Thursday, April 1, 2010
Haiti Day 3: Design Challenges
Immediately after the earthquake I joined a group of 6 teachers providing first aid just minutes after the disaster. The injuries we saw rivaled and surpassed any one might see in the emergency room. We saw 6 inch long deep gashes on heads, arms that had been almost cut off, and legs disfigured, all from one falling cement block. Now imagine an entire floor of concrete falling on you, survival was not possible.
As a result, many in Haiti are talking about alternative building methods. Yes, if built correctly concrete structures can be earthquake proof, but it is expensive. What about wood buildings? Haiti has been largely deforested and only 20% of the original trees remain. Imported wood as an alternative would also be costly. The question I present to you tonight, then, is what are suggestions for building low-cost earthquake and hurricane proof homes? If the people of Haiti are to rebuild their homes they must be safe, sound, and low-cost. The modern world must have a solution for this country, please help us find it.