Monday, November 29, 2010

Self Sustaining

Seldom, do we have the opportunity to design facilities that are completely self sustaining and/or 'off the grid.' The site for African University is located in the middle of a rain forest. Access to the site is currently via a footpath (as shown to the left). Existing resources to support a university campus are non-existent. Therefore, the African University facilities need to serve as a premiere example of how sustainable design and construction can be implemented.

Sustainability is a broad term. For us, sustainable means designing a facility that will endure time and consume minimal resources. Our team plans to implement sustainable construction methods via the building system design and site development. Building systems include the materials of the structure, mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems. Preliminary ideas for these systems include the use of rain barrels, solar panels, wind turbines, large fan systems, and standby diesel generators.

Sustainable design will focus on selecting local building materials, conserving land and other natural resources, installing energy efficient materials, developing a responsible operations plan, and educating the community.

Knowing the extent of what materials are available and current construction methods are one of the goals of the trip ... which begins in only 6 days!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Team

African University Foundation

William Agbor Baiyee, PhD,
Chairman and Founder
Dr. William Agbor Baiyee emigrated from Cameroon to the United States after high school. He is an academic administrator at Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis. Faith and philanthropy are important to him. He enjoys reading and writing poetry. Dr. Baiyee is involved with several local and national civic and professional organizations including membership in the Rotary Club of Indianapolis.

David Williams Russell, Esq., Vice Chairman
David is
a transactions and securities lawyer handling complex matters (including dispute resolution) in the U.S. and abroad at Harrison and Moberly. David also serves on the advisory board of the Supply Chain & Global Management Academy of the Kelley M.B.A. program at Indiana University, and holds a federal appointment as Chairman of the Indiana District Export Counsel.
Fun Fact: David is a published poet.

Cathy Davis, Treasurer
Cathy Davis is a Staff Accountant at the Central Indiana Community Foundation. Cathy also serves on the Board of Directors of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women Board of Directors and is actively involved with several civic organizations. Cathy sees African University as an excellent opportunity to provide students in Africa an opportunity to acquire an integrated experiential education to become leaders.

Schmidt Associates Team
Wayne Schmidt, Hon. D., FAIA
On July 4, 1976, Wayne celebrated his own “Independence Day” by opening a one-man architectural office. Armed with his undergraduate degree and $800 in savings, he launched into the world of business. Today, he serves as CEO/Principal of that firm—now one of the largest full-service architectural/engineering firms in the state. He is a member of the Rotary Club of Indianapolis.
Fun Fact: Known for his red hat and distinctive ties

Sarah Hempstead, AIA, LEED AP
Although Sarah considered engineering in college, the creativity of architecture was a stronger draw. As a Principal and architect, she leads both the university and urban environment studios. Whether it’s on a college campus or in a downtown setting, she recognizes that architecture makes a strong impact, presenting the opportunity to enrich people’s lives. She is a member of the Rotary Club of Indianapolis.
Fun Fact: Backpacked from Egypt to Ireland in 1997

Corrie Meyer, AICP, RLA, LEED AP
As an Urban Planner and Landscape Architect, Corrie enjoys working with motivated communities to turn their world around physically, economically, and emotionally. She believes that planning is a tool that successfully leads us into the future. The key is to plan for necessity, comfort, and the environment.
Fun Fact: Climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, Africa in 2005

Martin Sams, LEEP AP
Milwaukee, WI is where Martin's love for architecture was fueled by living a mile from Santiago Calatrava’s iconic art museum pavilion. Seeing how forms from nature can be incorporated into the built environment has greatly influenced the way Martin approaches design.
Fun Facts: Enjoys reading and ancient Roman and Greek literature. Also, he thinks the word ‘waffle’ is the most fun to say.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Trip Goals

Overall Goals

  • Unveil the African University Master Plan.
  • Unveil the African University Site Plan.
  • Discuss opportunities for engaging and mobilizing community members to promote the realizations of African University.
  • Release outcomes of the Tali Area Community Development Study.
  • Walk away with marketing images and relationships for fundraising.

Design Team Goals

  • Confirm the site location with GPS coordinates.
  • Establish the location of the 1 sq. mi. University footprint in the 6.5 sq. mi. area.
  • Understand construction methods and materials.
  • Understand education and living space standards.
  • Establish a design aesthetic for the campus buildings.
  • Understand how this campus’ infrastructure can be self-sustaining.
  • Stake outlines of the proposed footprints of Phase 1 buildings (the Faculty Housing Facility, Student Housing Facility, and Academic/ Community Building).

Friday, November 19, 2010

The Itinerary

Saturday, December 4, 2010
  • 5:00 pm - leave Indianapolis - flight route is Atlanta to Paris
Sunday, December 5 (now a 5-hour time difference)
  • 1:45 pm - leave Paris for Douala, Cameroon
  • 8:15 pm - arrive in Douala
  • Staying at Chariot Hotel in Buea, South West Region, Cameroon
Monday, December 6
  • Brief visit at the Baiyee Family Home in Mutengene
  • Depart for Tali
  • Staying at a residence in Tali (5 nights)
Tuesday, December 7
  • Presentation of planning documents and community study outcomes to the Tali I Traditional Council
Wednesday, December 8
  • Visit the campus site via the Mpomba footpath
  • Visit the campus site via Bara Road
  • Field work on site
  • Sarah, Corrie, and Kathy present to women of the region about being a woman who is educated, professional, and a leader
Thursday, December 9
  • Field work at the African University site
Friday, December 10
  • Field work at the African University site
  • Cultural event and celebration
Saturday, December 11
  • Depart Tali for Buea
  • Visit the University of Buea
  • Meet with local contractors
  • Meet with the African University Planning Board
  • Visit His Excellency Enow Tanjong's residence in Buea
Sunday, December 12
  • Visit Rotary Club of Limbe
  • Lunch at the Baiyee Family Home in Mutengene
  • Depart Mutengene to Yaounde, Center Region, Cameroon
Monday, December 13
Tuesday, December 14
  • 11:30 am - depart Cameroon for Paris
Wednesday, December 15
  • 10:50 am - depart Paris for Minneapolis
  • 5:49 pm - arrive in Indianapolis

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Project Background—Building the Foundation

For several years, the African University Foundation has been formulating ideas, relationships, and plans to develop African University near the small village of Tali in Cameroon, Africa. Earlier this year, Schmidt Associates was selected to create a campus master plan for the new university. The private, non-profit university campus will provide excellence in education by:
  • Providing excellent spaces for higher education and life-long learning
  • Showcasing and living by the principles of sustainability, as well as the values of integrity, creativity, and excellence
  • Being a premiere example of conservation
  • Planning for a coherent and beautiful campus that respects the contextual environment
The 50-year Campus Master Plan preserves and reinforces the surrounding rain forest environment, develops and maintains a cohesive campus landscape, and sets the framework for future development in an orderly fashion.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Building African University

This is the most unusual assignment we've ever taken on. In December, Wayne Schmidt, Sarah Hempstead, Corrie Meyer, and Martin Sams will travel to Cameroon to see for the first time the place where the new African University will be built. Our goal is to create a master plan for the campus—to build a university where there has never been one.