Fast + Epp Engineer Contributes to Haiti Rebuilding Effort
The design team meets to discuss material, technology and costing options for the École Lakay trade facility project in a suberb of Port-au-Prince, Haiti.
Just over two years since a massive magnitude 7.0 earthquake hit Haiti, Canadian builders, architects and engineers continue to rebuild from the rubble.
Fast + Epp structural engineer Andrew Chad has been to Haiti twice since then, assisting with the design and construction of a new trade school in one of Port-au-Prince's poorest neighbourhoods.
"It's pretty devastating," Andrew says, noting there's still a significant amount of homelessness because rebuilding efforts are slow. "All the news articles from the two-year anniversary are bang on."
According to Andrew, the main goal of reconstructing the École Lakay trade building is not only to provide opportunities for under-privileged youth to learn plumbing, HVAC, welding, carpentry, masonry, and tailoring professions — but to change the overall building culture in Haiti.
The project was spearheaded by the Canadian Construction Association, which recruited Builders Without Borders, a Canadian not-for-profit, non-governmental organization. MSAADA, a Minneapolis non-profit architectural firm with offices in Haiti, has also been actively involved with the relief efforts.
Hopefully, Andrew says, the school project will educate Haitian construction crews to build using suitable materials and techniques. In many cases, locals are repeating the same unsafe building practices that led to the wreckage of nearly 280,000 residences and commercial buildings, such as weak concrete blocks, smooth reinforcing, and rounded aggregate in concrete.
The École Lakay project is targeting a 2012 completion date. For more information on the rebuilding efforts, visit: http://www.cca-acc.com/en/about-cca/ecole-lakay-project/ecole-lakay-project.