The first step in the design process was to visit the site. It was a one and a half acre piece of farmland that was donated to the ministry. It has decent street access and friendly neighbors. But it is a little small for what we need to place on it.
We surveyed the site, plotted points with a GPS device, and dug pits for soil percolation testing.
We also had our first programming meeting with the ministry team right there on site. This is where we define the goals of the project and determine the types of facilities, number of children to be served, etc...
Then the actual design work begins. Doodles that lead to sketches that lead to drawings that lead to virtual 3D models.
Here are a few of the early challenges we were faced with:
1. The friendly neighbors I mentioned need access to their homes, and it can only be through our site. So we would have to provide an easement for them which will reduce the amount of usable area we have on our already crowded site.
2. We needed to think about how to house the kids. Though we were attempting to mimic a family environment, as the kids get older it is wise to keep the boys and girls separate. But what about those that are biological siblings? Would they stay together? A lot of questions to answer on how the operation will be managed.
3. We had been having trouble with our computer software.
4. The final presentation was moved up one day. Giving us less time to finish our work.
5. The water test samples we took from the site will not finish testing until about an hour before the presentation. So we wouldn't know what suggestions to make about water usage.
See where the design takes us next on the next blog post.