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Zane Middle School waterfall gutter fix
The objective of this project was to create and implement a system that sealed the existing holes in the gutters of Zane Middle School and prevent future clogging. The solution, Fix the Flow, involved cutting the edge of the existing gutter and building pieces that patched the hole and created an angled slope and wider surface area for the water to fall into from the gutter on the roof. This will simultaneously solve the leaking problem and prevent the gutter from clogging and overflowing.
The gutters at Zane Middle School, located in Eureka, CA, were experiencing problems with clogging and overflow, so the ends had been cut off. This alteration caused water to spill out onto the quad in large amounts during periods of heavy rainfall. In the Spring of 2016, Zane Middle School contacted Engineering 215 students at Humboldt State University to find a solution this problem. The Sustainability Tsunami Squad, consisting of Lowen Hobbs, Casey Peterson, Mario Kaluhiokalani, and Annie Roberts teamed up with Trevor Hammons and Zane Middle School to build an addition to the existing gutter system that fixed the holes in the current gutters and prevented future clogging.
Problem statement and criteria
The rain gutter system in the quad at Zane Middle School had been cut open due to previous clogging, but this alteration was causing large amounts of water to be dumped into the quad during rainfall. The objective of this project was to provide a solution to this problem that not only ensured the safety of the students, but was durable enough to withstand wear from weather and also the young students who attend Zane Middle School.
|Safety||10||The design must not be able to injure students in any way|
|Durability||9||Students and/or weather must not be able to do destroy the structure|
|Duplication Ability||9||The design must be fairly simple so that it is easy to duplicate|
|Maintenance||8||The structure must be able to be easily maintained by maintenance crew|
|Cost||7||The total cost must be less than $400|
|Aesthetics||6||The design must benefit the aesthetics of the school campus|
Description of final project
Two attachments were designed for each side of the downspout in order to create a more gradual path for the water and debris to travel through. The AutoCAD drawing in Figure 3 shows a schematic of the proposed design. The bottom portion of the horizontal component of the gutter was cut eight inches on each side of the downspout, which is up to the cut-off end on the front side, and the connected vertical components were cut off 11 inches down on the front side. The attachments consist of two eight by 11 inch 90 degree triangles and a rectangle to connect them by their hypotenuses. One inch flaps are attached to each side of the rectangle so that it is able to be attached to the current system as well as the triangles, and one inch flaps are also connected to the other two sides of the triangles which are used to connect to the current system. A small rectangle bracket is also used to cover the previously cut-off end of the gutter which is connected by using one inch flaps on each side as well. Finally, sealant is applied at every connecting area in order to prevent any leaks. Only the front part of the design was approved by maintenance, which can be seen in Figure 4 and is discussed more thoroughly in the Discussion and Next Steps section.
Maintenance should be minimal, and should only include an infrequent, if any, removal of debris from the gutter.
The costs throughout the project are categorized into Materials Costs and Design Costs. Materials Costs include the price of all materials used in building the design and can be seen in the table below. Design Costs are the total hours spent on the project split up by project section, and are displayed in the pie chart in Figure 4.
|1||8-in-1 Multi Tool||Ace Hardware||8.99|
|1 gallon||Paint Remover||Ace Hardware||29.99|
|1 quart||Paint Thinner||Almquist Lumber||6.53|
|8 ounces||Rags||Almquist Lumber||2.18|
|1 pair||Gloves||Almquist Lumber||0.39|
|4||Aluminum Signs||Arcata Scrap and Salvage||50.00|
|6||Steel Wool Scouring Pads||Ace Hardware||5.99|
|6 pairs||Gloves||Ace Hardware||3.99|
|5||Sand Disks||Ace Hardware||22.99|
|5.5 ounces||Lexel Sealant||Ace Hardware||7.49|
|Reimbursement from Zane Middle School||-$100|
|Total Cost (with Tax)||$78.81|
When water is poured through Fix the Flow, no leakage occurs on any of the three gutters. The design has not yet been implemented at Zane Middle School, but when the same sealant is applied to the cracks between Fix the Flow and the current gutters at Zane Middle School, there should be no issues with leakage. The portion of the gutter addition that prevents water from falling onto the quad is the same dimensions as the existing hole, so the entire hole will be covered. This will prevent the students from getting wet, which was the main goal of the design.
How to build
Assembly instructions for Fix the Flow.
Discussion and next steps
In the end, the full design was not intended to be implemented onto the Zane Middle School gutter system. All criterias were adequately met except for safety. The reason for this was because the design was not approved by the Zane Middle School maintenance crew when asked to drill two holes into each side of downspout for which the water would flow through. The maintenance crew of Zane Middle School believed the holes in the downspout would compromise the downspout’s ability to hold up the awning that rested on the top of it. If in fact the pole were to give way under the tremendous weight of the awning due to the two holes in the downspout, this could cause extreme structural damage and endanger the lives of the students and staff of Zane Middle School.
A compromise was made to only allow one hole to be drilled into the downspout. Fix the Flow was modified to only the front half it’s original design. The front part of the design would be applied to cover the existing hole in the downspout plus the additional hole that would be drilled into the side of the downspout. Figure 5 shows an AutoCAD drawing of the modified design solution. In conclusion, the modified design met all the design criterion and displayed no risk to the structure or the safety of the Zane Middle School students and staff.
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