A Spotlight on the Montreal Pro Chapter’s VTX Experience
Through the Virtual Talent xChange program, EWB has been able to partner up African based companies who are in need of technical skills to support their projects, with volunteers that have these skills. This time on the spotlight, we have the opportunity to share the experience of the Montreal Pro Chapter with their VTX partner.
Jean-Sebastien Penney, a member of the Montreal Pro Chapter, brought this idea to the rest of the team and began the partnership. Jean is a project manager at SBSA, a consulting company proud of their expertise on structure consultation. The full company joined the partnership, so a team of more than 10 professionals took on the challenge to come.
Their partner was Kwangu Kwako Limited (KKL) located in Nairobi, Kenya. KKL is a company dedicated to making truly affordable housing options for low income families in the area. They are concerned about the fact that over 2 million people in the area live in shackles where fire and safety is a huge issue. So, their mission became to build truly affordable and safe housing for the community.
The reason for this partnership was the fact that KKL needed some consulting support on their two-story house design, and were therefore looking for a structural or civil engineer. They were lucky enough to get a full team of professionals on their side! The partnership was quite challenging, yet fruitful for both parties. The Montreal Pro Chapter worked hard to think of ways to design the model in a price efficient way while training and advising KKL’s in-house engineer, Ms. Betty Maeda.
“ The placement is going well. What excites me the most is having to think outside the box. We are trying to come up with a two-story modular system which is quite challenging given their restrictions. Modular construction has been growing in popularity all over the world, however in almost all cases it requires cranes and large trucks to assemble the components together, which they don’t have. I think so far we’ve been able to present them ideas that they hadn’t thought of before, make them more aware of how different loads such as wind, concentrated roof loads and others will become more important as you get to two stories. Also, being able to size members and give the weights of these to quickly determine maximum member lengths based on how much they can lift by hand, etc.”
The venture leader, Simon Dixon, said:
“ Betty had a great experience with the virtual fellow Jean-Sebastien and it really helped KKL. For instance, Betty has just managed the doubling of our Manufacturing capacity (ordering moulds, equipment facilities, ect) in just four weeks!”
With this example of the VTX experience, we continue to look for companies that seek our support and volunteers that are willing to help. We currently have companies looking for help in coding, software development, UI/UX design, and more. Read about the VTX program and become a part of a rewarding partnership!