Kuwaiti Ministry of Education
Architect: C7a of Cambridge MA. Marc Rogers/principal.
Contractor: Mohammed Abdul Mohsin Al Kharafi and Sons, Kuwait.
Client: Government of Kuwait.
Old Wood LLC product: 138,000 + square feet of mesquite end grain flooring. 1,242,000 blocks of wood, 2x3”, 2x4”, 3x3”, 3x4” and 4x4”x ½”.
Old Wood LLC received an RFQ for this project in 2015 via email. Not sure it was legitimate, we carefully replied asking some pointed questions about “who”, “what”, “where”, “when”, and “why”. When it became evident that it WAS in fact a legitimate project, and that the quantity of end grain made it probably the largest-ever end grain project in the world, certainly the largest-ever mesquite project, we took it very seriously and within ten days, David and Shiloh got on a plane to Kuwait City where we wrangled our way through three days of serious negotiations in 140 degree heat. It was the hottest June on record in the Gulf. Ultimately, David and MAK’s senior management reached a handshake agreement and we embarked on a three-year long odyssey of international trade, complex documents, and payment schemes we innovated on our own to make the whole thing work. We had help from our governments MEP staff, Mr. Ron Burke, who helped us find a way to get paid outside of non-functional, expensive, and corrupt LC methods via an ‘inspect/pay’ model we created.
Deliveries were via ten, 40’ containers and we shipped wood, coatings, fillers, and adhesives. We hired new 12 persons, built a new packaging facility, and innovated a LOT of new ways to make a LOT of little wood blocks.
We returned six months later to begin training crews from Malaysia, Egypt, Africa, and other Muslim countries. We again suffered through heat that touched 150 degrees in the afternoon sun and at the end of that trip, were locked into the project as everyone had gone home for Ramadan’s start, forgetting us in the bowels of the enormous, heat-sink of a project! The project had a major scaffolding fire along the way and a major roof collapse nearly ruined tens of thousands of feet of installed flooring in the subsequent flooding. There were financial woes for our clients and for us, but in the end, all was well taken care of and we are proud to have worked with them on such a large and significant project. We finished the world’s largest ever project, but along the way we completed half a dozen other substantial projects in Singapore, USA, and even Saudi. We’d love to work for you on your fine project!