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Las Malvinas destacamento

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Practivistas Dominicana - Student Projects

La Yuca ecoladrillo schoolroom (2011) - La Yuca rainwater catchment (2014) (2013) (2012) (2011) - La Yuca small scale renewable energy (2014) (2012) (2011) - La Yuca schoolroom renovation (2013) - Las Malvinas ecoladrillo schoolroom (2012) - Las Malvinas botica popular hullkrete (2015) (2013) - Las Malvinas eco-block police station (2014) - Las Malvinas eco-block testing (2015) (2014) - Las Malvinas botica popular ecoladrillo (2013) - Las Malvinas rainwater catchment system (2014) (2013) - Las Malvinas rainwater feasibility study (2014) - Las Malvinas community center shade structure (2014) - Ghetto2Garden solar power (2014) (2013) - Arroyo Norte waste plastic innovations (2015) (2014) - Solar workshops (2015)

The destacamento in Las Malvinas as of July 1, 2014. Walls consist of traditional cement blocks as well as alternative coconut husk, newspaper, sawdust, and "Soviet" blocks.


The project to build a small destacamento (police outpost) in the community of Las Malvinas was decided upon by members of the community as a priority for the Practivistas program to assist in during the months of May-July 2014. By working with the community to construct this destacamento, the community of Las Malvinas, which is far from the urban center and impoverished, will be provided police officers by the government, which will hopefully increase community safety.


The project to build a small destacamento has been at minimum several years in the making in the community of Las Malvinas. It had been brought up by residents of the community prior to 2014, but other projects, such as the construction of a small pharmacy, had taken priority. In the months of May through July, 2014 the destacamento was on the list of projects to be started by members of the community and the Practivistas. During a community meeting, the criteria (which are displayed below) were formulated and the search began for a suitable spot to begin construction. This spot was found along a section of one of the main roads through town. This area provides a great deal of accessibility. The destacamento will be built using some relatively environmentally friendly fibercrete blocks (also discussed below), but the idea of using an old shipping container was also evaluated. The minimum goal for the project in 2014 is to build the foundation and the platform on which the rest of the destacamento can be built. This goal was to be met by July 5, 2014.


The community of Las Malvinas is looking to decrease crime by constructing a destacamento. The objective of this project was to design and construct a destacamento using alternative blocks created by the block team. The block team created alternative cement blocks by using coconut husks, sawdust, rice ash, and newspaper mixed with cement.


This section includes the aspects that the group and community members decided to use for the project. The criteria and constraints were chosen based on how the project will be planned and evaluated. The criteria and weight ranking help determine how much effort will be invested for each different aspect.

Criteria Constraints Weight (0-10)
Aesthetics Must be aesthetically pleasing 8
Comfort Structure is able to withstand high temperatures without becoming excessively hot 9
Economical Must be within program budget range 4
Replicable Community members must be able to replicate design 7
Durable Must be long lasting and able to withstand potential natural disasters 10
Security Must be secure from potential burglary 8
Sustainable Materials used are environmentally friendly and sustainable 10

Literature Review[edit]

See our Literature Review for relevant research completed for this project.

Final Design[edit]

The final design was created with guidance from local police officers, community members, and traditional destacamento designs. The foundation was dug three feet deep all the way around and filled with rebar before being filled with concrete. The middle trench is used as support for the middle wall. The first room was designed to be bigger than the back room as it will serve as an entry and lobby for police officers stationed in Las Malvinas. The smaller back room will contain a holding cell as well as a bathroom.

Sketchup of destacamento
Foundation sketch.  
Destacamento walls, door, and windows sketched.  
View of rooms within destacamento.  


This is the cost of materials for the foundation of the destacamento and the first layers of blocks for the walls. Prices are listed in Dominican Pesos.

Material Quantity Unit price (RD$) Total (RD$)
Rebar 30 bars (20ft each) 280 8,400
Cement bags 25 280 7,000
Gravel 10m3 200 2,000
Sand 10m3 280 2,800
Traditional cement blocks 315 16 5,040
Total Cost $25,240.00


Here is a timeline of events associated with the research, design, and construction of the Las Malvinas destacamento.

Task Date Proposed Date Completed
Complete literature review 06/06/14 06/07/14
Establish site location 06/06/14 06/13/14
Start digging foundation 06/06/14 06/14/14
Design destacamento 06/13/14 06/15/14
Finish budget 06/13/14 06/15/14
Locate supplies 06/13/14 06/15/14
Purchase supplies 06/15/14 06/20/14
Finish digging foundation 06/20/14 06/20/14
Level ground 06/20/14 06/21/14
Finish tying rebar 06/22/14 06/24/14
Pour concrete for foundation 06/21/14 06/24/14
Lay brick 06/22/14 07/01/14
Finish foundation 06/23/14 07/01/14
Lay bricks for walls 06/25/14 07/01/14


Constructing a destacamento
Step 1: Mark where to dig foundation.
Foundation area chalked and ready for digging.  
Step 2: Dig foundation.
Digging commences.  
Digging with community help.  
Middle trench being dug.  
Step 3: Tie rebar into forms for the foundation.
Bending rebar into ties.  
Spacing rebar ties.  
Spacing rebar ties evenly.  
Step 4: Tie rebar into forms for the foundation.
Begin tying.  
Get as many rebar tiers as possible.  
Tie all night.  
Step 5: Place rebar forms into trenches dug for foundation.
fitting the forms into the trench  
try again  
push and shove it till it fits  
Step 6: Pour concrete into foundation to the level of the rebar forms.
Mixing a lot of concrete.  
Pouring concrete in the front trench.  
All trenches poured to rebar height.  
Step 7: Lay bricks and fill in the gaps with cement.
Traditional and alternative blocks aquired.  
Beginning to mix cement mixture for blocks.  
Learning how to lay blocks with the maestro.  
Step 8: Lay bricks and fill in the gaps with cement.
Working with community members to lay blocks.  
More community assistance to get the walls up.  
All blocks laid at the destacamento.  
Construction of Las Malvinas destacamento
Destacamento site location established.  
Digging for the foundation.  
Team effort to remove large slab.  
Work cut short due to land dispute. Accusations of illegal police station.  
Community assisting with the breaking of large cement slab.  
Community assisting with the breaking of large cement slab.  
Digging to desired depth. Back trench contained a large amount of trash.  
A lot of trash.  
Thor helps us by smashing large cement slab.  
Aftermath of Thor's hammering.  
Community members help us dig out the trenches.  
Front trench dug to desired depth.  
Very large cement slab chipped away to dig to desired depth.  
Starting to dig the middle trench.  
Rear trench dug to desired depth.  
Large cement slab being chipped away.  
All trenches dug to desired depth. Ready for rebar.  
All rebar for foundation tied and ready to be installed.  
All rebar for foundation transported to destacamento site.  
Installing rebar into foundation.  
Rebar being resized in foundation.  
Retying rebar in foundation to tie to other columns.  
Mixing concrete for foundation base.  
Mixing a lot of concrete for foundation base.  
Concrete being poured intro trenches onto rebar.  
Maestro Gregory teaching how to lay blocks.  
Laying the first row of blocks on the front trench.  
Maestro Eddie assisting Bob.  
Laying blocks with Jose's help on the side trench.  
Laying blocks alongside community members.  
All blocks laid. Patchwork of alternative blocks can be seen.  
Block team with Noe in front of destacamento.  


The destacamento team with honorary members Jason and Anthony. Left to right: Noe Martinez, Jason McMack, Robert Woodke, Eric Bloom,Sophia Yamas, Anthony Avila


See Literature Review