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My EMI Videos

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Of Love and Work

NOTE: Photos of the initial project presentation are here. The 3D site walkthrough I made is pending ministry approval.
I recently returned from a very successful design trip to the Middle East. Our 10 day visit was solely to create an initial proposal for the ministry, so as to ensure we were on the right track; we will continue to make refinements while here at home, likely over the course of 4-5 months. Thus, this remains an ongoing project, and as such, needs some extra funding to ensure a successful completion. (I will return home in mid-May, but please still consider donating to EMI).

EMI is working with a ministry that hopes to create a brand-new, full spectrum community center to serve the local and regional population. They dream of building a site that contains family camping, summer and winter camps for youth, an agricultural cooperative, vocational training center, and even a regional conference center. They also want to make their center ecologically friendly, and therefore make use of renewable energy generation and efficient design and construction techniques.

At their request, EMI sent a team of 3 architects and 7 engineers to learn their program vision and needs, analyze their site and come up with a master facilities plan that would allow them to realize their vision on their own timeline.

Within ten days, our team came up with a site layout that will include cabins, a dining facility and entertainment hall, sports fields, a recreation pavilion, a ropes course and zipline, a medium-sized-concert ampitheater that faces toward the sunrise, an open-air hideaway that allows for great views and solitary meditation, agricultural space, a vocational center with shops, classrooms, and manufacturing floors, a multiphase conference center with lodging for 1000, special Guest Speaker/VIP Housing, and a central administration complex. These facilities (in basic form) can be seen on the site walkthrough video that I generated for the ministry using Google Sketchup.

While most of the facilities mentioned will be developed in detail over time, our team did come up with some detailed ideas: The architects and structural engineers created plans for the family cabins, dining facility, and entertainment hall that utilize natural sun and wind, and terrain patterns in creating comfortable environments; The civil engineers designed systems for water collection, retention, and storage, including using natural rainwater and existing terrain features; our mechanical and electrical team investigated various forms of heating and cooling as well as solar and wind generation.

I'm very glad to have worked for our friends in the Middle East. In meeting them, I saw a genuine love for people, especially children. They really do need help with their facilities, so that they can make an impact in their community, and I'm honored to have been able to help with the vision thus far!