Associate Engineers and Architects

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Photos from Associate Engineers and Architects's post 08/07/2016

Houses built using plastic bottles.


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Energy savings inside buildings require a comprehensive design approach to balance bio climatic strategies with the active systems.
A climatic responsive building aims to mediate external agents both to reduce climate loads and create a healthy and comfortable indoor environment.
The sensitive approach to comfort gives nowadays more chances to implement passive strategies and especially the use of natural ventilation.


Depletion of resources is inevitable in maintaining any environment.
Baguma Joseph


The world is warming and more people live in cities than ever before. While these two facts may seem unrelated, they have an important connection due to a phenomenon called the urban heat island.
An urban heat island is a man made area that's significantly warmer than the surrounding countryside-especially at night.
Heat islands exist because the land surface in towns and cities, which is made of materials like tarmac and stone, absorbs and stores heat. That coupled with concentrated energy use and less ventilation than in rural areas, creates a heating effect.


"Observational evidence from all continents and most oceans shows that many natural systems are being affected by regional climate changes, particularly temperature increases. A global assessment of data since 1970 has shown it is likely that anthropogenic warming has had a discernible influence on many physical and biological systems" IPCC


"Measuring a country's GNP does not account for the loss of environmental quality and quality of life attributed to industrialization. In the united states alone, billions of dollars have been spent cleaning up an environment subjected to uncontrolled development. The ecological havoc created by the former Soviet Union is only now beginning to be fully understood. Developing countries would do well to learn from these situations, not emulate them."


Plants convert solar energy into food for animals (ourselves included). Then the refuse from these animals along with dead plant and animal bodies, 'lie down in the dung heap,' are composted, and 'rise again in corn.' This cycle of light is the central reason why composting is such an important link in organic food production. It returns solar energy to the soil. In this context such common compost ingredients as onion skins, hair trimmings, eggshells, vegetable parings, and even burnt toast are no longer seen as garbage, but as sunlight on the move from one form to another.... S. Sides




Houses out of Plastic Bottles

Jangu e.V. and its Social Innovation Academy (SINA) are seeking to protect the environment and promote innovative mindsets while empowering youth.
Through upcycling 15.000 used plastic bottles we will train our local community in Mpigi, Uganda—especially the disadvantaged youth—to protect the environment while constructing a learning hub together.

Bottles replace environmentally unfriendly bricks, which are burnt for days promoting deforestation. Uganda’s population is growing fast. Bottles are collected and compacted with soil, making the houses very cost effective and affordable. Furthermore, the buildings are strong, buffer heat and are earthquake resistant
The major beverage companies in Uganda have decided to maximize their profits instead of protecting the environment. They are phasing out recyclable glass bottles and replace them with plastic bottles. Without a garbage disposal system in place in Uganda, the bottles are burnt after use with devastating effects on the environment. We want to raise awareness and show innovative ways of upcycling waste.

The construction technique itself is an effective, long-lasting and affordable way of building houses, latrines and even rainwater harvesting tanks. Our project is the first of its kinds in Uganda. The skills the workshop participants will gain, will uplift the Mpigi community and other disadvantaged youth from poverty. They will be able to train others, earn an income and promote the bottle construction concept in a rippling effect.
Support us or let us support you in promoting this innovation! Please contact us under [email protected] or at (+256) 704410073 for further information and details.


Lower Cost to Build - 15 Construction Tips and Other Ways to Save Big When Building a House

No one wants to pay more than necessary when building a home. But only the experts know how to save money on construction, right? Not necessarily. Here are 15 tips that may help keep your building budget within reason, without compromising on the home you want.

1. Buy a large lot with a friend or family member that can be split into two smaller lots. Some of the most appealing properties may be much larger than what you want or can afford, yet the seller may not be willing to break up a large parcel. So if you can share the cost with someone else (preferably someone you don't mind having as a neighbor), you may be able to pick up a great building site for a reasonable price.

2. Consider a so-called problem lot — a hillside, narrow, or in-fill property. Generally, these types of lots are not as desirable as others, so they don't sell as quickly and often go for a much lower price. With the right plan and a capable contractor, however, a potentially difficult lot might be perfect for your new home.

3. Choose a canal or bay lot instead of ocean or lakefront property if you must have a waterfront site. These choices are usually less expensive but still water accessible. Plus, they provide great protection against inclement weather.

4. Buy low-maintenance building materials — vinyl siding and metal roofing, for example. Even if they are somewhat more expensive at installation, they will pay for themselves in the long run as you won't have to repair, replace, or repaint.

5. Collect salvaged materials from demolition sites. Old barnwood, used bricks, and distinctive wood doors add inexpensive character to a home without exorbitant cost. Many times you can have the materials at no cost, as long as you're willing to haul them away. Just be sure to check first with the owner of the building being demolished.

6. Splurge only on those things you truly cannot live without. However, don't skimp on structural components or doors and windows — for the safety and security of your home, you'll want to purchase the best you can afford in these areas.

7. Don't overbuild for the neighborhood. A home that is better and bigger than any other in its area will not command a fair price at resale. Instead, the assessment will be colored by the lower-priced homes around it.

8. Monitor construction allowances as the home is being built to ensure you're getting what you asked for (and are paying for). This includes decorative details as well as structural elements. If you and your builder agreed, for instance, that a particular brand of insulation would be installed, don't accept a lesser brand — at least not without a cost adjustment.

9. Use only a certified general contractor. The experience of a well-qualified contractor is invaluable to the home-building process. In addition, seasoned professionals have established relationships with suppliers and subcontractors — something you cannot possibly hope to get without years of experience in the business.

10. Try to avoid site preparation charges — hauling in-fill dirt, grading, clearing trees, blasting rock. These processes are expensive and add time to the building schedule right off the bat. Choose the best site you can afford and then pick a plan that fits that site or can be modified to better suit the site.

11. Avoid change orders — the changes in materials or blueprints that invariably occur in the midst of the building process. Not only do change orders cost more money, they add considerable time and frustration to the building process. Decide exactly what you want before ground is broken — and then stick to it.

12. Keep the depth of your home at 32 feet or less. Any more than that and roof trusses may need to be specially designed, which can add significant dollars to the overall building cost. If you have sufficient land and want a larger house, consider adding width or additional stories.

13. If you really want ceramic tile or hardwood flooring but feel you can't afford it right now, consider vinyl flooring. Vinyl makes a good underlayment, and the tile or wood can be installed right on top of it at a later date.

14. Choose a stock plan over custom-drawn plans. The savings in total cost are great and you can probably customize the stock plan to get exactly what you want.

15. Do you really need a three-car garage? If you only have two vehicles and you're counting on the extra bay for storage space, consider other areas of the home that will work just as well — attic space, space under a stairwell, or spare bedroom. Or put up a garden shed, which is cheaper than building a huge garage.


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Project Website: Cybersenga
Funding Resources: National Institute of Mental Health (R01 MH80662)

HIV and AIDS continue to be a public health problem, and this is particularly true in sub-Saharan Africa. Concurrently, there has been an explosion in technology use. Taking advantage of this increased access, we developed and tested an online, evidence-based HIV prevention program designed for adolescents in Uganda called CyberSenga. In Uganda, the Senga is the father’s sister typically responsible for offering female children advice and guidance—including sexual health advice—to youth as they transition from childhood to adulthood. The Kojja is the male equivalent.

We adopted the Senga and Kojja concepts to present a culturally salient, trustworthy role model for the youth to follow throughout the intervention. The CyberSenga program provides information about HIV, shows young people useful ways to solve problems and communicate with others about their needs, and shows young people how to use condoms properly.

The website was developed and tested in partnership with colleagues at Mbarara University Science and Technology, Harvard University, and the University of Colorado.

Doña Luisa | Water For People 30/07/2015

Doña Luisa | Water For People Standing at just over five feet tall, Luisa Barahona is a petite tour de force. As the President of El Negrito's Water Board Association in Honduras, she is on a quest to make sure Everyone across the municipality has access to safe water Forever. Over the past six years we've watched Doña Luisa's…


When we measure "access to safe water and sanitation" we think of water meters and Jerry cans, or the hours saved by not having to walk for water. But it’s the minutes spent playing, working, and growing instead of seeking water and fighting illness that make up Everyone Forever.

Timeline photos 30/07/2015

A villager makes cow dung cakes used as cooking fuel at Maloya village on the outskirts of the northern Indian city of Chandigarh on January 31, 2011.


The world is moving backwards on sanitation!

2.4 billion people will still be living without access to safe sanitation in 2015, missing the Millennium Development Goal target by half a billion people.


Ghana has slipped further on its sanitation performance globally to become the World’s 7th worst performing country, according to a new report released on Tuesday.

The Joint Monitoring Programme report, “Progress on Sanitation and Drinking Water: 2015 Update and MDG Assessment,” a collaborative effort between the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund, says that the challenge to access improved sanitation is starker in Ghana, “which has slipped even further amongst the worst performing countries, now ranked 7th worst globally.”

Ghana was ranked the 10th worst country in last year’s report, which indicates that its performance on sanitation coverage has worsened in the past year, Mr David Duncan, the Chief of WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene) at the UNICEF office in Ghana, told the Daily Graphic.

Ghana, which currently has a sanitation coverage of 15 per cent, is ranked after South Sudan which has a seven per cent coverage, Niger, 11 per cent; Chad, Madagascar and Togo, 12 per cent each and Sierra Leone which has a 13 per cent access to household toilets, the measurement used for the ranking.

Mr Duncan said that although in 1990 when Ghana had seven per cent coverage Ethiopia only had three per cent coverage; the country had been bypassed by Ethiopia, which now has 28 per cent coverage, while Guinea has also progressed from eight to 20 per cent.

He was also full of commendation for countries like Syria and Afghanistan which currently have coverages of 96 per cent and 32 per cent respectively despite being in wars.

Changing a status quo

To change Ghana’s current status as one of the world’s worst performing countries in sanitation coverage, Mr Duncan said there was the need for more investment in the sector. “At the moment there is a broad sanitation model and strategy, which definitely is rolling out and that will help dramatically but we need more investment in sanitation and the challenge is that we really need that commitment,” he said.

According to a statement announcing the findings of the report, “in Ghana, the goal to meet the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) on access to water was quickly met ahead of time. However, the indicators for sanitation targets closely mimic that of the global numbers – every fifth Ghanaian, or 5 million people defaecate in the open.”

It also said that while in Ghana about 7,500 children die annually from diarrhoea, which is linked to unsafe drinking water, poor sanitation, or poor hygiene, studies also show that only one in eight Ghanaians regularly wash their hands, a situation which aggravates outbreaks such as cholera.

The report suggests that children especially are disproportionally affected and that globally, disparities account for the inability to achieve universal access to water and sanitation, adding that there is still a lot to do, as a lack of water and sanitation and hygiene lead to a large burden of disease which is completely preventable.

Quoting the report, the statement said that worldwide, one in three people, or 2.4 billion, are still without sanitation facilities – including 946 million people who defaecate in the open.

Impact of lack of sanitation access

Meanwhile, WHO and UNICEF have cautioned that the lack of progress on sanitation threatens to undermine the child survival and health benefits from gains in access to safe drinking water.

Commenting on the latest report, Madam Rushnan Murtaza, the UNICEF Ghana representative, said “Sanitation is important to maternal, newborn child health and child nutrition, unfortunately, the results of poor sanitation claims the lives of too many children.”

The report also says that it is critical to learn from the uneven progress of the 1990-2015 period, to ensure that the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), close the inequality gaps and achieve universal access to water and sanitation.

Source: Graphiconline

Untitled album 20/07/2015

The World’s First 3-D–Printed Office Building Will Open in Dubai

Dubai’s newest office building will not be a traditional construction project. The United Arab Emirates has partnered with WinSun Global—a joint venture between Chinese 3-D–printing tech company WinSun and architecture and engineering firms Gensler, Thornton Tomasetti, and Syska Hennessy—to 3-D–print the structure. The office will stand in front of the ring-shaped Museum of the Future, now under construction, and will serve as temporary headquarters for its staff.

Made with a combination of reinforced concrete, glass-fiber-reinforced gypsum, and fiber-reinforced plastic, the office building’s parts will be printed in thin layers by a 20-foot-tall industrial printer and then assembled on-site. The entire structure, including the furniture, will be printed, making it one of the most intricate and advanced 3-D–printed buildings to date. It will take only a few weeks to construct, and is set to open in October.

3D Printed Office

The structure comprises a series of rounded rectangular boxes—a clean, space-age statement.

The Museum of the Future will be dedicated to all things cutting-edge, 3-D printing included. Sheikh Mohammed confirmed his country’s commitment to new technologies: “The future belongs to those who can imagine it, design it, and execute it. Here in the UAE, we think differently. While others try to predict the future, we create it.”

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