Nicaragua

The City College of New York chapter of Engineers without Borders recently adopted a water supply project in Tadazna, Nicaragua.

 

Background

The community’s proposed project entails the construction of six groundwater wells located throughout the community. Each well is intended to support approximately one to five families. The design of the wells will allow for clean and safe water for daily use and consumption, decreasing the risk of contamination and disease.

Our Role


While certain sectors of Tadazna have access to a municipal potable water system, the rural landscape and sprawling community leave 46% of its population without easy access to water. Many residents often resort to collecting untreated and unhygienic water from unsanitary sources.


The student team working on the Tadazna Project draws experience from a range of engineering and science disciplines. Students are equipped with skills that aid the design, finance, and public relations aspects of this organization. The chapter is assisted by a team of professional mentors with years of experience in design, construction, and international development. Professors Beth Wittig and Michael Piasecki will be advising the team throughout the entire project process.

Expectations

We will resolve the concerns that the community holds regarding water accessibility. Aside from this project, the community has expressed other needs, such as public health, sanitation, and cooking.

Harlem

The chapter was also recently approved for an energy auditing project in our hometown of Harlem.

 

Background

The Broadway Presbyterian Church (BPC) was established in 1912, and is located on 114th Street in Harlem, New York. The Church’s mission is “[t]o communicate the Gospel through worship and work; to welcome, care for, and encourage the people of this community regardless of ethnic heritage, national origin, age, gender, marital status, sexual orientation, or socioeconomic standing; and to promote a just society, demonstrating in word and deed the love of Christ for all people”. Through this mission, they have several programs including Broadway Community, which serves as a food pantry, social services center, and homeless shelter. They are also very involved with the Harlem community by offering bible studies, pub theology, community softball, a safe place for the LGBTQ community, a rooftop garden, and most importantly a place of worship.

BPC currently does not have the adequate funds to complete an energy audit. It is owned and funded solely by the congregation, which hosts multiple events throughout the year on top of their community programs. The church is also undergoing a critical facade repair due to aging and exposure to the weather.

Our Role


In a typical office building, lighting, heating and cooling represent almost 70 percent of energy use, making those systems the best targets for energy savings. Energy spending takes 19 percent of a typical building’s operational costs, significant enough to warrant good management. EWB-USA CCNY wishes to perform a building-wide energy audit for the church. Prior to visiting the site, the students would take previous electric bills to complete a billing analysis. The billing analysis will be followed by a walk through the building to count up lighting appliances that take up electricity and analyze their usage to add to the energy analysis.  

After conducting the field studies, the team will write up a detailed proposal for the Broadway Presbyterian Church, providing a comprehensive outline of where our energy spending is going and the best ways to improve efficiency and lower costs. The money invested  in implementation can be gained back through the savings made in as little as a year and the saved funds can go toward community programs.

Expectations

This project intends to reduce the energy usage of the Broadway Presbyterian Church. A board of administrators is elected to allocate funding each year and oversee the administrative aspects of the organization. By redesigning the lighting system in a cost-effective and more efficient way, the church will be able to allocate saved money from lighting costs to community programs and necessities.