Team Vision for Problem Definition Phase
- During this phase, our team worked on understanding the work that last year's Senior Design team did. It included looking at last year's prototype, meeting with the customer, and talking with various stakeholders.
- The team completed all assigned deliverables including assigning roles, creating a project plan, and refining customer and engineering requirements.
- A key component of this phase involved researching both design and material/resources for the project. In addition, we contacted the Civil Engineering lab to set up a testing plan.
Project BackgroundThe 4-Walls project raises money and provides volunteers to help build permanent homes for the less fortunate in El Sauce, Nicaragua. These homes require various materials such as bricks, mortar, wood and steel supports and roofs. The current roofs are zinc coated roofing sheets that need to be imported and shipped hundreds a miles to finish these houses. These roofs are most costly piece of the home, create lots of noise during rain and trap heat inside the house on hot days. We have partnered with the Ithaka Institute and 4-Walls to develop a cheaper alternative made of local materials.
Project SummaryThe current zinc coated roofs used cost too much, hold too much heat and produce too much noise during rain. Last year’s design proposed a two-piece concrete shingle design that proved the feasibility of using local materials for a roof design. Our goal is to improve our design to a single shingle design that consistently sheds water, which operates at a cooler interior temperature and reduces noise. We aim to optimize the biochar concrete mix and create a standardized process to begin manufacturing. The stretch goal of this project would to develop a business model that can be operated in El Sauce, Nicaragua to promote a local economy.
|Bonnie Yannie||4Walls Representative, Customer|
|Kathleen Draper||Ithaka Institute Representative|
|Sarah Brownell||Faculty Champion|
|Nicaraguan Natives||End Customers|
Other possible Use Cases
- Roof design going on current 4 walls house
- Roof design going onto house with different dimensions than current 4 walls design
- Roof design going onto house with different roof support structure
Project Goals and Key Deliverables
- Redesign roof to eliminate leaking, reduce cost and improve strength to weight ratio.
- Improve BioChar concrete mix and manufacturing process
- Design roofs to be made locally to stimulate their economy
- Working prototype of roof
- Molds and fabrication tools designed with prototypes
- Manufacturing plan for roofs to be made locally
- Testing documentation
Customer Requirements (Needs)
Here is the link to the full Customer Requirements Document.
Engineering Requirements (Metrics & Specifications)
Here is the link to the full Engineering Requirements Document.
CostHard limit to cost for raw materials to manufacturing tools to installation.
Limited resourcesWhat materials go into the tiles and supports for the roof are limited to the local Nicaragua area. Not only this, but tools used to manufacture and install the roof is limited.
PersonnelThe manufacturing and construction of the tiles and roof must be “universal” enough for a young teen in the family to be able to assist.
Existing StructuresRoof design must attach to existing houses and newly built houses.
Transportation feasibilityTiles must be light and durable enough to be moved from mold location to houses. Tiles must be light enough for families to carry and assemble on the roofs.
ClimateExtreme heat, rain and wind must be accounted for, along with local animals including insects and snakes.
Use Local MaterialsThe use of biochar is highly encouraged.
SafetyThe manufacturing of tiles, installation and use must be safe for local families without labor experience.
House of Quality
Here is the link to the full House of Quality Document.
Design Review Materials
Problem Definition Presentation presented on 13th September 2016.