March 25, 2008

20 The Construction has Begun!

Last week, we went to Baan Leam Tong, Phi Phi Island (our site) again. This time the main purpose was to begin the construction. Somnuk and Tatiya, the engineers from CM One who is our great partner on the project, came along with us to see the site.

The task of the first day was to check properly the condition of the site. Although during the workshop last August, we already did the site measurement, it was not 100% accurate. Then we had to find a proper way how to put the building into the site without cutting any big trees.

We discussed on the site, how to place the building.. Joe and Ta came to join us from Phuket where they are doing internship.

Working, working and working... as you might imagine, it was insanely hot. March in Thailand is the 2nd hottest month after April.

After several discussions, we are now considerting to move the two big solarcell panels installed on the ground to the roof of our building. So that the school could gain back the open space. But I have to check all these with Ministry of Energy if we can do anything with the panels. Since they are in charge.

Nirat in action. He is a contractor who usually works with Phi Phi Natural Resort where the school is located. He also has quite an interesting background. First he came to Phi Phi island working as a chef, then after the tsunami in 2005, he turned himself into a local contractor restoring the hotel and then the area around. He also used to work abroad as a chef in Mongolia and Turkey.. :O

On the second day, finally we were able to define the gridlines and the level of the site. Since the site has quite complex contours, it is very important to give the reference. In the images, Somnuk our super engineer was marking the reference points. :) Now we can start the construction...

Pan, the architect of the project - he is the one who is in charge on all the details, was working RIGHT at the site with his laptop. So great!

Here Ta, Joe and Pan along with Nirat, our super contractor, laying the grid lines of the colunms on the site.

Morning meeting between us, the engineer and the contractor...Thanks to Kru Ning and Kru Yan, the two generous teachers of Baan Leam Tong School, who supported us a lot on our well being while we were there.

Another thing worth mention about our well being is food. Khun Pu Jantima, again, organized us a wonderful cook from Phang-nga, Khun Som, who also came along with us since the first workshop. Usually the food on Phi Phi Island is very expensive and not so good because of hyper touristic development, we are very lucky to have great and cheap food everyday. Thanks to Khun Pu.

As you can see here, Ta and Joe are very happy with the fresh squids just got out from the sea given to us by the contractor. His staffs go fishing everyday. It was unbelieavably good.

Simple but very great food we enjoyed.. :)

Here is the model we brought to the site. We want to leave the model at the site to give people the idea how the building is going to be, especially for the kids and the people in the sea gypsy village. Thanks to Pan who carried this model on the plane from Bangkok to Krabi, it was quite advanturous ... Imagine, very soon, the model will be enlarged 50 times... that will be our building. :) We are very excited indeed.

Finally, on the last day we were there, about 50 people of Regent International School and Bermuda School for Girls teams began working on the site. With their strong will, they hope, by the end of this week, to complete the site slope adjustment, and then the 36 holes for the foundation of the buidling. :O I am impressed.

They were working really hard under the sun and the heat...

Well, now, bang to Bangkok, we have still a lot to do on the project. The construction will be going on for the first phase until the end of May, when the foundation, the beam and the column of the ground level will be complted. By then we will be there again... Looking forward to.

19 Fund Raising and Our Bank Account

One thing we have never mentioned here yet is about the fund to build the project. Acutally besides the design (which I am in charge) and the general management (Khun Pu Jantima from Fah Diow rules), we have Paul Crouch, a senior teacher of Regent International School in Pattaya working hard on fund raising from international communitry of Round Square International School Network. Paul also presented the our project at Ronun Square meeting in India last October. Many international school around the world expressed their interests in joining the project. Very great job, Paul.

A big step forward of our project was last month. When Paul and I went to Krabi for one day to set up the project's bank account, so that we can have the donation money from the international school.

Here we are having a meeting at Fah Diow Foundation headquarter after setting up the account.

If you are interested in supporting our project, here is the account details:

Bank: Government Saving Bank,
Branch: Krabi
Address: 27 Udtarakit Road, Tambon Paknam, Muang, Krabi 81000, Thailand
Account Name: Baan Leam Tong International Community Resource Center
Account No.: 09-7201-20-103297-7
SWIFT Code for Euro: CITIGB2L
SWIFT Code for US Dollar: CITIUS33

Please let us know if you are interested in joining us.


18 Working on Design Development Phase

Although we did not update our blog for about four months.. it is not that nothing has happened. In fact we have been working very hard.

After we finished the final presentation of the six schematic designs, the only team left with us are the six guys of the 4th year: Joe, Meth, Zing, Ta, Hin and Benz. We chose the Hammock scheme as the main design to be developed. Since it is the most compact scheme among the six, so that we would not need to cut more trees. Then we applied the idea of water tank and water collector from the other two schemes. While we still use the idea of semi-outdoor space under the trees. Many other ideas in every scheme were reconsidered and some were applied.

We had many brainstorming sessions during the past few months..

Pan kindly gave a construction drawing class for all the kids.

This is more or less the model of the design we use as our main design.

Then we began to work with the engineers: CM One. Somnuk and Somchai the structural engineers helped us a lot to realize the design development of the building. So far, we arrived to the state when we can begin a construction! Almost a construction drawings.. there are few details left to be solved.