Building Skills, Improving Quality

As the first phase of the EHOPHHS (Enhancing HIV/Orphans and Vulnerable Children Programme with Holistic Housing Solutions) project draws to a close, independent reviews of the houses were carried out by the construction team in Phnom Penh, Kandal Province and Prey Veng Province.

During the inspection, sixty houses were selected and inspected over a seven-day period. The inspection team which consisted of Mr. Sok Chandarith, HFHC Construction Team Leader and Kelvin Au, Construction Advisor from Engineers without Borders, drew a list of recommendations and presented these in a meeting to the rest of the construction team for further consideration and to apply lessons learned to all active construction projects of HFHC.

The entire construction team was present during the meeting and had an open and lively discussion to examine ways of improving existing designs and the quality of construction. Members of the construction team were able to share their experiences and views on important construction issues.

To strengthen its initiative of improving construction outputs, HFHC construction team agreed to conduct training with skilled workers in Trapaing Anchang on May 10 and 11. The aim of the training was to teach skilled workers to carry out thorough and effective inspections on Habitat houses. Eight skilled workers were present during the training. Checklists were created to allow skilled workers to inspect the houses in a systematic method.

One of the recommendations of the inspection team was that every house should be reviewed independently. During the training, skilled workers were taught how to identify construction and repair needs and to discuss these with home owners to determine how it may affect their lives. Skilled workers were also taught how to estimate the cost of repair for some of the houses. A practical session was held to guide the workers through the process to ensure they have a clear understanding of the inspection process.

In sum, the team will use the lessons learned from the recent construction activities to further enhance the existing construction techniques and designs employed by HFHC. The items that the team discussed include ways to improve quality of construction, the quality of building materials and ways to strengthen the buildings in case of natural disaster.

As a result, all of the new houses in Phnom Penh and Kandal Province have been thoroughly reviewed. One hundred and eighty houses were built and an additional one hundred and fifty-eight houses were repaired under EHOPHHS project between January 2011 and April 2012.

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