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Posts Tagged ‘Haiti’


This is the largest, most successful earthbag project in Haiti so far. They’re doing a great job in an extremely difficult situation.

“At this village in Bongnol, Haiti, Haiti Christian Development Project has completed 10 of 14 planned earthbag houses for earthquake refugees at the cost of $2200 each. Men of the community were hired to do the construction. Occupants will live in the houses at a low and affordable rent. Additional surrounding land has been acquired to extend the project.”

Patti also reports “The HCDP people are just continuing to build earthbag. They love it. Currently planning a little school/ clinic building, and buying more lots for another subdivision. Wow.”

Previous blog post: New Earthbag Houses in Bangnol, Haiti

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Free downloadable plans for the HNC House (Haitian National Congress) are now available at Teach Democracy.org.

Be sure to check out their other amazing resources that will be used to help rebuild the Haitian economy. This is the most promising Haitian reconstruction plan that I’m aware of. Please spread the word.

Previous blog post about the HNC House
HNC House Loft Detail

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Loft detail in the HNC House, Haiti (click to enlarge)

Loft detail in the HNC House, Haiti (click to enlarge)


How do you get the most space for the least amount of money and yet still have a safe, durable, comfortable home? The two primary techniques we settled on in the HNC House design are large lofts and wrap-around porches.

In the drawing above you can see how the lofts are built. The loft joists sit on the earthbag walls at 7’-6” height and are pinned in place with rebar to help stabilize the walls. The loft joists sit directly on the pole lintels above the door and windows. Bags go between the joists and continue up three more courses to bond beam height. This method creates extra space for a more functional loft.

Coming soon: free plans on the Haitian National Congress (HNC) website
Previous post about the HNC House

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HNC Earthbag House (click to enlarge)

HNC Earthbag House (click to enlarge)


“The Haitian National Congress (HNC) asked me to conduct training next May for bright and eager Haitian adult citizens who want to become entrepreneurs, nudge their country more toward functional democracy, learn problem solving skills and learn free enterprise practices that will increase their personal income. These trainees will then return to each of Haiti’s 10 departments to teach others about developing cottage businesses, managing money, establishing new markets, increasing vegetable production and more.

Haiti needs more housing stock. For the individual Haitian, owning a home and building equity in it is a way to better oneself financially. HNC is working with folks who have minimal income. HNC encourages them to build wealth which helps the country build a stronger economy. That leads to more jobs, more children getting educated, better health care, etc. To have value in the housing market, they need a house that is modern (plumbing and electricity), durable (earthquake and hurricane resistant) and of course, affordable. With a modern and durable house as collateral you can borrow money to start a small business. Lack of access to capital is a major barrier in the third world to individuals lifting themselves out of poverty. Earthbag houses are perfect. Hands on learning how to build an earthbag house will be an important part of the HNC training. The trainees will learn, and they will in turn train others in earthbag building. Modifications can be made in the field in response to local feedback.

Dr. Owen Geiger took my basic ideas, enhanced them greatly and developed an attractive plan. It is a durable and leak proof ‘core house’ with a multipurpose room (kitchen and living room), bathroom and bedroom. There is a covered, raised, and railed front porch for Haitian style outdoor living and for social gathering. Also, Dr. Geiger designed the walls a bit higher than 8’, dropped the ceiling slightly and put two ladder accessible lofts above. There are covered porches around the entire house that can serve as outdoor cooking, food preparation and work areas. They can also be easily converted into additional rooms. HNC and I are happy with this earthbag house plan that offers so much flexibility. The owners will have several options for sleeping, storage and work areas. While the disaster resistant core house remains the same, the lofts and porches allow each family to set up the house just the way they like it in order to meet their specific needs.”

HNC Earthbag House floorplan (click to enlarge)

HNC Earthbag House floorplan (click to enlarge)


Specifications: 288 sq. ft. interior, 274 sq. ft. loft, one bedroom, one bath, covered porch area: 903 sq. ft., footprint: 31’x43’

Source: Dr. Jerry Epps Teach Democracy
HNC House website with free plans coming soon

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The earthbag village in Bongnol Haiti continues to grow slowly (10 houses in the past 9 months). Again, thanks to Patti Stouter for her wonderful guidance. Thank you for the inspiration of your website.

The Haiti Christian Development Project has completed 10 of 14 planned earthbag houses for earthquake refugees at the cost of $2200 each. Men of the community were hired to do the construction. Occupants will live in the houses at a low and affordable rent. Additional surrounding land has been acquired to extend the project.

Haiti Christian Development Project
Facebook

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The Love & Haiti Project provides a curriculum for sustainable living solutions to Haiti. In May 2011, we will be certifying Haitian students in Permaculture and training locals in Superadobe while building community structures with this technique around the island.

The Love & Haiti Project’s mission is to provide the people of Haiti a safe, transitional sub-permanent housing alternative, teach a curriculum of skills to empower Haitians to self-sufficiency, and assist with the rebuild of this recently disaster-struck country.

The Film Project
These Two Hands is a documentary on the long term rebuild of Haiti- demonstrating the ability to make a huge impact with grassroots principles. Through consistent filming of the on-site build in Haiti, this will allow for The Love & Haiti Project to create translated training videos whereby the local Haitian citizens will learn how to:
• Build using earth and repurposed rubble
• Waterproof dwellings utilizing effective water catchment and treatment systems
• Grow food of sustenance using natural irrigation and organic permaculture principles
• Teach other members of their community and communities close by how to build using these methodologies

The overall purpose of the film project is to raise awareness of permaculture methodologies, natural building techniques and various practices of sustainable lifestyles.

For more information, please contact us at: film@loveandhaitiproject.org

Source: The Love & Haiti Project

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Konbit Shelter project in Haiti is nearly complete

Konbit Shelter project in Haiti is nearly complete

Here’s an update from the Konbit Shelter group who’s finishing their dome in Haiti. Way to go team! Now they’re calling for volunteers to finish a prototype in Pennsylvania (see details below).

“Moses, Craig, and myself left Haiti about a week and a half ago. The final week there was so frantic and felt so successful that when it was time to go catch our flights, none of us were ready. We were no longer needed essentially, but the dome had become our baby. It was hard to let go. We woke up early as usual on that final day, and drove to the dome to say our farewells.

Ducken had already talked with us the day before and knew everything that he and the others needed to accomplish in our absence, but we tarried at the site a while longer anyway. We took some final photos, looking one more time at the beautiful wind scoops, the stone steps, the intricately carved doors, the windows and awnings. Had we stayed much longer our flight would have left without us, so we shook hands and gave hugs with the people who had influenced us so deeply. Then we drove away. By now Monique and the kids are living in the house and the builders have moved on to their normal occupations.

I have tried to write this blog post every day since leaving. After confronting Miami International Airport and then my home city (San Francisco), I come up short on words to describe the whole experience. There were such beautiful moments; so many incredible people thriving in a culture that welds friend to family. I had arrived with the intention of teaching and sharing my skills, and now return to find that I know nothing about living. I had known nothing about living, but Barrier Jeudi, Dufort, Ducken, Jean-Gardie, Guypson, and everyone on the Konbit Shelter team helped to enlighten me to the vast possibilities in life.
Please share your interest in Konbit Shelter with the world around you so that we may all learn more about what Haiti has to offer.”
—James

Call for volunteers:
From July 6th until August 5th we will be in Braddock, PA completing an earthbag structure begun last summer (current state of the dome). It is a 16ft diameter cement stabilized dome that will be finished with cement plaster. We are looking for labor who are ready learn the process of dome building: prefer at least a two week work commitment. Housing and most meals provided for your hard work.

Contact KT Tierney for details tierney.kt@gmail.com

Konbit Shelter Blog

Earthbag Building project page about their new dome.

Kelly made a new Project page.

[Note: They’re interested in using geopolymer instead of cement for future domes.]

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From Patti Stouter:

The cardiologist with the Haiti Christian Development Project who helped get the Bois Marchand earthbag house built near Gonaives, Haiti sent a link to some photos- 2 are the new earthbag buildings at a small village called Bognol. I helped to design the site and these buildings. Earthbag houses bring great excitement to the community and demands for expansion.

At Bangnol, we went in the two new earthbag houses nearing completion (and enjoyed the 10-15 degree cooler temperatures). These are two-room houses that are bigger, have better ventilation and cooling than our first house. Thus far, they have cost about $1850 each to build, and we feel confident that their final cost projects to be under $2000. At the earlier meeting with the elders, we spent a great deal of time talking about how to determine who would get the houses, and we discussed how these subsidized houses could be built. Within a few days, the houses should be completed. We have been contacted by Habitat for Humanity who are interested in our houses because the cost is only 1/3 of the cost of the houses that they are building in Henche, Haiti.

Bangnol, Haiti site plan by Patti Stouter

Bangnol, Haiti site plan by Patti Stouter

Photo credit: David Smith

Bangnol, Haiti Project page

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The Rasin Foundation Medical Clinic in Haiti is making good progress, as you can see by the following photos.

Rasin Foundation Medical Clinic in Haiti

Rasin Foundation Medical Clinic in Haiti


Rasin Foundation Medical Clinic in Haiti

Rasin Foundation Medical Clinic in Haiti

More info here.

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I’ve pulled together the recent posts on rubble bag houses, expanded and edited the info, and published a new blog post at Mother Earth News. It includes details on how to build and reinforce rubble walls.

Concrete rubble from collapsed buildings is a huge problem in Haiti. It is blocking roads and hindering reconstruction. Instead of spending millions of dollars trucking the rubble away and disposing of it, why not use it to build affordable housing? Utilizing this abundant local resource would cut building costs, save transport, and create jobs by turning a waste product that’s in the way into much needed housing. (One year after the quake, over one million people are still homeless.)

Note: There’s no shortage of rubble in Haiti. This Oxfam site says only 5% of the rubble has been cleared. That’s a lot of free material sitting close to future building sites just waiting to be used.

You can read the article for free at Mother Earth News Blog.

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