A Children’s Home for Bohol

Engineering Good is supporting Little Heroes’ Dreams to establish a children’s home for 50 orphaned and abandoned children in Bohol (Philippines). The running costs of the home will be funded by income generated from a private school for 400 students and a mix of commercial establishments, such as an eco-hotel, restaurant and organic community garden.

Why we are helping

In October 2013, Bohol was devastated by a 7.2 magnitude earthquake. The former Ancillae Christi School, run by the local organisation Handmaids of Christ the King, was badly affected and had to be closed. Several other natural disasters have struck Bohol since, and will continue doing so in the future. This is the challenging environment that they face.

Little Heroes’ Dreams has partnered with the Handmaids of Christ the King with the aim of supporting these children in need. Together, we are implementing a new children’s home, school and commercial facilities. By plowing back the revenues from the school and commercial facilities into the running of the children's home, we aim to pilot a model that will be able to sustainably support the orphaned and abandoned children. This is our core objective.

As architects and engineers, we understand that to meet the project objectives in this challenging environment requires an appropriate solution. This must be tailored to the local conditions, and be resilient and responsive to the environment. We are committed to improve the lives of these children by creating a place where they are able to lead lives of dignity and opportunity.

What we are doing

We are leading the architectural and engineering design, construction planning, and implementation of the facilities. This includes a children’s home, school, eco-hotel, restaurant and supporting services. Construction of these facilities will start from late 2017 on a plot of land of around 5,000 m2.

How we are doing it

We are translating Little Heroes’ Dreams vision into an optimum development from a holistic point of view. To achieve this successfully, the team is following a set of design paradigms and sustainability strategies.

In August 2016, we visited Bohol to get a direct understanding of the local conditions, existing construction practices, and community views and aspirations towards the project. Among other activities, we conducted a participatory design workshop, involving the sisters who will be running the project, local teachers, and community members. We also assessed potential sites for the project, considering their suitability in terms of earthquake and flooding related risks, soil conditions, available area, location and land price. Read more about our visit here!

In February 2017, we visited one of the children’s homes currently supported by LHD in Antipolo and one of our implementation partner BASE's current projects in Payatas. This visit helped us to establish the project requirements and understand better BASE’s bamboo based system.

With all this, the concept design is on-going. See our concept sketches below:

School
 

Nursery and Playground
 

Commercial facilities
 

Who is making this possible?

Meet the team

Our team of committed volunteers hail from a wide range of backgrounds in terms of skills and origin.

Meet our partners

Project consortium

 

How can I help?

Volunteer

Whether you are in Singapore, Philippines or anywhere in the world, if you would like to volunteer with us we have an opportunity for you. Visit our volunteer openings here, or contact us directly letting us know how you would like to help.

Donate

If you wish to support the project you can make a donation.

Visit the site and get your hands dirty

Are you the hands-on type? Is your organisation wondering what to do for a meaningful team building event? We are organising trips to the sites for you to collaborate with us on the construction. Contact us if you would like to find out more or make an exclusive trip.

Corporate Support

If your company is interested to sponsor part of the project, get in touch with us at partnerships@EngineeringGood.org.

 
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Engineers Without Borders Asia - Worley Parsons

WorleyParsons is a global provider of professional services to the energy, resource, and complex process industries.

WorleyParsons shares the conviction that each individual has the ability to make a positive impact in the world, which is reflected in WorleyParsons’ internal key organisational value of leadership which strives to empower individuals and encourages them to take responsibility. WorleyParsons envisages a global support scheme of humanitarian engineering organisations in each of our Regions to further develop our internal commitment to Corporate Responsibility.

WorleyParsons Singapore is Engineering Good’s founding corporate partner. Through their Corporate Responsibility Team, WorleyParsons Singapore incubated Engineering Good (formerly known as Engineers Without Borders Asia) in Singapore. A dedicated staff was heavily involved in the inception journey of the organisation, seeing it through successful registration. WorleyParsons also provided seed-funds and office facilities to support the initial operations of the organisation.

For more information on WorleyParsons, please visit their corporate responsibility page.

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Engineers Without Borders Asia - NYC

The National Youth Council (NYC) was set up by the Singapore Government on 1 November 1989 as the national co-ordinating body for youth affairs in Singapore and the focal point of international youth affairs.

At NYC, we believe in a world where young people are respected and heard, and have the ability to influence and make a difference to the world. Together with our partners, we develop a dynamic and engaging environment where young people are inspired to dream and committed to action. 

We hear youth >>> Here for youth

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We would like to thank the following donors for their contributions to our crowdfunding campaign:

Aditya Bansal Emily Zhang Jean Oh Low Eicher Peter Stones Tan Alvin
Alan Forshaw Eric Wong Jean-Philippe Fontaine Low Zhi Ni Phua Huijia Tan Angeline
Alex Chio Esther Lim Joanne Sansfacon Luckanong Souliyavong Quek Henry Tan Hui Shan Grace
Ali Mousavi-Torbati Fauvel Simon Joy Leong Magdalen Ng Rayannah Kroeker Tan Hwee Roy
Amy Sim Fern Neo Jun Wei Tan Mani Malekesmeili Rong Wang Teo Keng Pheng
Antony Watkins Floris Jan Donders Justin Freedin Marcia Harr Bailey Ruei Lung Neo Teo Orion
Audrey Lam Fnu Md Nasir Kah Chine Sim Maria Belen Amiano Sahas Bikram Shah Teo Wee Teck
Caesar Sengupta Frederic Fauvel Kang Hua Lee Maria Kajstad Seungwoo Jun Tham Nicholas
Catherine Cyr Wright Gan Daniel Kang Yilin Marie-Helene Querin Shaan Seth Thiam Huat Ng
Cecile Weil Geraldine Kwek Kelvin Kwong Lam Loh Martin Loh Shangar Eagamathan Thye Yoke Pean
Chandrasekhar Vaddadi Gopalakrishnan Sai Aparajitha Kevin Labyt Maude Beaucaire Sharma Shweta Titan Zhuang
Cheah Lynette Grace Foo Kim Cathering Cung Mayer Hoe Shu Yang Tong Chin Hong
Chester Chee Guillaume Brouillette Ko Hak Chin Melvin Tan Sian Hun, Willy Koh Tun Ei Ei
Chin Theng Lee Han Yu Koh Joseph Meng Fan-Ru Sidji Sumijati Vincent Chua
Cho Rick Heiko Rothkranz Kok Meng Lim Mihai Barbulescu Siew Chin Chua Vincent Rajotte
Chua Serena Herk Low Ng Leong Chia Jang Neek Low Siew Ling Ho Vivien Denis
Chun Ming Au Hock Jin Alvin Tay Leong Yoke Fun Hannah Ng Jeremy Siew Yong Ong Willi Smolan
Colleen Gosse Hui Bing Thio Ler You Wei Ngiam Song Wee Silvia Hua Xin Ying Lim
Daniel Eden Hui Ching Michelle Teo Lim Cindy Nicolas Fauvel Sindhu Tjahyono Yeam Chin Heng
Daniel Luzinda Hwee Kuang Lim Lim Jean Nirupam Khanna Singh Bhavdeep Yeow Xian Ching
Dexter Chee Ivonna Ivonna Lin Han Nitish Khanna Siti Maryam Yaakub Yiyuan Qin
Di Wang Jacques Fauvel Lin Yong Xiang Pang Sze Fei Sivasothi N Yoong Heng Tan
Dongting Tay Jasmin Blais St-Laurent Loh Weng Yee Patrick Chan Stacey Rodrigues Zhang Huiguo
Ee Lyn Tan Jasmine Hu Loo Ling Tan Patrick Miller Stephanie Budiwarman  
Emilie Beaucaire Jaya Myler Low Chun Kiat Pei Lee Yeap Susanna Kho  

Special thanks to Teo Keng Pheng for sponsoring the 4% admin fee for this crowdfunding campaign ♥

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YCS (Full Colour)_1252x1252

Youth Corps Singapore is a national institution that supports youths who are keen to serve the community. As the catalyst for youth volunteerism, it harnesses the energy and passion of youths to ignite positive change in society through community development projects. Bringing together Singapore Citizens and PRs aged 16 to 35, Youth Corps Singapore provides a platform for youths to learn new skills and meet like-minded peers, who aspire to go forth and create a better Singapore and a better world for all.

Click here to visit our Portal and discover how you can get involved.

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Envelope 2015

Envelope 2015, held in August of 2015, was a seminar event organised by the Engineering Good Student Chapter. Envelope exposed and engaged more than a hundred students to how organizations in Singapore use sustainable and appropriate solutions to help various communities, be it in Singapore or overseas. Guest speakers included speakers from World Toilet Organization, Operation Hope Foundation, Ground Up Initiative, NUS Energy Office and many more!

The first half of Envelope consisted of a series of talks by our invited guest speakers, where they introduced Humanitarian Engineering as it is done in its many different forms, showcasing the many possibilities for students to engage in Humanitarian Engineering as it best suits them. In the second half of Envelope, students could chose to more directly engage with speakers they were more interested in by joining their respective short workshops.

Check out Envelope 2015’s Facebook page for more photos of the event!

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Project Make-Possible with IES-NUS

Project Make Possible was an event to help bridge the current gap between engineers and disadvantaged communities. Project Make-Possible began with a Humanitarian Engineering talk, where participants were introduced to the concept of Humanitarian Engineering, followed by a Makerthon.

The Makerthon was made possible through collaboration with Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) Labs and the Society for the Physically Disabled (SPD). Over a week, 10 teams of 4 participants went to SPD to learn more about the problems faced by the physically disabled and develop prototypes to tackle problems identified for a mini-competition. The winners were awarded a total seed funding of $3000 with the option of continuing their work with SPD.

Read more about the event at SPD’s publication on Project Make-Possible and check out more photos at Project Make-Possible’s Facebook page!

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Design Paradigms

We are using 5 design paradigms that define what will be a successful answer to the project objectives. These paradigms are constantly being questioned by the team to ensure that they provide an optimum response to all the stakeholders’ needs. 

Buildings Resilience

The project will not be a one-time picture but an entity that will be serving its purpose for decades. While the design and construction process can be controlled, the future use and maintenance will be left to the Ancillae Christi Sisters. Their funds, skills and maintenance regime are difficult to predict.

Consequently, the design needs to maximize life expectancy of all the components, while minimizing the cost and complexity of future maintenance. For those elements that will require regular maintenance, the necessary regime and skills must be properly communicated and life-cycle cost considered to assess their suitability.

Efficient Construction

Moving from the concept design to construction and post-occupancy phases, the capacity of applying changes decreases while the cost of variations increases. When the project leaves the drawing table to start the physical transformation of the site the capacity of control of the Design Team will be reduced drastically.

To ensure the designers’ intent is properly translated to the ground and to limit the risks of failure, the construction process needs to be kept in mind during the concept and design phases. Designing for the use of local materials and techniques, available skills, repetitive elements, elimination of unnecessary steps in construction and logistics, etc, are paramount for the successful implementation of the project.

This should not be confused with blindly adopting the design of most buildings in the area, but calls to apply the designers’ creativity to transform and enhance locally available resources and skills into an optimum response to the project objective.

Functional Aesthetics

For each of the buildings and the overall project to best fit its purpose, the facilities must be designed to enhance its functionality. At the same time, aesthetics plays an important role for the users’ subjective feelings towards the facilities that should not be ignored.

Consequently, functionality and aesthetics must be combined in such a way that one enhances the other and never diminishes it.

Anticipatory Design

The future life and use of the buildings cannot be predicted without uncertainty. While at this point in time the functionality and design assumptions may be deemed optimum, time and users experience may require adapting the facilities.

Designing for potentially changing conditions will allow the buildings to address the stakeholders’ future needs. Thus, the design of the buildings and master plan must allow, to the extent possible, their adaptability in terms of use, spatial distribution, expansion, new technologies, etc.

Responsiveness to Environment and Site Hazards

The adequacy of the project relies on its adaptation to the surrounding environment and its response to the risks associated to the specific project site.

The design should incorporate the physical and environmental characteristics of the site rather than fight against them. This contributes to the long term sustainability of the project and limits maintenance efforts.

The transformation process must also quantify and mitigate the risks arising from the site location and conditions, protecting the users and assets.

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Sustainability Strategies

The project adopts a holistic approach to sustainability considering social, environmental and economical aspects.

Materials: Bamboo

Bamboo is inarguably one of the most sustainable construction materials in the Tropics. We have partnered with BASE, a social enterprise developing low-cost housing using bamboo as structural material. This system poses multiple benefits:

Light weight

Limiting the dead weight of the structure reduces the structural requirements of the buildings. This is particularly important in this context due to the earthquake risks in Bohol. Furthermore, bamboo’s flexibility helps to dissipate the earthquake loads without risking the structural integrity of the building.

Durability

Non-toxic natural treatments prevent bamboo from being attacked by insects and prolong its useful life.

Local availability

Bamboo is available locally in the Philippines what will reduce purchasing costs and does not require external expertise for later maintenance.

Easy to assemble

BASE uses a system of prefabricated panels that can be assembled together in a matter of days.

Comfort

The light weight and low thermal mass of the system, high ceilings help to dissipate the heat during the day and the building remains cool during the night.

Master plan and building orientation

The weather and environmental characteristics of the location have been considered while developing the master plan, specifically, the movement of the Sun during the whole year and the prevailing winds.

During the hotter months of May to September, the prevailing wind comes from South-South West while October to April it comes from the North East. The Sun path is East to West with a 56° South inclination at the Winter Solstice and a 76° North inclination at the Summer Solstice.

Consequently, the master plan has adopted an East-West alignment of the longer axis of the main buildings. Each of the buildings will be provided with large overhangs at the North and South façades. This presents two major benefits:

1. Providing openings at both sides of the narrower direction of the buildings the prevailing winds are unobstructed and natural ventilation will cool down the facilitiesPrevailing winds

2. Morning and evening Sun does not heat up the major façades and large overhangs at each side prevent the north and south façades from being exposed to the sunSolstices

Furthermore, ample outdoor and semi-outdoor spaces have been provided. These are meant to be adaptable and can be used as common areas for recreational, gathering, dining and educational purposes.

Energy saving solutions

The two major sources of electricity consumption of housing and educational facilities are electrical lighting and cooling. Consequently, the design of the buildings aims to minimize these expenditures by maximizing natural lighting and passive cooling.

Natural light

Large openings at North and South façades have the double purpose of natural light and ventilation. Moreover, the use of clerestory windows at the Northern side allows natural light to travel deep inside the classrooms without heating up the spaces.

For areas and rooms where large openings are not an option, alternative natural lighting systems will be considered, such a solar tubes or a “litre of light” system.

Liter of Light

Passive cooling

The function of the different buildings has been considered to determine which buildings will be natural ventilated and which ones will be provided with air conditioning. The proposal is that only the hotel buildings will be air conditioned and the rest will benefit from passive cooling.

The design has also considered the adaptability of the buildings in the long run and in the future any of the buildings can be easily changed to be air conditioned.

Passive cooling

To achieve an adequate level of comfort in the non-air conditioned buildings the main principles of tropical architecture have been considered:

High ceilings

All the buildings will have one side sloping high ceilings to dissipate the heat upwards

Operable openings

The narrow footprint of the buildings along the prevailing winds and operable openings at both sides will allow controlling the breeze intake and heating outtake from the buildings. Clerestory windows will also be operable to exhaust the heat accumulated in the upper levels of the buildings.

Cool-down effect of vegetation

Preserving as much vegetation as possible has a double benefit in this matter: First, it blocks the solar radiation from directly hitting the buildings; second, the evapotranspiration at the tree leaves cools down the surrounding environment and, consequently, reduce the temperature of the wind coming inside the buildings.

Additional measures

In the detailed design two additional passive technologies will be considered: eco-coolers, bottle cones that cool down passing air by compressing it; and roof turbines, cylindrical devices that exhaust hot air from inside the building by means of wind rotation.

Ceiling fans will be provided at all the naturally ventilated spaces for added comfort during the hotter periods.

Furthermore, non-air conditioned buildings with high occupancy, such as classrooms, offer the advantage of a more salubrious environment due to constant air renewal without wasting cooled down air.

Vegetation

Respecting the native environment where the development will be located is a major contributor to the overall sustainability of the project. Biophilic design has been adopted following two main approaches: 

Preservation of nature

The disposition of the buildings will respect and integrate the most iconic trees in the area and those located strategically to protect the buildings from the environment through shading.

Organic edible garden

At the Eastern side of the plot a large space has been allocated for the implementation of an edible garden which will be designed based on the principles of permaculture, organic farming and composting.

This section has three main beneficial aspects for the overall sustainability of the project:

– It will play an educational role as the students can participate in the process of cultivation and become familiar with how food is produced.

– It will contribute to the revenue generation as the products can be used for the restaurant, increasing its market value, and sold in the shop attached to it.

– In the aesthetical dimension it will contribute to the colour and diversity of the landscape.

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