welded” together to create side wall. This welding process will be used for all connections to increase strength and insure weather tight construction.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Chesamisi School Well - Work Continues

The well has now been completely worked over and a steady flow of water fills the bottom 5 feet of the well. The walls of the well have been shored to insure continued lengthy use of the well, and clear water.

Next steps are to “re-assemble” the well; constructing the concrete work area at the surface, including mounting location for well head and pump operation handle.

First steps of surface work area and mount for well head.

              Rains blow in rather quickly requiring us to wait for another day to finish.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Quality & Consistency

Quality and consistency increases with each panel made. Variables, even ever so slight ones, such as humidity, temperature, exact measurements of liquids, can make some differences in the finished product. Our efforts therefore, as stated in QIP 101 (Quality Improvement Process), are to minimize the variations. This work will pay off when we start assembling the panels into the house.

Reminder (managing expectations) no mansion going up here, 8½ ft x 12½ ft house for 2. Poverty housing, Refugee Camps, and IDP camps (Internally Displaced Peoples) are the focus at this point. Yes, concept may be applied to other construction of all types, but one step at a time, based on most urgent need.

Our site is the Gilgal School and Ephraim Orphans Home in Kitale. High School students attend classes in the compound, whereas the little children and middle schoolers go to classes just a short walk away, returning for lunch, and then of course for dinner and overnight.

During class breaks, the HS students always come join us to check on progress and discuss the process. They are very interested in the developments and have great questions. It’s Chemistry, Physics, Design, and Math, one of them pointed out – never thought of it that way …

Forming structural wood into the panels to support the door and windows after house assembly.

Panel inventory increasing … need 12 to build a small house.

Weight (in any form; full cans, boulders, and students) added to top of form for first 5 – 6 minutes of expansion, as Foam will literally lift the lid off the base.

Form has been used for 11 panels thus far and is still in good shape. This is significant for future planning of mass production.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

The Chesamisi School Well – Major Workover and Pump & Wellhead Installation

A Christian based school established for the poorer families and orphans.

They currently have a non-functioning well so on most days they are walking varying distances to different sources to gather their daily water.

The current well at the school is literally just an open hole in the ground with an aging concrete deck around the open hole. A piece of wood covers the hole.

This has several difficulties:
- the water, when available, is brought up by a rope and a bucket (one gallon at a time) … usually by the women and children.
- the rope and bucket method causes turbulence in the water down hole therefore supplying dirty water.
- the open hole is a safety issue.
- the open hole also is more subject to contaminates getting in the well.

We will clean the entire well and shore the walls down hole. We will also dig out the bottom depth of the well to develop a proper “reservoir” area to insure the greatest continuous use of the well. Following that step, we’ll install a new properly designed concrete work area at the surface, including a mounting position for the well head and pump handle assembly.

A pump will be installed at the bottom of the well, a tubing string for the water to get to the surface, and a series of rods to operate the pump from the surface well head.

Fabrication of Mold and First Pour

The first step is to build a well-constructed multi-use mold for the structural foam panels. It will take 12 panels to build the 8ft x 12ft prototype house.

The lumber from the timber yard was neither consistent in size nor true to a line so it took additional work to plane the 2” x 4” members to insure alignment. It was wood though and fit the bill. They were also not typical 2” x 4” measurements which affected the volume of the mold, hence made our first pour a bit of a guesstimation. It’s necessary to pour the right amount of mixture into the mold to accommodate for the 40 to 1 expansion ratio of the IADDIC chemicals, filling the mold completely, creating the structural foam panel.

The advantages of the structural foam fabrication are multiple, versus the traditional grass huts, twigs & plastic "igloos", and mud & timber houses. The foam is more durable, more fire resistant, completely damaging-bugs proof, easier (lighter weight) transportation to construction sites, less maintenance, better insulation, cost effective, and more timber-conservation efficient.

Form Fabrication

Wrapping the wood pieces keeps the foam from sticking. 
(Supervisor checking my work)

After vigorous stirring two component mixture for 30 seconds ...Filling the form and covering (foam expands and hardens in less than an hour.)

For more pictures, please visit album Structual Foam House on Foundation Facebook

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Fuel for Generator

Need to get fuel for the generator to run power drill / driver for form assembly ...
For some reason they wouldn't take my Texaco Credit Card.

Not sure we'll see this brand station in the States any time soon.

searching / shopping / scrounging

The challenge at hand is to gather all the materials to construct the form(s), and other tasks to build the Structural Foam House.
After 6 different store visits all around town (Home Depot, Lowe's where are you when I need you), we completed the list.

Multiple stores ... one for nails, one for screws, one for tacks ...

Yes, one in the same but I think they were here before Lion King ...

and now to the Timber Yard to pick up some made-to-order 2" by 4"s

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Last portion of journey; Nairobi to Kitale

From the Nairobi Domestic Airport (Wilson Airport), an hour and a half flight to Kitale - in the Rift Valley, western Kenya - which will be our base for the three projects (the house and the 2 wells) for this trip.
An early morning flight and a smooth ride provided for a wonderful aerial tour of this region.

Boarding Safari Air Express flight to Kitale

The volcanic marked of the terrain of the Rift Valley.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Back to Kenya ...12 Sept 2013

Headed back to Kenya to continue to work to provide accessible water to those in most need; orphanages and schools. As well as the two water projects, we will also be building the prototype structural foam house, designed to serve the needs of peoples in extreme poverty situations, and also potential use in refugee encampments.

Sunrise over the Atlantic ...

Nairobi International Terminal Operations now in tent buildings since main terminal building fire several weeks ago. Immigration and Customs working very well considering.