This year I have had the pleasure of going to work in Haiti three times with VHP. On these trips to the school in Duchity I worked on the construction of four classrooms. The first three class rooms we finished in July. I worked with the carpenters to build ventilated louver gable end walls. What a blast when we got to move in the classroom chairs!
But the real thrill for me was the fourth classroom. In June and July we built most of the pieces for a modular building. It is a new construction method that uses recycled carpet to make concrete, carpet and fence wire laminated panels 5 centimeters thick. These are constructed flat on the ground and then let to harden for up to one month.
Then, when I went back in November, we started assembling the pieces. We constructed a simple wooden crane that could lift the concrete pieces into position. The structure will be 25 feet in diameter when finished and have eight storage closets so that the professors can store their teaching materials. This method was written up in Structures magazine, the journal of the American Society of Civil Engineers in November of 2014. When we finish the classroom in February of 2016, we will start building Haitian kitchens and houses. These will be fire and earth quake resistant, be very inexpensive and can be built with materials made mostly in Haiti.
Using this method we can build a safe kitchen for $400 and a small house for $1,200. As we start building them, the GPS locations will be published so you can follow our progress. Please consider donating a kitchen or a small house.
Tom Tailer has served on VHP's board of directors since 2014