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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Third-World Housing Design

H.E.R.O. has spent an immense amount of time over the past two weeks researching the best possible design for the development of our residence for street children and orphans. There exist so many options out there now, including homes built from recycled trash, hay bale homes, homes built out of tires, aerated block homes, just to name a few. After taking a hard look at all of these designs we have found one in particular to be of great interest, and for H.E.R.O., the preferred method of building in Haiti. This is the new future of housing.

EcoShells are dome houses that can be built with building materials found locally in Haiti: cement and rebar. Instead of using concrete blocks, however, an EcoShell uses an airform, basically a large balloon that you blow up to fit the size of the home one wants to build. The rebar is then bent over the dome, and finished off with a thick layer of cement. The result is a dome shaped building with up to 30 times the strength of a traditional concrete block home, that is earthquake, hurricane, and infestation proof.

We have chosen a 40 foot diameter dome for each unit of our development, with the goal of building five 1,250 square foot domes. Once each dome is constructed the interior design of the building will be completed to fit our needs, depending on whether the EcoShell is for the dormitory, multipurpose room, guest house, or clinic. This will allow H.E.R.O. to build a development capable of housing, educating, and rehabilitating 40 orphans.

You can learn more about EcoShells and other types of dome houses at

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