Las Malvinas community center shade
Practivistas Dominicana - Student Projects
This project is in the community of Las Malvinas in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. They have requested that a rain/shade structure be built by Practivistas Dominicana at their local community center (Estacion Ecological Comunitario) between May-July 2014. Three of the students working on the project are from Humboldt State University in California and one student from Universidad Iberoamericana in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. After a community meeting was held, it was determined that the structure should be able to protect from rain as well as sun so the community could hold meetings, classes and workshops in comfort. Community members voiced their opinions that aesthetics, durability, and locality of materials were some of their main concerns in regards to the construction of the structure.
The objective of this project is to design and construct a durable shade and rain-proof structure for the community center in Las Malvinas using local materials at a low cost. The end product must improve the utilization of the outside space surrounding the community center.
This section includes all possible aspects thought up by the group members for this project as well as the community members of Las Malvinas and the directors of Practivistas Dominicana. These criteria were chosen to evaluate the project based on protection, locality, and durability. These criteria will help us to determine how much time, money, and effort should be invested in each aspect of the system based on its importance to the community of Las Malvinas.
|Costs||must be under $400 USD||8|
|Aesthetics||must be pleasing to the eye and look professional and natural||7|
|Durability||must be able to withstand the test of time, light vandalism and misuse, and fire||9|
|Weather||must be able to withstand hurricanes, caribbean rain storms, and caribbean sun exposure||10|
|Protection||must be able to protect occupants from rain and sun||10|
|Locality/Maintainability||must be made from local and accessible materials and be easily and cheaply repaired||7|
See Literature Review for information relevant to this project.
Our final shade structure was made out of a mix of different materials. The vertical structural posts and the truss system were made out of bamboo. The left side of the structure seen below was reinforced with wood 2x4s and the roofing was made out of corrugated zinc. The materials were fixed together using wire and nylon rope. On the right side, the bamboo trusses were reinforced with a wood 2x4 going across the top. The billboard canvas was wrapped around a 2x4 on each end and fixed to the roof using nails and staples. The ends of the 2x4 that went across the edge of the bamboo were lashed using wire. The billboard canvases were fixed to each other using vinyl glue.
This is the final timeline for when things should be done.
|Objectives||Proposed Date||Completion Date||Responsible|
|Choose Project||June 6th||June 6th||Team|
|Literature Review||June 7th||June 7th||Team|
|Harvest bamboo, design discussion, community meeting||June 8th||June 8th||Team|
|Harvest bamboo||June 10th||June 10th||Team|
|Harvest bamboo, purchase materials||June 12th||June 12th||Team|
|Demolition, dig post hole, purchase recycled billboards||June 14th||June 14th||Team|
|Budget, timeline, final design, purchase materials||June 15th||June 15th||Team|
|Prep bamboo for posts, finish demolition||June 17th||June 17th||Team|
|Install posts, begin construction||June 19th||June 19th||Team|
|Construction||June 21st||June 21st||Team|
|Construction||June 22nd||June 22nd||Team|
|Construction||June 24th||June 24th||Team|
|Construction||June 26th||June 26th||Team|
|Construction||June 28th||June 28th||Team|
|Construction||June 29th||June 29th||Team|
|Finish and clean up||July 1st||July 2nd||Team|
|Presentation||July 3rd||July 3rd||Team|
This is the final cost for the completed shade structure in Las Malvinas. Initially, a budget of approximately US$400 was set, but as the project developed, and the true desires of the client were determined, a larger area was to be covered and the structure also needed to protect against rainfall, therefore the final cost was slightly higher than initially thought.
|Quantity||Material||Source||Cost (RD$)||Cost (US$)||Total (RD$)||Total (US$)|
|14||Corrugated Zinc Sheets||Ferreteria Sauzo||255.00||6.40||3,570.00||89.25|
|4||Recycled Billboards||Santo Domingo||333.00||8.33||1,332.00||33.30|
|1||Tools||Super Mercado Nacional||2,183.00||54.58||2,183.00||54.58|
|6||Donated Zinc Sheets||Eddie||0.00||0.00||0.00||0.00|
|1||Donated Steel Beam||Eddie||0.00||0.00||0.00||0.00|
|Total Cost (RD$)||$17,165.00|
|Total Cost (US$)||$429.13|
See a step-by-step process of how this structure was built and how to recreate a similar structure below:
Before building with bamboo, it is advised to research techniques and recommendations for appropriate season for harvesting as well as methods of harvesting and drying. (For our project we used bamboo that was still partially green which is not desirable but was necessary based on time and resource constraints).
To make the maintenance of our project easier, various materials were left that could be used to keep the structural integrity sound. The vinyl glue used on to attach the billboard canvas together, rope, wire, and other tools were left at the Las Malvinas community center so repairs can be made in the event of degradation. The bamboo will need to be carefully monitored since it was used when it was still green and not coated with some kind of pest-resistant chemicals.
- Check bamboo to ensure there is no cracking
- Check bamboo to ensure it is not being attacked by pests
- Monitor integrity of rope on lashed areas
- Check to billboard to make sure it is still attached correctly
- Check integrity of cement on the bottoms of the bamboo structure
- Check billboard canvas, reapply vinyl glue as needed
- Re-lash any areas that have been degraded by weather, if needed
- Replace degraded zinc panels
- Replace any weak spots in the structure with appropriate material
Every 2 YearsEdit
- Replace billboard canvas if necessary.
The finished shade structure consisted 2x4s lashed to bamboo poles which were filled with concrete and rebar and then sunk into holes in the ground filled with concrete. On one side of the fogon corrugated zinc panels were installed, and on the other side of the fogon the team built a bamboo truss. The team installed billboard vinyl panels over the bamboo truss by nailing down the vinyl to the zinc roof, and at the other end of the panel the team lashed onto the bamboo posts. On the side of the fogon with the billboard vinyl, it will be necessary to install more bamboo support beams underneath the vinyl to ensure its security and flatness.
If the project had not been time sensitive, we would have used properly cured bamboo for the beams. In addition, we discovered that our first batch of concrete that we used to sink the posts into the ground was at an incorrect ratio of sand to concrete and so we surrounded the posts with chicken wire and made more concrete into a cone shape for better support of the beams.
1. Testing the bamboo for moisture content while watching its durability and strength to determine whether the drying time was sufficient or whether it was an issue in maintaining the integrity of the structure over time.
2. Adding more bamboo support beams under the billboard so the vinyl will lay more flat.
3. Checking the vinyl to ensure there has not been tears in the panels.
The Las Malvinas community center shade team from the Summer 2014 program consisted of: