Sunday, December 29, 2013

Basement Slab - Prep Work

Despite the continued hartals, work on the basement slab and other fill/compaction work has been ongoing.  Tonight we finally received a shipment of pipe so under slab work can be completed over the next few days.  This will allow us to finish laying the poly, brickwork and thin layer of lean concrete.

Laying poly then a base layer of brick

Excavator moving soil around the site to speed up the cutting/fill work.

The brick flat soling starting to shape up

Casting a thin layer of lean concrete for a work surface and additional waterproofing


Saturday, December 28, 2013

Christmas Teas

Bengalis like celebrations and they love their tea so over the Christmas season these are combined to make many Christmas Teas. A time to get together to eat some bengali sweets, drink some tea and tell the Christmas Story.

The Construction workers at a tea put on by the hospital staff

Tea at our house for our's and another couple's employees and their families 
(Jia, the guy getting his hair pulled by his daughter helps in our house and Goni, a gardener we share with a couple other families, is just behind/beside Holly)


Christmas program at the Chabagan Church. Lower numbers this year than last due to hartals, but still many hundred people. After church we walked around the village to have tea with many of the national hospital staff.

Holly opening her Christmas presents (Peanut Butter, Honey, Soya Milk and some Cadbury Dark Chocolate). The ongoing political unrest has made it difficult to get to town for supplies, but I was thankful we could get one of the doctors that was in town to bring these gifts down for us.


Friday, December 20, 2013

Project PhotoSphere (Test)

Playing with Holly's android phone, which does photospheres.

I am standing in the middle of the building site.


Monday, December 16, 2013

MCH Babies and Kiddos

I have been snapping a lot of photos in the hospital recently for promotional material for the new building project.   We are often not aware of what is happening at the existing hosptal since we are busy with construction so wandering around and shaddowing the medical staff has been very interesting.  Kudos to the doctors and nurses for the challenging work that they do. 

 (a young patient on the female ward)
Children are treated for a wide variety of ailments at MCH.  Common bugs and viruses, snake bites, cooking fire burns, emergency c-section deliveries, broken bones, vehicle accident trauma, a piece of coconut wedged in a lung (removed through surgery) - to name a few recent cases.  There are certainly some heart wrenching stories but also some amazing recoveries.  It is always fun to visit the OB ward and see the new deliveries.

(Proud mothers with their newborn babies)

 (Women lining up with their grandbabies for bath time)
(This little one was not too impressed with bathing...)
 (But was happy to be swadled when it was over)


Sunday, December 08, 2013

Samaritan's Purse / World Medical Mission Site Visit

We had the privilege of hosting a small delegation from Samaritan's Purse and World Medical Mission this past week. MCH has had a 30+ year relationship with SP/WMM and has greatly benefited from the many short term volunteers and pieces of medical equipment they have provided over these years. This group is also a major financial contributor to the new building project not to mention they currently provide 50% of Holly and my personal support. 

Left to Right
Ed Morrow - Director of World Medical Mission
Dr. Dick Furman - SP Board of Directors and co-founder of WMM
Dr. Kelley - MCH Medical Director
Roy Graham - Asst. Director of Facilities at the Billy Graham Association and Board of Directors of SP/WMM
Jon Barrett & Holly Barrett (Photographer) - MCH Renewal Project - Project Managers

Mr. Morrow, Dr. Furman and Dr. Kelley discussing the project

Doing a tour of the construction site

Holly showing Ed and Roy the building plans and renderings

Jon explaining the current status, progress and schedule to Roy and Ed

Jon Barrett

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Basement Slab Prep and OPD Footings

The remaining foundation work in the 15,000 sq foot basement area is now completed (West wing). The workers are continuing to backfill and compact up to the required elevation for the slab casting. Compaction work can be a tedious job without heavy equipment, as every lift can only be a maximum of 6 inches thick to get adequate results for compaction. 

(Ongoing compaction work in the basement area)

Pile cap and short column work up to the first grade beam in the East wing is nearing completion. This area does not have a basement so there is some additional work to be completed to get the grade and columns up to the final finished floor grade.

(Site overview - from the Southeast)

The laborers have been earth cutting in the front Outpatient Department Waiting area. This area has spread footings for foundation support as it is only one and two levels.  The first few footings have now been cast in this area.

(Labors doing earth cutting and installing spread footing steel)

(Long hard days of cutting and hauling earth)

(First spread footing casting)

(Watching the first spread footing casting in the OPD waiting area)

At the end of the day It is always encouraging to walk through the existing building to see the great care and treatment that is able to be given despite the desperate need for a new facility.

(Dr. Fowler, doing rounds)

(Dr. Kelley and Dr. Piovesan doing a surgery in one of two existing OR suits. The cracking wall in the corner of the room can easily be seen.)

Jon Barrett

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Basement - Foundation Progress

The contractor has been making steady progress on site. Today the final three pile caps (including the elevator pile cap casting) were completed in the half of the building with the basement.  A total of 89 of 109 pile caps have been completed to date. We anticipate that within the next week we will be completing the remaining pile caps. The remaining 6 short columns in the basement are ready to be cast tomorrow.  This will only leave the elevator shaft pit casting up to slab level. Compaction work has been ongoing in the basement area to prep the pad for a mud slab followed by steel tying and finally slab casting.

Elevator pile cap casting this morning

Short column casting formwork

Progress on the West wing

Backhoe assisting with backfill and compaction

Retaining wall along the edge of the slab at the West side of the building (Below grade)
Gas powered jumper compaction machine

Overall site progress


Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Continued Hartals (Boat Travel)

Unfortunately the countrywide hartals (road strikes) have been a steady fixture here in Bangladesh over the past month.  This makes travel and transport very difficult, which provides many challenges for maintaining a working construction site with all the required materials. Overall we have been pressing forward, with progress only being slightly hampered.

(Boat ride to Cox's on a hartal day)

With the strikes it means we have to occasionally go down to Cox's bazar by boat to pick up people who have flown in. This past week I went down with one of our doctors as a navigator/spotter to pick up his friend who came for a visit. It would be quite a shock for any newcomer as we docked the boat at the fish market, which is just across the street from the airport.  The smells and sights there can be very "interesting" on the best of days, but especially on hartals days very few customers, the fish just sit there quickly getting warm, smelly, slimy, attracting flies, etc....

(Docked at the fish market - boat next to us unloading some very large and bloated fish. I did bring my cooler to try to find some good fish, but nothing to tempt me on this day)

(Always a beautiful ride in the evening on the river)

On the construction site we have completed 62 of 109 pile caps along with an additional 30 of 60 basement short columns. Backfill and compaction work is ongoing in the basement area. The contractor is making consistent progress.

(Ongoing site work - East Wing)

(Ongoing site work - West Wing/Basement)

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Foundation Pile Caps

The next phase of construction started in full the last week of October. We are now working on the pile caps and short columns up to the basement level. There is currently about 120 workers on site. We should get up to 150 workers on site in the next few days. These will be the full time workers. Once we start doing larger concrete pours (slab pours) the number of workers will quickly increase during those days. By the end of November we anticipate being able to start casting the basement slab.

(Site overview)

(Pilings are excavated down to a set level - All by manual labor)

(Dry season just started so the water table level is very high - feels like it is dropping at least a couple inches a day right now though)

(Pile head breaking down to the desired depth - A 3" thick concrete slab is poured prior to breaking to make a platform for breaking and setting up form work.)

(Pile Cap form and steel work)

(Pile Cap casting)
(Removing pile cap form work and installing the short column forms to the basement slab level)

(Remove water then back fill and compact around the pile caps)

(Evening work to make use of the cooler temperatures)

(Progress on the BBCB building - Second level is now completed up to the lintel height)