Haiti

Discussion in 'Architecture & Engineering' started by Me-Ki-Gal, Feb 26, 2011.

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  1. Me-Ki-Gal Banned Banned

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    I have to come up with an Ideal Design for a prototype house for the Haitian community by Tuesday next week. At least something as a starting point so Me and the group can do take offs for lumber lists , All Part of a package. Which is prat of an action plan to aid in reconstruction efforts for the Haitian community. I need to know the most common size lots in the Port-Au-Prince and surrounding Areas . Lot line requirements if any? Average number of family members or friends that live in a singe unit . Any other Advise welcome as long as you are not here to Trash the Haitian People.

    A lot of talk has been geared towards Truss roof type structures , but I am right now thinking of a ridge beam style house with vaulted 2x10 rafters so as to pick up loft area for additional sleeping quarters . Put the Kitchen towards the back of the building under the loft area ? O.K. sock it to Me
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2011
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  3. spidergoat Valued Senior Member

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    Find out what the native houses and materials are like, and build something that closely matches it, but with the fewest number of pre-fab wall or roof units to make them easy to build.
     
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  5. Me-Ki-Gal Banned Banned

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    This has been explored with the design of a clinic thus far and it incorporated the standard block structures that are common in Haiti with the addition of steel rebar as enforcement to meet common U.S. earthquake standards . Our plan right now is to incorporate beetle kill lumber from the continental divide as to rid forests of infestation then reforest efforts to fallow . Flood Haiti with lumber produces that are non existent in Haiti do to deforesting over a long period of time. The question presented by the Haitian relief group , The"big wigs" is How much lumber will be needed if The Haitian Citizen adopts wood type construction . We have rule of thumb , but that is not accurate enough for solid figures , Design plays a big roll in material quantities
     
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  7. spidergoat Valued Senior Member

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    I imagine it's very hot there and block structures would be cooler.
     
  8. Me-Ki-Gal Banned Banned

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    I think you are probably right Spidy , I don't know about the winter months ? The few wood constructed houses held up better from the earthquake as wood is more flexible than ridged concrete, The problem is 2 fold though as the People are afraid to go into concrete structures even though they can be engineered to withstand earthquakes . Steel structures too ! Tin is a common roofing material in Haiti with out insulation. I would say it would heat up like an oven . Insulation values can be achieved by other methods too. Even though concrete is the material of choice for the Haitian populace and has a certain amount of mass for thermal storage, there concrete is of poor quality and structural integrity is a big concern in its self . Values of insulation in the roof would do a lot to hold in desired indoor air conditions and I imagine the concrete roofs worked well , but yet that is the element that failed in collapsed buildings and is the main concern of the common Haitian on the street. The other benefit of the concrete roofs was they didn't just blow away from hurricanes , because of the weight. It is one of the reasons the Haitians adopted concrete construction in the first place , besides it being a natural resource and having a lack of wood produces
     
  9. chimpkin C'mon, get happy! Registered Senior Member

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    Mr spidey...ever heard of Earthbag construction? I only found out what it was this year and thought: "Wow, this would be great for Haiti! they can just use a mix of dirt and the concrete rubble lying around...bag it up, and make new houses!"

    http://www.earthbagbuilding.com/index.htm

    The issue in Haiti about wood is-no trees. And it's a really, really bad issue. Not just because of the flooding and the horrible loss of life from mudslides, and erosion.

    They have literally whacked almost all of them(95%) down for firewood.I don't know this for a fact, but it's safe to assume almost every bit of lumber has to be imported. I'm not sure exactly what to do about that.

    Maybe stacked tires and rammed earth for support columns (ala Earthships) and the earthbag construction style for non loadbearing walls?

    Plus, weird as it sounds, to make a "lighter" earthbag, you include multiple sealed glass bottles in the bag, meaning you've also got air-insulation...


    Think about the way they built main rooms in mosques in the middle ages with arches and columns. Only the columns would be tires filled with packed dirt, covered in concrete.

    Lots of small, domed rooms. You'd still need rebar for roof's eathbags, though, no way around it. Or poles, but again, there's that lack of wood.

    If I think of any way around that lack of native lumber issue....that's a real bitch kitty, that is.

    And you've got to get the people to either build it right or build only one-story houses.
     
  10. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member

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    I'm not trying toi trash the people who live there but their leaders seem to be the ones who are trying to take advantage of a bad situation and make it worse. As an example the material is sent their free of charge and much of it is donated BUT the leadership wants MONEY to move those materials in trucks and also is selling those materials into the black market for profit. While your endeavors are very good in trying to help, try getting the politicians to stop interfering so that real help can get through to the common people instead of only those in power. Good luck with your work and hope that you do make a difference in helping those who need it most, but be very careful with the leadership.
     
  11. Me-Ki-Gal Banned Banned

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    We are aware of this and from what I understand the port fees are extreme . It is a big hurdle . There are lots of big hurdles before this becomes real , but the objective is clear . To raise a nation off it's knees , Put people back to work and restore mutual respect for common people ,counter act a growing discontent on the world stage by example. Rid the forest of beetle infestation and live happily ever after. Now is that to much to ask for . Yeah but if we shoot for the moon maybe we can hit the bottom of the hill in front of the mountain . Leadership is a problem. I got a saying about the leadership. Over analysis leads to paralysis and that's a fact jack . 2 maybe 3 years and the wood will be garbage , only fit for fulling the flames of fire seasons in the future. Anybody see the fire storm we had in Montana in year 2000 . Tom Brocka ( can't spell , don't hurt me book worms ) reported on it pretty good except his camera crew couldn't get the shot. Couldn't get close enough so my Friend Jimmy got the shot for him, That is beside the point. The point is a found resource will burn worse that 2000 fires. Environmental disaster looming. Feds are not very good at management of our forests
     
  12. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member

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    Over 2 billion dollars has gone into Haiti since the hurricane, do you see any improvements? Where's the money going? Its a nightmare there and not getting any better. Over the last 40 years that nation hasn't improved anything except ways of stealing the help that it receives by those in charge. It must change leadership in order to really progress at all. If the same people are there then any money will just go into their pockets and not much will filter down to help the people. As you have stated the fees are tremendous to get the materials out of the port and where are the materials actually going, that's another problem as well. You have a very hard road ahead and to me until the leadership changes to help its people instead of itself, nothing will ever change. Just throwing good money after bad as they say.
     
  13. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member

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    A good leader would have removed those fees facing those who are bringing in materials to help. But since that isn't being done someone should bring that to the attention of the media and see what they can do. Not Haiti's media but the worlds media to focus how the leadership is failing to help but only hinder progress to its own people.
     
  14. Me-Ki-Gal Banned Banned

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    You are starting to sound like a Basher Thrasher. This is wrong about the money. Only a few million has hit the ground. The rest is in the form of pledges and promises or is held up in bureaucracy. O.K. let that go for now . We all know the problem with leadership. To think we don't have similar problems in the U.S. is naive. Yeah Man . Green wash is real and so is cronyism .
    We are not talking about sending Money to Haiti. We are talking about inundating Haiti with wood. So much wood that there is no place to go with out bumping into wood. I am a speck and there are many other people committed to other elements of the project . My part in the project is to determine how much wood is needed in Haiti to build livable standard dwelling units. To design something that meets basic human habitation conditions.
    By the way from what I understand it was the French that played the biggest roll in deforestation in Haiti long ago with its glutenous need in France for the exotic woods that use to be in Haiti.
    Anyway I need technical data . Common survey type information . Is the Land split up in some kind of unified form ? Is it even platted ? Land ownership is another big problem. From what I understand no one knows for sure who owns land . A cloud on every tittle , Records are non existent or not adequate to determine ownership.
    Help from anybody that knows ?
     
  15. Me-Ki-Gal Banned Banned

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    Now this is a great Idea and I commend you on this thought. I had heard that shipments to Haiti have been held up at the docks because the port fees could not be payed . To high . Media attention would be great. World wide attention . Spread the word people . Wood for Haiti . Wood for the common people of Haiti . I am sorry Cosmic Grand-pa . I know you are closer to the situation Living in Florida and all . I also know you have a good size Haitian Nationals Population in Florida . I understand your position. The ability of Haiti to lift out of poverty has looked imposable by many actions by leadership . Even me here in Montana can see that . I have a task to perform . That is what I will do . The Task I have been given I will do . The rest is in others hands . Except I do get to brain storm Ideas for some reason. I think the group Likes Me .
     
  16. chimpkin C'mon, get happy! Registered Senior Member

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    Heh, maybe should send a boatload of guns/ammo instead of aid money...
     
  17. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member

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    Maybe we should just bring world wide attention to the problems in Haiti by the media as I suggested, that way they look like very bad people and they don't want to be seen like that. But so far the media has not shown the world what is really going on in Haiti for I believe that those leaders there are paying off the media, one way or another, to keep them out of the publics view because there's been no exposure to this as yet anywhere. The pen is mightier than the sword or in this care the media would be mightier than the bullet.
     
  18. Me-Ki-Gal Banned Banned

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    I heard today that the President that was elected was kicked out at the request of Hillary Clinton and a new election is going to happen. The peoples favorite is a Folk Sing national and it not Wycliff , but some one else.
    I have heard the U.N. has the power in Haiti ? but the people don't trust the U.N.
    We decided we don't have enough information yet . Need to know how the Haitian lives? Communal type ? Shared cooking space ? The information I got from the group today is that 7 people to every 400 sq. ft. of living space is the average? What does that mean . For sleeping ? Do people live out side unless they need cover from rain . The normal day of the Haitian , before the earthquake . Grouped by Families ? Shot gun housing ?
    I also heard the port Tariffs can be waved if you get to the right person ? So who controls the port ? Is the corruption from government officials? Organized Crime or what ? Answers would be good . Anybody know any Haitian people they can talk to?
     
  19. Me-Ki-Gal Banned Banned

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    O.K. a lot has happened since I have posted here. You all have not been much help Lazy butts . We made our first contacts with Haitian Nationals . They are sending letters to us with there signatures stating needs in shelter. Neighborhood by neighborhood and work force communities . Time for Mikey to get an education in daily activity of Haitians for a good builder Listens to the needs of there customer . Not like some Architects that dream up there own self centered Ideas of Gander. Anyway enough bad mouthing people that don't get there hands dirty .
    The biggest building project deal I have ever estimated right before your eyes . 1 billion dollars worth is the ball park estimate and it might be the thing that binds a community around a common goal for the benefit of a nation. You all are lucky enough to be part of it by association with Mekigal. My friends on SF . We are going to change the world my friends whether you support Me or not. Finger up if you are not with Me and Thumb up to you that are . Christ lives and his name is NOT Jesus
     
  20. chimpkin C'mon, get happy! Registered Senior Member

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    I imagine you'd want to build a kitchen with walls that could be opened up in the summer and closed up in the winter somehow-like some sort of sliding panels?

    Or there's an old design that was big in frontier Texas-called the Dogrun cabin: In the most basic version, the kitchen's one room, the living area's another, and they're connected by a breezeway. Of course you can make it more elaborate than that.

    http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/cfd01

    At any rate, most of the year, getting rid of cooking heat is going to be an issue with the kitchen, so you want to build it away from the rest of the house as much as possible, and with a lot of ventilation.

    And while you are at it, how about building in a solar cooker with each house? Hatians have serious problems getting enough cooking fuel, right?

    www.solarcooking.org/plans/

    (I want one of those now!)

    It seems like you could use thin sheet aluminum...or even aluminum cans cut into squares and laid inside-facing-out...and note the tire cooker on the page...

    You should design the roof to collect rainwater and run it into a solar still right by the kitchen if you can afford to do so. Then the house will make clean drinking water for the people in it.

    I still like the Earthbag design I linked above, because you can incorporate anything you have lying around into the earthbags-old glass bottles, new plastic bottles filled with dirt, broken-up concrete, non-biodegradable trash...you can use tires filled with rammed earth for structural supports too.

    Basically, whatever you do, build with trash as much as possible, because there's lots of it, and it's either cheap or free. Use passive thermal mass, because that way, you've got a house that's going to be cool and pleasant without electricity.

    An idea I had for my own house? niches in the walls lined with mirror fragments, made to take a candle...assuming these are poor, non-electrified people...

    I'm trying to think of a way of dealing with poop that beats an outhouse/latrine pit. Don't think I can. Composting allows the spread of pathogens through flies as well or better.

    You could build another solar cooker to cook the poop and sterilize it, I suppose, but I doubt they will want to go through the trouble.
     
  21. Me-Ki-Gal Banned Banned

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    I never heard of a solar still for water . Got to check that out good . We have already planned for water collection systems .
    Good stuff to take in consideration Chim
    Debris housing I am not totally sold on . I don't think here in Missoula you could get it past the building department and with out the stamp of approved from a certified engineer that I personally trust , I can't go down that road . Intriguing as hell though and I have given dirt houses consideration . Cave housing too. Yeah Haiti has a lot of hill side and hill side design has not been accounted for yet in any design we have proposed . Good thing I see topography in my sleep . My personal dream house would be part buried in a hillside and then I would have one section of it be 6 big rocks . One room and maybe a little spill out into another room would be 6 rocks with a southern exposure or it could be southern exposure but with sky lights to heat the mass of big rocks but only when the sun is low in the horizon during winter months. There has been some experimental housing utilizing the technology by some of my ex competitors ( Ex because I quit and now I am thinking of being a dick for it pays better to be a dick, my new found secret of life, Just kidding , I wish I had free will and I could be a dick and get the money . I don't why I can't do that ? shit ) Sorry venting a little
    I think we got wood . Hey good building product . D.N.R.C is extremely excited because by doing science they have determined the beetle killed trees on federal land are devastating the forest . An Ecological disaster sitting on a shelf ready to explode and if the mythological " global warming " continues ( THe new Religion ) fire will sweep the crown of the Continent and if we surpress the fire then the rot of biomass will release green house gases and make more " Global Warming "
    Anyway thanks for your insight . Hey bail house seem to be a similar concept to the bag debris house. I am not sure of how they pass earthquake standards . Hay bail is really just a timber frame with hey fill instead of 2x wall construction .
     
  22. Cifo Day destroys the night, Registered Senior Member

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    So Me-Ki-Gal, what did the design turn out to be?
     
  23. Me-Ki-Gal Banned Banned

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    There are three designs so far and they are all shot gun style housing . I don't know how conducive they are to Haitian life style . We have forward them to several communities in Haiti and are some what waiting for more feed back from communities in Port-Au Prince and surrounding areas . One has an out door Kitchen and the other 2 have rough in future Kitchens and indoor bathrooms with rough in plumbing ready for hook up to septic or city services . Infrastructure is a big problem and there is a firm hot and heavy on this issue . We have tried unsuccessfully to coordinate with the firm. So far they are taking a silo position. Maybe when they see we have more clout than they think they will respond to our inquiries.
    There is an issue for the Haitians have stated 5 rooms and all our plans have 3 rooms . We will have to remedy this at some point . I all so don't think the people want to live in the same three houses . That is a ridiculous thought . Cutting through red tape is hard though and red tape is getting thicker . Down to the last detail of implementation . No shooting from the hip aloud even if the monster is right on top of us.
    The Idea is x plans require x amount of lumber . Ship this amount of lumber . X amount of lumber cost x amount . That is not my Idea of how the project should go , but parameters are set ridged when you talk about billions of dollars . We have some issues to consider . We are planning to send 2x4 material based on being able to complete all housing needs with this dimensions . I think this is a mistake in thinking . Haiti has access to 2x4 from the Dominican Republic. Probably not enough , yet is there economy dependent on what they provide in the way of 2x4 and if we flood the market with 2x4 devaluing there market will we create economic havoc. Something to consider . The local Doctors took a hit already economically speaking with all the N.G.O.s swarming the Island. If we are not set in designs and send other dimensions even to accommodate post and beam type construction, vaulted ceilings and more diversity capabilities of construction because of various sizes of lumber for bigger spans and what have you . Especially when it comes to the much treasured public spaces that seem to be more conducive to Haitian life style . I don't know yet and right now I am not going to presume anything . The plan is to do a fact finding trip to see if our observations are truly inline with Haitian needs and wants . Reality Check !!! I applied for my pass - port yesterday as it is looking more likely that I may be going to Haiti . Shit ! Oh well . got to do what I do . I tell you this is my last building project and then it is strictly my Musicianship after this . I hope .
     
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