45179_towardssaferschoolconstruction_0 (2015) - Page 76

Key activity 3: Design finalisation The last activity of the Design Stage is to finalise the design of the new school building. This task should be carried out by professionals, including a qualified engineer who can ensure the design adequately addresses natural hazard forces and meets the agreed performance criteria. Once the final design is developed, the design team should present it to the school management committee and community stakeholders. The design team should explain each key feature of the design. They should show how the design addresses the community’s concerns and the goal of protecting students and staff. As appropriate, the design team may also discuss the cost and implementation schedule. Detailed design may take several forms, depending on the policy context of the country: • Template design. In many contexts, the MoE or a development actor may provide template designs that mandate specific dimensions and materials. Some even provide full structural design. When a project follows a template design, it may be preapproved requiring no additional engineering design. This can simplify the design task. However, such template designs generally do not adequately address local site conditions and are not properly designed for all probable hazards. Beyond safety, these templates generally do not create inviting learning environments or appropriate adaptations for local climates. For example, the same standardised design could be incorrectly recommended for cold mountainous highlands and stifling tropical coastlines. SECTION III: DESIGN When templates are available, the design team should modify the design as needed and seek appropriate approval. When the template originates from a development actor, professional engineers should approve the changes and indicate that performance objectives are met. Local authorities with responsibility for overseeing school construction should approve all designs, whether they originated from development actors or government agencies. Considering non-structural building components Non-structural building components – like wall coverings, interior and infill walls, architectural elements, stairwell guards and signage – are usually not part of formal structural design. Engineers may not give much attention to these building details. However, in earthquakes and high winds, these components can become loose and fall, or become high-speed projectiles that endanger students and staff. In high wind and earthquake zones, the design team should consider ways to secure these components or eliminate them from design. The program manager should ensure the school community learns how to reduce any remaining risks during the post-construction phase. 67 • Direct design for standard materials. In other contexts, design teams may separately calculate a new design for each project. The engineers responsible for design should ensure their calculations comply with local building codes and/or structural design guidelines. They should also seek design approval from appropriate authorities. Where local codes are inadequate, the engineer should comply with international codes or guidelines. • Direct design for non-standard materials. In many development contexts, building codes may not cover local materials or vernacular construction practices. This situation occurs most often in rural and remote communities, where the construction practices are different from standard building codes, or where using materials required by codes is not feasible, impractical or unsustainable. In these cases, the design team and school management committee need to develop innovative designs that suit locally available materials and resources, with due consideration for structural safety in hazard events. Once the design is finalised, the team should develop detailed construction drawings and specifications. These drawings and specifications may need to be developed in multiple formats – including standard blueprints, artistic drawings or cartoons of key elements – so school management committees can monitor or take part in the construction. Even if a local contractor is hired for the construction, he or she may need simpler versions of the drawings and specifications. Local communities may find scale models and cartoon drawings especially important when they need to use unfamiliar hazard-resistant techniques. Key activity 4: Selection of construction management strategy Different forms of construction management allow for various levels of community involvement. The school management committee and program manager, in consultation with the design team, should select an appropriate strategy and level of community involvement. The design team should also develop schematic and final designs based on the proposed construction management strategy. If the committee and program manager want high community involvement, the construction material used in design should be highly familiar so the school management committee and local tradespeople can easily understand the construction specifications. If the program manager elects to use a directbuild approach, materials and construction drawings may not need to deviate as much from international construction practices.