P18485: Biochar Concrete Roofing Tile Manufacturing and Complete Roof System
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Problem Definition

Table of Contents

Team Vision for Problem Definition Phase

In this phase, the team wanted to accomplish these objectives:

Project Background

Nicaragua is one of the poorest countries in Latin America. Overall, 46.2 percent of the population lives below the poverty line. The 4walls project is a nonprofit organization that helps impoverished families obtain their own home by building them 20x20 houses with brick walls. Currently, the roofs of these homes are made of sheets of corrugated zinc or tin. However, this brings unwanted heat into the house, is very loud during rainstorms, and costs more than $400 per house. The goal of this project is to develop a cheaper, cooler, and quieter solution that uses local materials in order to support the local economy.

Project Summary

The corrugated zinc roofs cost too much and provide poor heat and sound insulation. Last year’s iteration of this project improved on the first iteration by proposing a wavy, overlapping tile design made of a mixture of biochar and concrete. They also developed a process for manufacturing these tiles. However, biochar is not as easily available as other potential building materials, most notably pumice. Our goal is to optimize a pumice-concrete mix that will results in cooler, lighter, and more affordable tiles. We also aim to design a tile for the very top of the roof, and to streamline and standardize the manufacturing process for both types of tiles, so that the design can be easily constructed by 4Walls and the citizens of El Sauce.

Use Cases

Below are two use cases. The first (Below) is for the General Use of the Tiles:
General Use Case

General Use Case

The second, below, is for the Manufacturing of the Tiles:

Manufacturing of Tiles

Manufacturing of Tiles

Project Objectives

  1. Optimize pumice-concrete mixture for making roof tiles
  2. Design a new top tile
  3. Standardize and streamline manufacturing process for tiles
  4. Create a local business model

Key Deliverables

Stakeholder Relationships

Below is a diagram highlighting some of the Stakeholder Relationships.

The Stakeholders in Red primarily provide information and feedback.

The Stakeholders in Blue deal with the implementation and completion of the project.

The Stakeholders in Green as End-users and generators of the main Customer Requirements.

Stakeholder Relationships Diagram

Stakeholder Relationships Diagram

Customer Requirements (Needs)

Customer Requirements

Customer Requirements

The live document for the table above can be found here

Engineering Requirements (Metrics & Specifications)

Engineering Requirements

Engineering Requirements

The live document for the table above can be found here

Risk Management

Below is a table of our top risks, as well as their potential causes, effects, and ways to minimize the risks.
Risk Management

Risk Management

Constraints

  1. Roof attaches to current post and beam construction
  2. Roof is modular, transportable, and adjustable for different size homes
  3. Roof can be constructed locally
  4. Utilization of locally available waste materials
  5. Earthquake and hurricane resistance should be considered
  6. Manufacturing tools made from robust parts or parts that can be replaced in Nicaragua
  7. Manufacturing tools must be able to be transported to Nicaragua (by checked luggage or by boat)
  8. Keeps total (labor + roof) cost to <125% of current roof

House of Quality

Tiles Based

Below is the House of Quality to compare the interactions of the different customer requirements and engineering metrics shown in the previous sections.
Customer Requirements

Customer Requirements

The live document for the table above can be found here

Benchmarking Table

Below is a benchmarking table used to compare important characteristics of different roofing systems. We chose to compare the standard corrugated zinc roofing with the roofs created by the previous two iterations of this project.
Benchmarking Table

Benchmarking Table

Plans for next phase

To better work through the next phase of the project, a project plan was created. In the form of a simple Gantt Chart, our project plan focuses on doing research and testing Biochar and Pumice, as well as creating an LCA for the two materials. It was created as part of our project task tracking tool, Trello, with an extension called Elegantt.
Project Plan

Project Plan

Derick's Plan

Matt's Plan

Connor's Plan

Dan's Plan


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