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73 comments

Lack of Building Codes Cited as Major Factor in Haiti Disaster

Posted January 14, 2010 11:38 AM by Sharkles

All eyes are on Haiti after a tumultuous, 7.0-magnitude earthquake destroyed much of the capital city of Port-au-Prince this week. Although the world has seen similar disasters in the last decade, experience does little to lessen the pain of such an event. Unfortunately, reports are beginning to indicate that the extent of the damage in Haiti could have been less had proper engineering measures been in place.

A Warning Unheeded

Last month, a study by the Organization of American States (OAS) concluded that the conditions of most buildings in Haiti were unlikely to survive any natural disasters - even a 2.0-magnitude earthquake. Specifically, the OAS warned about structures built on sloped land and without satisfactory foundations, buildings made with improper building techniques, and structures built with insufficient amounts of necessary building materials such as steel.

The Price of Poverty

One of the largest factors behind the poor building conditions is Haiti's overwhelming poverty. In developing countries, there is little money to be spent on building and construction. In these places, construction standards and building codes also tend to be more lax than in larger, developed nations.

In fact, Haiti (and much of the Caribbean, really) lacks a national set of building codes. Some construction companies voluntarily work with an existing code, such as the French or Canadian standards or the International Building Code, but compliance is not enforced.

This lack of building standards was also cited as a reason for the loss of lives, goods, and land in Eastern Haiti during 2004. Since then, the OAS has warned that building codes in Haiti need to be a priority. As Cletus Springer, director of the Department of Sustainable Development at OAS explained, "So now we need to work with the Haitian authorities to develop a building code that is suited to Haiti and its peculiar conditions… (but) because of the poverty levels, not everybody's going to be able to build to the exacting standards that a building code would require."

How You Can Help

This morning, reports estimated that over 3 million Haitians have been affected by the earthquake thus far. More information on the tragedy continues to come to light as the dust literally settles. For those CR4ers who would like to help Haiti, there are numerous ways to be involved. Below are a few ways to contribute financially:

The Disasters Emergency Committee in the UK is taking donations for Haiti via phone, website, or post. Click here for more information.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is also taking donations on their website.

The American Red Cross is also allowing users to donate by texting "Haiti" (90999); each text represents a $10 donation that will be charged to your cellphone bill.

Help Haiti Now is a non-profit organization that aims to "provide food, water, medical supplies, housing assistance, and financial assistance to families, schools and churches."

What's Next for Haiti?

There will probably be many more ways to be involved, too, even if you cannot contribute financially. Keeping Haiti in your thoughts, and understanding the factors behind such a disaster, helps also. As engineers, what measures or actions would you like to see go into the reconstruction of Haiti?

Resources:

http://www.oas.org/dsd/Nat-Dis-Proj/HBSD/Background.htm

http://www.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/americas/01/13/haiti.construction/index.html

http://www.slate.com/id/2241439/

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#1

Re: Lack of Building Codes Cited as Major Factor in Haiti Disaster

01/14/2010 12:30 PM

Lack of Building Codes Cited as Major Factor in Haiti Disaster

With a 7.0 earthquake, and with Haiti being basically a third world country,.......GUMP....Your a god dam genius.

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#2
In reply to #1

Re: Lack of Building Codes Cited as Major Factor in Haiti Disaster

01/14/2010 12:35 PM

>>Your a god dam genius.

At least she has managed to grasp the concept of contractions.

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#3
In reply to #1

Re: Lack of Building Codes Cited as Major Factor in Haiti Disaster

01/14/2010 12:47 PM

Thanks so much for your thoughtful comment.

Since this is an engineering website, it would be ridiculous for us not to address this issue. It's not as though I came up with this conclusion on my own, I am reporting the facts for CR4 users. For engineers, I'd think this would rank high on a scale of importance and interest.

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#6
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Re: Lack of Building Codes Cited as Major Factor in Haiti Disaster

01/14/2010 4:09 PM

As far as buildings go, the Haitians are at a real disadvantage, since they have destroyed all their forests and don't have wood to build with.

While it is true that wood will burn, it does have some flexibility that piles of bricks, or mud and mortar do not.

Hardly half the nation can read, and voodoo is the main religion.

Even without the complications of this sort of terrible natural disaster its one sad nation.

In the past I've suggested it become a nuclear waste dump as a source of income, but its proved now not even suited for that.

Jared Diamond said in his book Collapse the Island of Hispanole, challenged his love of Democracy since without the influence of a corrupt and vicious semi dictator, the entire island would have been overrun by Haitians.

(Friend of mine told me a friend of his bought land there cheap, but can't go there since he'd be kidnapped for ransom.)

This event is likely to turn out as one of the best things to ever happen in that Godforsaken place that makes Somalia look like a better tourist destination.

To rebuild and help, just buy up rebar, and send it to Haiti.

Then lobby for getting half to two thirds of its population off the island, so as to let it heal from every assault on the environment ignorant man can cause.

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#18
In reply to #6

Re: Lack of Building Codes Cited as Major Factor in Haiti Disaster

01/15/2010 5:53 AM

This comment is really mean-spirited and unnecessary. And some of the points that you make show your ignorance more than anything else.

First of all what does their religion have to do with it? Is Voodoo any worse than believing in an immaculate conception?

The plight of the Haitian people goes back to the overthrow of the French by the enslaved Africans that had been brought over. When the French were overthrown the other European nations worried that the slaves in the territories that they owned would choose a similar path. So, the Europeans collectively placed an embargo on Haiti that kept it as an impoverished nation for decades. In the 1970's and 80's the US govt. supported the regime of Duvalier who is estimated to have massacred 30,000 Haitians. In 1986, the US arranged for his exile in France so that he would not have to pay for his crimes. The US is complicit in the abject poverty of Haiti and that is at least part of why the building standards are so low.

This earthquake was larger than the eartquake that caused all of the damage in Northridge in 1994. I don't suppose you were making disparaging remarks about America when that happened?

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#27
In reply to #18

Re: Lack of Building Codes Cited as Major Factor in Haiti Disaster

01/15/2010 10:57 AM

This comment is really mean-spirited and unnecessary

How completely out of touch, without cerebral stimulation one must be to contemplate such drivel...

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#31
In reply to #18

Re: Lack of Building Codes Cited as Major Factor in Haiti Disaster

01/15/2010 12:22 PM

First of all what does their religion have to do with it? Is Voodoo any worse than believing in an immaculate conception?

Actual Religion should be kept out of it. And only have the smaller churches of all faiths who's congregations want to help and do so directly.

The larger central religions....well does the Spanish Inquistion ring a bell.

p911

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#9
In reply to #3

Re: Lack of Building Codes Cited as Major Factor in Haiti Disaster

01/14/2010 10:28 PM

what, I shot the messenger, thats cuz your didn't have on your running shoes.........I know your are you reporting the facts.

For engineers, I'd think this would rank high on a scale of importance and interest.

Involved in what way, donated expertise for rebuilding or to change building/zoning codes which would mean Engineers getting involved in politics not in government, but in foreign governments as well as economics, everbody has a cause, but this would sound like lifetime endeavor.

p911

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#4

Re: Lack of Building Codes Cited as Major Factor in Haiti Disaster

01/14/2010 1:30 PM

After seeing some of the pictures, their cities look more like shanty towns with huts made out of sticks and mud. I'm surprised they stood up before the quake.

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#5

Re: Lack of Building Codes Cited as Major Factor in Haiti Disaster

01/14/2010 2:24 PM

This incident is similar to the San Francisco earthquate of 1906.

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#7

Re: Lack of Building Codes Cited as Major Factor in Haiti Disaster

01/14/2010 5:23 PM

Just reading about the devastation this earthquake has caused is very saddening. Them describing how the living were sleeping amongst the dead in the hospital made me feel so badly. I am not sure what an engineer could do to save any city from a 7.0-magnitude earthquake (I am not a building expert). There are precautions, yes... but 7.0 is such a high magnitude that would be hard to keep anything standing, it would seem. All it would take in a city like New York City is one building to fall onto another to make for damage and destruction. Devastating. Thank you for writing about this, it will likely pull the heartstrings of many.

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#8
In reply to #7

Re: Lack of Building Codes Cited as Major Factor in Haiti Disaster

01/14/2010 9:58 PM

This long sad history (indictment) is enough to make you weep, especially when, after reading it all, you get to this last sentence -

On January 12, 2010, Haiti suffered a devastating earthquake, with a death toll in the tens of thousands (some reports suggests it may be over 100,000). [32]

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#10
In reply to #8

Re: Lack of Building Codes Cited as Major Factor in Haiti Disaster

01/14/2010 10:33 PM

That toll will rise, the infrastructure in Haiti is poor at best.

Its good to see the governments active in sending aid, I hope it gets to the people in need, and not the people with greed.

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#13
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Re: Lack of Building Codes Cited as Major Factor in Haiti Disaster

01/15/2010 12:35 AM

Thanks Guest, I read the whole thing. Blot on France and the US politics and policies.

Sad as it is this disaster is ironically probably the best thing that could happen, since otherwise incremental day in and day out individual disasters went on, and were assured to go on.

What good is a building code if you can't read?

What good is a building code if the best materials to build with simply are not available?

Heard on the TV a Haitian diplomat say, when asked, if the money should be given to the Haitian government, and he said no, give it to an NGO.

Of course giving it to the UN is even suspect as any sort of realistic help, since they are incapable of managing much of the resources they have for more than their own pleasures these days, and come begging when their brave die smothered, or slaughtered.

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#16
In reply to #13

Re: Lack of Building Codes Cited as Major Factor in Haiti Disaster

01/15/2010 12:49 AM

Yes indeed a long and sad history that includes all the worst of colonial style behaviour. Having said that it has been a republic for many years now and cannot use colonial history as an excuse forever, but on a personal basis one has to feel for these poor people and to help where and how one can. (Guest #8)

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#11

Re: Lack of Building Codes Cited as Major Factor in Haiti Disaster

01/14/2010 10:42 PM

IMHO, the best thing anyone can do for them is to pray deeply. Any funds or materials sent to them would be akin to pouring them down a rat hole. As sad as it sounds, between their obvious incompetence in construction and the level of autocracy and corruption (probably very generous descriptions) in their government, any of those contributions would be wasted badly. Aside from the loss of life and injuries, it's probably a blessing that this event was so devastating because, maybe now, some serious effort will be exerted toward rebuilding in a responsible manner, rather than trying to resurrect some partially-damaged buildings.

BTW, I am certainly not implying that they had this coming on account of any of the negative aspects of their culture there.

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#12
In reply to #11

Re: Lack of Building Codes Cited as Major Factor in Haiti Disaster

01/14/2010 11:39 PM

Americans have a hard time with holding back help to people in need. And when I say Americans, I don't necessarily mean the government.

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#14

Re: Lack of Building Codes Cited as Major Factor in Haiti Disaster

01/15/2010 12:46 AM

"One of the largest factors behind the poor building conditions is Haiti's overwhelming poverty". This observation need not necessarily be true. When a M 6.4quake similar during September 29, 1993, Killari, Maharashtra Central India, an expert's committee refer http://www.nicee.org/eqe-iitk/uploads/EQR_Killari.pdf?PHPSESSID=c9ce7e350fc02718b10db3880c397b75 came to the following conclusions. "A number of dwellings in the affected villages had timber columns connected together with transverse and longitudinal beams. The roof planks in these houses were supported by the timber beams and columns rather than the rubble masonry walls. When securely anchored to the floor and to the roof beams, the posts tended to hold up the roof and prevent the inward collapse of the walls, thereby saving the inhabitants. Some of the poorest people in the villages lived in thatch-type houses consisting of wooden vertical posts and rafters connected with coir rope ties. Roofs are thatch, and thatch panels or a series of small stocks or slit bamboo woven together form the walls. Mud-plaster provided a wall finish in some of these pictures. These houses performed extremely well with only minor cracks in the mud-plaster walls." It is more suitable to follow time tested ancient native wisdom constructing very inexpensive dwelling rather than going after expensive and unaffordable quake proof house design in poor third world regions.

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#15

Re: Lack of Building Codes Cited as Major Factor in Haiti Disaster

01/15/2010 12:46 AM

Lots of comments. I'm not going to qualify any of them except to say that some were decent and some were terrible responses to a people in need.

I have just written a note to a discussion that had been on going entitled retired engineers, hoping that I could chase up some of these retired folks into volunteering to develop a Haitian Volunteer engineering and construction group. Perhaps it would start off with finding out how we could develop and put together what they need to their codes and construction practices, and maybe we could just do some good for a change instead of just talking about it.

Any volunteers want to join?

Tom

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#17

Re: Lack of Building Codes Cited as Major Factor in Haiti Disaster

01/15/2010 2:16 AM

Without a critical thought towards these poor people this situation is an excellent opportunity for the UN to exercise it's humanitarian developmental protocols and put them in action, a trial by fire.

Oops! these people need help and I hope they'll except it an move on.

It is a welfare state in the making for 2-3 generations minimum during a time when education and building trades OJT will not lack for participants. We have have millions of empty shelters we can put our people to work dismantling them for shipment and re-erection there.

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#19

Re: Lack of Building Codes Cited as Major Factor in Haiti Disaster

01/15/2010 6:25 AM

My problem with donating money through the Red Cross is that it won't necessarily be used for what they are collecting it for! I'm still mad at them over the 911 fiasco where they came out and said, "If you want to donate money for the 911 victims you can send it to them in care of us. We'll be the conduit to collect and funnel the money to the 911 victims fund since we have the collection infrastructure in place already." Millions of dollars poured in. The next thing you know they're keeping the money. They gave some of it to the 911 fund but not all of it. I was livid! The Red Cross won't get another dime out of me! I'll give through my church as I would recommend anyone else to do as well!

The loss of life is sad but I don't think REQUIRING them to meet building code standards is the answer. That's like telling a poor homeless person not to eat that slice of pizza out of the garbage, that to ensure their good health they should walk down the street and eat a quality T-Bone steak at a high end restaurant. Hello? Are you going to pay for the meal? And after that meal what about the next? People have to deal with their situations where they are. If they're poor they have to deal with it. I grew up poor in Michigan and did everything from hunt for golf balls in the corn field next to the golf course (Sold them for 25 cents apiece to the golfers at the #2 tee off) to making Maple Syrup in the spring. We heated with wood because it was the one fuel we could acquire for free off the property. For someone to have come in and told my parents that our house or heating methods were not up to code would have been rediculous. My parents couldn't have changed things even if they had wanted to. But I turned out O.K. as did all of my brothers and sisters. We have a true appreciation for the value of a dollar and we're all hard workers. Had our house burned down while we were growing up and we all died that would have been sad but I think I would rather have lived with that possibility than having the government protect us from ourselves by forcing us to meet some "standard". O.K. I've digressed and I'm probably not making much sense anymore. I'll pray for the Haitians and continue to send money through my church. God Bless.

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#30
In reply to #19

Re: Lack of Building Codes Cited as Major Factor in Haiti Disaster

01/15/2010 12:15 PM

My problem with donating money through the Red Cross is that it won't necessarily be used for what they are collecting it for!

I was steamed at the also.

I'll give through my church as I would recommend anyone else to do as well!

Yes give it to your own church (Money/Supplies), where they would set it up directly and send it directly to the ones in need, with people from its own congregations, and not the churches who has it headquarters centrally located for the money to pass through first.

p911

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#20

Re: Lack of Building Codes Cited as Major Factor in Haiti Disaster

01/15/2010 7:31 AM

Ummm, as of today 1.14.10 - a 15,000LB load of relief supplies was looted just outside the airport....

Unrelated story, but...It's already started...http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,1953379_1953494_1953819,00.html?cnn=yes&hpt=T2

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#21

Re: Lack of Building Codes Cited as Major Factor in Haiti Disaster

01/15/2010 8:51 AM

This morning a friend sent along an article from Wired showing before and after pictures of the damage in Haiti. Heartbreaking.

Click here to go to the article.

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#22

Re: Lack of Building Codes Cited as Major Factor in Haiti Disaster

01/15/2010 9:09 AM

Seems to me that the biggest issue here is the future building code for this island and that it isn't plausible in the near term future....so another solution needs to be implemented ASAP because lives are at stake......so enough of the bickering that I've seen in the Blog. Now is a time for immediate ACTION, so get off your horse's ass and do something other than flapping your lips swearing at the "others" here!!!!!!

May I suggest a solution that kills two birds with one stone? Maybe a wrong choice or words, but......

Throughout the world we have a huge surplus of steel shipping containers that are just sitting idle and rusting away just because it's cheaper to manufacturer news ones that to ship them back to China or wherever. And these things are build damn solid as the Rock of Gibraltar!

Also, in Haiti there is huge immediate demand for shelter of any kind, be it temporary or permanent.

I propose to the nations of the world to send as many unused, empty and surplus steel shipping containers to that sad sad island ASAP via the same or subsequent cargo ships sailing back home on the flip-flops, because before you know it, we will be into the Hurricane season! And that is another disaster in the making.......cholera, etc will become rampant!!!!!

The people of Haiti need to get out of the elements ASAP and what better way to do that? Use the containers because they're nearly indestructible, AND WEATHERTIGHT. All that needs to be done is provide adequate drainage under and around them, as well as provide a relatively inexpensive concrete anchoring slab to designed to resist Hurricane force winds!

Added my $2.00 USD worth! Hope someone mentions my idea to the Prez of the USA, or the head of the UN, the Red Cross, or CARE, or who ever!!!!! OFF YOUR BUTTS ENGINEERS OF THE WORLD AND WRITE TO YOUR CONGRESSMAN OR THE PREZ!! YOU CAN EVEN USE MY NAME IN ANY CORRESPONDANCE or TELCONS TO ELECTED OFFICIALS!!! I KNOW I'M TAKING A CHANCE WITH IDENTITY THEFTS ETC HERE, BUT THIS IS TOO GOD DAMN IMPORTANT, SO I'M STICKING OUT MY NECK!!!!!

====Signed,

M. N. Mirando, LPE

aka CaptainMoosie

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#25
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Re: Lack of Building Codes Cited as Major Factor in Haiti Disaster

01/15/2010 10:13 AM

Shipping containers are a great idea. They can be stacked and secured together into small apartment complexes. You could also use old enclosed semi trailers. They could be towed into place and dropped. No cranes needed to off load and position them. Around here lots of "river rats" use old school buses for campers. Very cheap in comparison to factory campers or travel trailers. Bonus is they have doors and windows for light and ventilation. They do not have to have motors that work. They are pre-wired with 12V lights on the interior. These are a very practical solution.

Of course, had the Katrina FEMA trailers not been gutted by the previous tenants they could have been loaned out.

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#29
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Re: Lack of Building Codes Cited as Major Factor in Haiti Disaster

01/15/2010 11:16 AM

At this juncture the Haitians would be grateful for gutted FEMA campers

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#28
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Re: Lack of Building Codes Cited as Major Factor in Haiti Disaster

01/15/2010 11:11 AM

Good idea. One thought I had to improve survivability for the hurricane season. Raise the containers at least 12 feet up on concrete piers to get them to a level where they would have a chance to overcome storm surge.

A low lying town I used to live in on the Chesapeake bay mandated this type of construction on new and rebuilt homes after Hurricane Isabel. The flooding during last fall's noreaster' did minimal damage to these raised structures.

Hooker

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#32
In reply to #22

Re: Lack of Building Codes Cited as Major Factor in Haiti Disaster

01/15/2010 12:34 PM

M. N. Mirando, LPE aka CaptainMoosie

Seems to me that the biggest issue here is the future building code for this island and that it isn't plausible in the near term future....so another solution needs to be implemented ASAP because lives are at stake......so enough of the bickering that I've seen in the Blog. Now is a time for immediate ACTION, so get off your horse's ass and do something other than flapping your lips swearing at the "others" here!!!!!!

Those people of which you are cursing at is also yourself. As I'll explain below.

Your idea of shipping container idea has merit. as long as they don't became death traps due to heat and unventilated. And now that you put that idea on the table.............now what.....

Fresh potable water, Sanitation issues and food probally are the biggest problems,

Added my $2.00 USD worth! Hope someone mentions my idea to the Prez of the USA, or the head of the UN, the Red Cross, or CARE, or who ever!!!!! OFF YOUR BUTTS ENGINEERS OF THE WORLD AND WRITE TO YOUR CONGRESSMAN OR THE PREZ!! YOU CAN EVEN USE MY NAME IN ANY CORRESPONDANCE or TELCONS TO ELECTED OFFICIALS!!! I KNOW I'M TAKING A CHANCE WITH IDENTITY THEFTS ETC HERE, BUT THIS IS TOO GOD DAMN IMPORTANT, SO I'M STICKING OUT MY NECK!!!!!

oh I see, you did your part, and now you just handed it off for someone else to actually get off their butt to actually do it..........feel better.

Symbolism and substance, your post is Symbolism.

p911

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#38
In reply to #32

Re: Lack of Building Codes Cited as Major Factor in Haiti Disaster

01/15/2010 2:56 PM

Dear P911:

I've already gotten off my proverbial ass and written emails to Prez Obama and the two NYS Senators........all before you commented negatively on my proposal in the Blog. Oppsss, I guess I didn't contact the several House of Representatives from New York yet, but hey, I had to go cross river for Outpatient Surgery on my foot @ 1000 hours.

So, did you do anything worthwhile today other than criticize others in here?

Granted, without any modifications to the shipping containers the would become death traps....my foo-pah for not mentioning it herein, but any young brainiac engineer out in the field will know enough to have the containers mod'ed before their occupation. A BIG DUH!!!!!

Just to let you know....the use of shipping containers is nothing new. In fact, our troops over in Iraq and Afghanistan use the very same containers, albeit with minor modifications, for living quarters and storage facilities. How's them apples?

Yes. providing proper and timely water and sanitation for the masses on Haiti is extremely important, and rank equally in my mind up there with providing proper shelter. This is where the US Army and Reserves can step in with all of their mobile water and wastewater treatment systems that are sitting in storage facilities across the nation (and the world).....they should be used and only deployed with our troops. No other nation on this planet can match these resources.

I only brought up the shelter idea this morning. If I had had the time this morning I would have wrote some suggestions regarding water and wastewater facilities....those disciplines are, after all, what I partially do for a living.......

Being cynical has it's uses, but doesn't solve sh*t as far as I'm concerned. We can stand here throwing barbs back and for that each other, but that too doesn't solve anything....a big ZIP. And as far as me signing my name to the posting, I guess I did so to prove a point, plus I'm proud on my suggestion while was aimed squarely at solving things and not sitting back like an Armchair General bitching about Building Codes. That franking is a dead issue right now and a lot of water under the bridge, and no amount of bitching at this stage is going to solve things. It's also my own freaking business too signing my name. I don't see anyone else providing theirs, but that is a personal issue and well as a security issue.

don't rain on my day, okay? I call it the way I see it, nothing less.......Please have a great sunny day!

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#40
In reply to #38

Re: Lack of Building Codes Cited as Major Factor in Haiti Disaster

01/15/2010 3:11 PM

Feel better now

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#42
In reply to #40

Re: Lack of Building Codes Cited as Major Factor in Haiti Disaster

01/15/2010 3:35 PM
ran out of time,

point is, the problem is deep, heavily embedded and doing kneejerk reaction may be in vain.

One can throw resources at the problem for the sake of "we have to do something NOW"

When 90% of it is wasted or diverted to other needs.

Help, thats great. But as the saying goes, (Give a man a fish he'll eat for a day, Teach him to fish he'll eat for a lifetime.)

To fix the problem, define the problem. yes in the mean time. shelter, feed and protect the victims.

I do not always feel the government can do it all the time, efficiently anyways, unless you get The National Guard or the military involved or Walmart (for Logistical reasons) Katrina comes to mind for immediate response for fresh water.

If it makes you feel better by writing your congressman on your opinion, go nuts thats your right.

p911

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#57
In reply to #22

Re: Lack of Building Codes Cited as Major Factor in Haiti Disaster

01/16/2010 2:53 AM

Good idea CaptMoosie, Here some links that prove the points on container housing.

Shipping Container Housing Guide.

Shipping container subway shop.

Clemson faculty explores shipping containers into emergency shelters

Shipping container houses

ISBU shipping container architecture

ISBU House plans and deaign \

ISBU Bob Vila

ContainerBay

ISBU is the place that shows ISBU's can and do exceeds most if not all building codes. With the GreenCube Approval report.

This is a quick technology that can be put work as quick or quicker than rebuilding the way it was. Most if not all shipping containers are made from Cor-Ten Steel it is a "weathering steel" once the rust film forms the rate of rusting from then on is very slow.

This is just the start of info on the web about Inter-Modal Building Units, or Container housing, or shipping container homes....

Charles

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#59
In reply to #57

Re: Lack of Building Codes Cited as Major Factor in Haiti Disaster

01/16/2010 9:18 AM

GA for MetalSmiths!

Wowsers, that's a lot if links to mull through........glad my idea was liked by a few peeps in here!!!! .............all that has to be done to the damn things other than tie-downs and anchorage is cut open the roof in a few places and install some solar PV-powered attic exhaust fans. Possibly some of the USA-based manufacturer's of those attic exhaust fans would like to donate a couple thousand units????? You could always install light colored tarps over the containers to reduce the sun's effect, but somehow I don't think that those tarps would hold up to Hurricane or tropical storm force winds, so it's back to installation of Solar Attic exhaust fans on the roofs, eh???!!!

Also, need to cut-out a few window openings and install Mosquito netting....ditto at the doors. I've never been to Haiti, although I've been to the Island of Grenada back in '83 during "Operation Urgent Fury" where prior to the invasion we received a whole host if immunizations and daily-daily pills, so based on very similar eco conditions and climate, etc. I would suspect that the rampant spread of malaria and other water-borne diseases has got to be a huge medical & health consideration very soon, especially as we enter into the spring-time monsoon season there.

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#61
In reply to #59

Re: Lack of Building Codes Cited as Major Factor in Haiti Disaster

01/16/2010 3:21 PM

Don't put too many holes in them or they could be a hazard to navigation after the next big blow

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#23

Re: Lack of Building Codes Cited as Major Factor in Haiti Disaster

01/15/2010 9:38 AM

I know how cynical this sounds, but...

Building codes won't mean a hill of beans in a country where basic governmental ethics don't exist. The codes will provide nothing but another means for the rulers to skim graft for letting "developers" bypass the rules and put people at risk.

The scenario plays over and over and over all around the world. I've seen it time and again. I wish more Americans were exposed to the real world conditions outside this country.

Hooker

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#24
In reply to #23

Re: Lack of Building Codes Cited as Major Factor in Haiti Disaster

01/15/2010 10:07 AM

Moosie, you nailed it; good idea!

Also, are there some extra trailers sitting in a big storage lot down south which were meant for the homeless from Katrina??

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#33
In reply to #23

Re: Lack of Building Codes Cited as Major Factor in Haiti Disaster

01/15/2010 12:42 PM

hooker,

Very good insight, and GA to you

Yes, you have to look at the big picture, the problem is not the disaster hell that obvious which everyone has an answers for and offer symbolisms that someone should do this or someone should do that. like most of the posts people think they can fix by rhetoric on what should happen. (that someone else should do of course)

You have to not fix the infrastructure, you actual have to create one first.

p911

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#34
In reply to #33

Re: Lack of Building Codes Cited as Major Factor in Haiti Disaster

01/15/2010 1:52 PM

Thank you Phoenix. I'm generally labeled as the local neighborhood cynic, but I think of it as real world (defined as most anywhere outside the US) behaviour.

I get so frustrated at us spending oodles of money helping other countries then being blasted as imperialists when we demand that the money not be swallowed up by local greed and corruption; which, by the way, is business as usual in those places.

They want OUR cake and be able to eat it, too. Nobody has been able to clean up Haiti and I doubt it ever will be short of invasion and outright take over.

Not withstanding the plight of "innocent" disaster victims, I'm becoming more and more isolationist as I get older, as least in terms of meddling in social and political affairs of foreign countries. I'm with those who prefer that NGO's handle this stuff. Keep the Fed's away.

Hooker

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#36
In reply to #34

Re: Lack of Building Codes Cited as Major Factor in Haiti Disaster

01/15/2010 2:00 PM

I thats were some people get confused, when you call it as it is, they would label you as insensitive, cynic, unprofessional, not a team player.

When in fact, as a engineer......... an engineer should tell tell it like it is (a good engineer anways), not only is it professional. its the truth that has substance. And with that you can actually find a solution because you are dealing with the problems directly and "as is" and at "face value".

I have no patience for "yes men/women", or "someone should do it" type of people

my respect to you,

p911

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#44
In reply to #34

Re: Lack of Building Codes Cited as Major Factor in Haiti Disaster

01/15/2010 3:52 PM

Personally I cannot think of another nation other than the US that has been so quick to respond to international catastrophes. I was vacationing in Turkey in the 02 earthquake and it was US helicoptors that were first on the scene.

My advice is not to listen to the expedience of political posturings.....ask those ordinary people who owe their lives to those men and women who selflessly helped out. I think you'll hear the heartfelt version.

This is saying a lot considering my own government has been nothing less than a dithering blot when it comes to getting anything done while scoring political brownie points.

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#45
In reply to #44

Re: Lack of Building Codes Cited as Major Factor in Haiti Disaster

01/15/2010 4:00 PM
A Canadian Journalist by the name of Gordon Sinclair wrote and article called

"The Americans".

It was nice that some people not Americans appreciated us. And we won't change.

It very much pertains here and suggest as a good read.

p911

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#46
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Re: Lack of Building Codes Cited as Major Factor in Haiti Disaster

01/15/2010 4:46 PM

Knew him well! Last of a kind!

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#47
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Re: Lack of Building Codes Cited as Major Factor in Haiti Disaster

01/15/2010 5:48 PM

Yes, I remember him and his article well. It came out on radio in the late 1970's following the OPEC Oil Embargo and during Iran Hostage Crisis, am in my mind's eye help boost America's credibility around the world. It also I think revitalized the American people's moral fiber and spirit, especially in the aftermath of the Viet Nam War, Watergate & Nixon, oil shortages, terrorists, and the Iranian debacle.

For me, it really transformed how I thought of Canadians, which, prior to the article I held most of them in contempt. Now I go out of my way to buy a Canadian a brew if I run into one. Heck, even the Best Man in my wedding is a Canadian hailing from Hamilton Ontario who I met in several of the online webzines for plastic modelers!

All hail Gordon Sinclair!

BTW, where would one even find a copy of his article (the original radio play recording) on CD?

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#48
In reply to #47

Re: Lack of Building Codes Cited as Major Factor in Haiti Disaster

01/15/2010 5:54 PM

For me, it really transformed how I thought of Canadians, which, prior to the article I held most of them in contempt.

I felt the same way when they smuggle some of our embassy personel back from Iran.

BTW, where would one even find a copy of his article (the original radio play recording) on CD?

I ran across that about 3 weeks ago, I'll look.

p911

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#49
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Re: Lack of Building Codes Cited as Major Factor in Haiti Disaster

01/15/2010 6:51 PM

The differrence twixt you guys and us guys is that you guys love your politics. We here (currently referred to as the frozen chosen) are of the opinion that it's easier and cheaper keeping the politicians locked up in Ottawa.

I suggest giving CFRB archives an online visit or talk to this lot

informationoffice@radio.astral.com

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#51
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Re: Lack of Building Codes Cited as Major Factor in Haiti Disaster

01/15/2010 7:18 PM

GA Duckinthepond.

I am a Canadian and can only say THANKS to the Americans for being a first responder to many situations. You are a generous lot a DESERVE more PRAISE. A lot of your response and generosity is being taken for granted. I am also proud of Canada's response to the Haitian disaster. Alas we are not as well equipped as our good neighbor to the south. I think if we can focus the efforts of well off countries onto a few poor countries we could as an international group provide better long term help to countries like Haiti. Improving the lot of the Haitians would be a good example to the world as a method of permanently getting rid of third world poverty.

Kudos to the Americans

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#54
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Re: Lack of Building Codes Cited as Major Factor in Haiti Disaster

01/15/2010 9:30 PM

Thanks Kevin......I might be wrong but I think this is the first time our feds have been quick to react wihout convening a fact finding committee or calling parliament to task or appointing a judicial overseer ad infinitum nauseum and generally wasting valuable time.

Darn, I forgot, we've prorogued parliament again. Does this actually mean that our government can function without parliament? Now that is illuminating!

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#35
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Re: Lack of Building Codes Cited as Major Factor in Haiti Disaster

01/15/2010 1:55 PM

I do not consider what you say Hooker to be cynical. To me it is simply realistic.

Earlier in this discussion I was called mean spirited for pointing out that it is known that sans hi tech hydraulic vibration dampening foundational systems, stick wood buildings have inherent flexibility making them more likely to stay standing in the event of an earthquake. -and the Haitians have denuded their nation of wood.

Awhile back former US Senator John Edwards founded some organization based at UNCH to study the causes of Poverty, as if it is some big mystery.

War and Corruption cause poverty.

Often it seems as if many in positions of power, when told the truth, simply say: It shouldn't be that way, and function and act as if what should be, is.

I don't think you Hooker, are in that category.

Others are.

Day in and Day out in the US the reasons for the current Economic Collapse are discussed, as if it was not caused by corrupt business practices, and war.

(I will allow that sometimes ignorance and stupidity contribute to compound disasters as some of what was done by the Corps of Engineers in relation to realities of New Orleans was nearly nothing but willfully stupid.)

In the case of New Orleans and its devastation, many individuals were simply moved to Houston.

I myself see no reason that in the case of Haiti a similar event is part of a realistic solution, in light of the actual situation there.

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#37
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Re: Lack of Building Codes Cited as Major Factor in Haiti Disaster

01/15/2010 2:48 PM

Good prudent points, IMO.

One exception, regarding the Corps of Engineers. The COE does not operate in a vacuum. It was (and may still be) heavily influenced by private enterprise, but gets its marching orders FROM CONGRESS (which is heavily influenced by the same private enterprise). The Corps can do nothing without Congressional approval, which relies on their own "studies" to make go/no go decisions.

IMO, most of these trails flow back to Fed interference, influenced by donation money, special favors, private sectors jobs, etc.

Hooker

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#41
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Re: Lack of Building Codes Cited as Major Factor in Haiti Disaster

01/15/2010 3:27 PM

The orders from Congress are also a big problem for the US Postal Service, which I love.

You could probably still right now do more right by simply filling a box with MREs and going to the US Post Office and mailing it to an address in Haiti, than giving money to the Red Cross, the UN, or the United Way.

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#43
In reply to #41

Re: Lack of Building Codes Cited as Major Factor in Haiti Disaster

01/15/2010 3:38 PM
There has always been issues with the red cross, that go back what my Grandfather (WWI Vet) had said. His opinion; Given the choice give to the salvation army instead of the red cross.
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#26

Re: Lack of Building Codes Cited as Major Factor in Haiti Disaster

01/15/2010 10:19 AM

No one should be surprised by the lack of building codes and the devastation that the recent Haitian earthquake imposed on the populace of that poor country. This is one of the most impoverished countries in the western hemisphere and in the world. Haiti ranks 149/190 counties for GDP/capita at $1,300.00 and 146/190 for HDI index at .529 in 2005. (The HDI or Human Development Index is the UN measurement from 0 to 1 that blends how well a country is doing in terms of longevity, education, and income compared to other countries of the world. A low index indicates poor conditions and a high index is one from a well developed country). The poor development and low per capita income in Haiti combined with limited natural resource upon which to build the country is a recipe for a perfect storm imposed by any natural disaster.

I would like to see the UN do more than collect data and actually create something like an "adopt the highway" program except it would be "adopt a country". In the scenario it is suggested that perhaps Haiti could be adopted by several western countries with a much higher HDI. This would essentially mean that the countries adopting Haiti would put all of their international efforts into Haiti instead of spreading low amounts of money and effort to many world countries. The spreading does not seem to work very well except to promote gang, warlords, corruption, and leave the needy people in ever more precarious conditions. If a few countries focused on Haiti, it could be rebuilt over quick time and the level of education vastly improved. Education should be a priority and literacy should be improved to reach a .95 level or higher. The rebuilding process should present a good opportunity for developing construction and operational skills for many of Haitian workers. An educated population will develop building codes and the adoptive parent countries could help. An educated population will be the best way to improve the economy and welfare of Haitians over the long run. An educated populace will develop contingency plans for disasters and minimize the anguish these poor folks now endure.

Other countries with low HDI could be adopted similarly by other countries with high HDI. I think history has shown us that the current spreading of foreign aid does not improve any countries status over the long run. Foreign aid focused in this way will impose restrictions and guidelines for poor countries to receive. We do not want good foreign aid spent on arming a rebel army that will only impose its will on the populace. This is my rant about the current misguided foreign aid and apologize for its length.

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#39

Re: Lack of Building Codes Cited as Major Factor in Haiti Disaster

01/15/2010 3:00 PM

I am reasonably certain San Francisco could help with building codes

But remember, the poor in Haiti cannot afford San Francisco pricing

P E Bobimm

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#50

Re: Lack of Building Codes Cited as Major Factor in Haiti Disaster

01/15/2010 7:13 PM

Building codes or lack of are always cited as major factors in any disaster. Building codes are different everywhere on the globe. What applies in San Francisco may not apply in New York. Building codes are very expensive to implement and in a poor-as-dirt country like Haiti, it is not possible to put a code in place; not without a lot of outside help. Even if there was a building code, who would enforce it? A building that previously cost a few hundred dollars to build all of a sudden costs 50K dollars to construct. Who will pay for this? Governments of such poor countries regard life as cheap and are not willing to spend the money. They would rather channel the monetary aid into their pockets. The situation sucks, but there is really nothing that can or will be done. If you think about it, living in a tent is probably more safe than living in a concrete or brick structure. People in developed countries have lived in tents for thousands of years and some even to this day. In a country like Haiti with a tropical climate, tents may make a lot of sense.

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#52
In reply to #50

Re: Lack of Building Codes Cited as Major Factor in Haiti Disaster

01/15/2010 8:25 PM
Give me a good building code....and I'll give you a natural disaster to knock it down.

p911

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#53
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Re: Lack of Building Codes Cited as Major Factor in Haiti Disaster

01/15/2010 8:56 PM

Actually phoenix911, short of asteroids, Frank Lloyd Wright made some buildings, and one in particular that was still standing after a quake in Toyko.

Don't really think Mr. Wright needed a code to tell him what to do, and if you know what you are about, there is a point where nothing can prevent determined destruction.

What the hell really is your point?

We all know there is hardly anything that cannot be destroyed.

Want to play smartass, go over to BathBreaking and screw around.

Otherwise don't expect mean spirited f***s, such as myself, to put up with spurious interjections of obvious meaninglessness to not tell you you are not the one in charge of natural disasters, and may well not either be equipped to deal with them.

Others do their best.

P.S. Damn I'm cranky these days! Really really I try to be sweet, really I want to be sweet. I'm really sorry, really!

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#55
In reply to #53

Re: Lack of Building Codes Cited as Major Factor in Haiti Disaster

01/16/2010 12:17 AM

Don't really think Mr. Wright needed a code to tell him what to do, and if you know what you are about, there is a point where nothing can prevent determined destruction.

That is my point exactly.....why do you think I posted off topic

Want to play smartass, go over to BathBreaking and screw around.

No I refuse to be suckered into that

Otherwise don't expect mean spirited f****s, such as myself, to put up with spurious interjections of obvious meaninglessness to not tell you you are not the one in charge of natural disasters, and may well not either be equipped to deal with them.

Not meaningless as in somebody should do something, hell look what I did.

And if you look at it, not only are Americans generaous, they are competetive......, look at the responses of the posts I challenged.......I wrote to this guy, I wrote to that guy, I'n giving up next weeks lunch money, for this.....and p911, what the hell did you do except piss me off. Well I'll tell you, not only are american generous, we are competive and........americans also like to blow thier own horn.

Yes, I can be a shit.....but I can creat an reaction by having people going to fix my little red wagon by getting things done........you not sorry, you just don't like getting you ego rubbed the wrong way.

p911

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#60
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Re: Lack of Building Codes Cited as Major Factor in Haiti Disaster

01/16/2010 2:05 PM

All Righty then!

I ought to have noted that it was off topic.

The interjection did rub me the wrong way.

Typically when for one reason or another I get angry, I have regrets.

I prefer to think it was an ideologically based over reaction on my part.

Though I will admit and apologize for the over reaction.

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#62
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Re: Lack of Building Codes Cited as Major Factor in Haiti Disaster

01/16/2010 5:38 PM

No apologise needed, I do have an edge intended and unintended of which I have apologize repeated for.

I do have to say that improving building codes in this third world country professional (high priced designed structures is not the answer, its good to brain storm and anything can go on the table, with short of immediate, help political issues such as building codes would get muddle down. As well as knowing the area such as soil types to determined if liquefaction may be involved.

But all posts being barbs was extreme, but most is still extreme also. I have seen that during a crisis and actually been in one, panic knee-jerk reactions are heighten, with the most common "someone should do something". Creating an environment were chaos and scams reign adding to the issues.

I have found on past crisis that my small local church has send relief quite fast and directly to the people in need, administered by people I know and grew up with. but fast is never fast enough with people in need.

Solved by politicians, no, just have the politicians give the ok for the National Haurd. Because Miltiary Logistics is the only way to completly mobilize the immidiate needs. I also have to add Walmart was a help with distribution, but that was domestic and only because of infrastructure.

p911

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#56

Re: Lack of Building Codes Cited as Major Factor in Haiti Disaster

01/16/2010 2:44 AM

I guess I am lucky to live in the US. A few years ago, we had some severe rains, and quite a bit of flooding. At one of the local marinas, the people in their houseboats lost their power... their water... their sewage... The Red Cross opened a shelter for these poor souls... except no one came. These people were out on their houseboats having a gay old time... ice chests replaced refrigerators... Coleman stoves and barbeques were used for cooking... Coleman lanterns for lighting... and lots of beer to replace the water that wasn't there.

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#58
In reply to #56

Re: Lack of Building Codes Cited as Major Factor in Haiti Disaster

01/16/2010 3:09 AM

Oh and for toilet facilities, you just hang it over the side. When a tree falls over the road, you get out the chainsaw and cut it up for firewood. Here, we just cope with such things. I concede that this was nothing compared to what they are dealing with in Haiti though

Bill

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#63

Re: Lack of Building Codes Cited as Major Factor in Haiti Disaster

01/18/2010 3:13 AM

Go ahead--establish a building code. If it is unaffordable, then

1) No housing will get built,

2) The code will be rampantly violated, or

3) A bribery economy will arise. (Not too much different from (2))

It might be better to disseminate good building information in an advisory manner, rather than legalistically.

But do-gooders, meddlers, and bureaucracies are only too happy to tell other people what they must do.

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#64
In reply to #63

Re: Lack of Building Codes Cited as Major Factor in Haiti Disaster

01/18/2010 10:10 AM

Hey stop raining on peoples flag waving parades, what are you some kind of cynic......or do you have a spark of common sense that actually has an understand what its actually like.

ga.........I am giving you that because your presentation was better than mine.

I am glad the 82nd Airborne are helping, unfortunately the outer lying smaller towns have receive no support (0) so far.

And looting is becoming rampet.....can't blame them, Just hold it together a little longer.

p911

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#65
In reply to #63

Re: Lack of Building Codes Cited as Major Factor in Haiti Disaster

01/18/2010 4:18 PM

If you want to bring fundamental change to people's lives and behavior, a change that will persist and influence others, you need to create a community around them where those new beliefs could be practiced, expressed and nurtured.

— Malcolm Gladwell, summarizing the beliefs of John Wesley.

The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference (Boston: Little, Brown & Co., 2002)

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#66

Clemson University researchers explore ways to solve housing crisis in Haiti

01/19/2010 10:08 AM

http://www.news-medical.net/news/20100119/Clemson-University-researchers-explore-ways-to-solve-housing-crisis-in-Haiti.aspx

Clemson University researchers explore ways to solve housing crisis in Haiti

19. January 2010 05:52

Resources to solve the housing crisis in Haiti may already be on hand.

Some Clemson University researchers have been experimenting with ways to convert shipping containers into emergency housing in the hurricane-prone Caribbean, where a surplus of the sturdy boxes often sits in port yards.

Pernille Christensen, a research associate in the Richard H. Pennell Center for Real Estate and Ph.D. student in planning, design and the built environment; associate professor Doug Hecker; and assistant professor Martha Skinner of Clemson's School of Architecture, collaborated on the SEED Project, working to develop a method to convert the shipping containers into homes.

The original idea was inspired by housing crises that have followed large hurricanes in the Caribbean and United States. However, Hecker said shipping containers would meet those needs in an earthquake zone, too.

"Because of the shipping container's 'unibody' construction they are also very good in seismic zones and exceed structural code in the United States and any country in the world," Hecker said. "They have also been used in other countries as emergency shelters in the case of earthquakes. As the SEED Project develops this will certainly be an area that we incorporate. With a few simple cuts at the port, a storage container can be turned into something that is livable and opens to the site."

Faculty and students sought a way to put displaced people in emergency housing that could be sturdy and safe on a permanent site. Putting families back on their own land quickly is key to the idea. Families displaced by disaster often do not return to their permanent homes for years, if ever, but the Clemson researchers are looking for strategies to implement the SEED Project as quickly as possible, ideally having a modified container on site within three weeks.

"You get people back in their communities and it strengthens those communities," Christensen said. "They work on their home, not a temporary shelter, and then they work with their neighbors to rebuild the neighborhood. It leads to a healthier and safer community. And these are places often in dire need of better housing."

Many Caribbean countries import more containers than they export, which leads to the surplus of containers in those nations.

"The project has a double mission: to address the local need of providing adequate housing for people in need while solving a global problem of recycling - giving purpose to empty containers that would otherwise be discarded," Skinner said.

As part of this research, the group is studying the cycles of natural disasters by looking at the larger picture through mapping and logistics to understand how containers move, available surpluses and ultimately coordinating the cycles of natural disasters with the ebb and flow of container supplies worldwide.

The SEED Project also includes plans for using another surplus item, 55-gallon steel drums, as a way to create a starter garden - from seed - on the roof of the container homes as a way to get food crops started when the ground may be contaminated by stormwater. Water also would be filtered through the drums before being used in a water pod comprised of shower, sink and composting toilet.

A prototype emergency container home is under way on the Clemson campus, and the project has been awarded an Environmental Protection Agency P3 (People, Prosperity and the Planet) grant to make the container part of the 2010 National Sustainable Design Expo on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., in April. The research team plans to build a prototype in the Caribbean in the next year.

Source: Clemson University

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#67
In reply to #66

Re: Clemson University researchers explore ways to solve housing crisis in Haiti

01/19/2010 3:02 PM

CUTiger, Check out my post metalSmiths up the list It is all about the containers housing options along with links including yours but from a different site.

I also included the link to the ISBU organization and the report/guide on the containers in reference to building codes. Also the guide gives info to which grade of containers to use and avoid for housing.

All in all one ship full of containers with materials and building supplies and tools to convert the containers to housing along with equipment to move and set them up.

Though once rescue/recovery is complete, heavy equipment comes in an preps the sites for the new homes to be setup. Though the containers could be setup in a holding areas and modified to live in to get people into shelter with public restrooms and showers central to grouping of containers. Then as sites are prep the containers/homes could be moved in and finished to make the homes complete.

Charles

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#68
In reply to #67

Re: Clemson University researchers explore ways to solve housing crisis in Haiti

01/19/2010 3:31 PM

Sorry to have missed your including this release earlier metalSmiths, I was just happy to hear that my Uni was working on some solutions...Your input was valuable too about the prep & requirements...

Heck, I've even thought that if they can find a way to site-prep and get 'em to where they need to be set - for the short-term once in proximity - cut the mothers in half & go X2 for families to stay in.....just would have to pre-fab a wall with with door to affix to each half and at least get some shelters started with higher yield/use

than later start to right-size the living quarters as you go forward

Been to this island in the past, and it's like a lot of other equatorial islands....lots of hills & such, so site-prep for these boxes is a big headache to overcome....you don't want to terrace the entire island...big rains will cause most to slide ....loamy soil doesn't help either...

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#69
In reply to #68

Re: Clemson University researchers explore ways to solve housing crisis in Haiti

01/19/2010 11:55 PM

No problem,

I have though a lot about using the containers to build my house and storage/garage.

It's just here in Tn. so far there are only a few container suppliers/rentals. The typical cost for a hi-boy 20x8x9 runs around $2200.00 to $3500.00 each. The lower end of cost the containers are rough the middle to high end look better but the companies have mod them as stronger locking systems for rental.

My other options are pay a trucking co. to load them from the ports and brought here. Sight unseen, cheaper price yes, but shipper charges, then offloaded and reloaded to move to sight, more costs. Anyway In time I may be able to build the storage/garage with a couple of 40 footers with the main area between the two containers with roof truss spanning the open area.

Enough about my plans.

Any body know how to make this possible to help Haiti even if only helps some?

Charles

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#71
In reply to #68

Re: Clemson University researchers explore ways to solve housing crisis in Haiti

01/25/2010 7:04 AM

When I was first getting started in life, I lived in a house trailer in a trailer park. There were a couple of people that made there own double wides using 2 trailers. They simply parked them side x side and put in a short hallway using existing doors. The same could be done with the containers. Cut out door openings in each, slide them together, and frame the openings into a hallway. This would allow the boxes to be separated later and moved without the need for bracing to replace a wall that had been completely removed.

I do have to say that it was just me and my wife in the beginning. We had a 12 x 50 and there was plenty of room. Two bedrooms, bath, kitchen. It all fit just fine. I even put in a stack washer/dryer in the bathroom so we did not have to go to the laundromat.

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#70

Re: Lack of Building Codes Cited as Major Factor in Haiti Disaster

01/24/2010 11:47 AM

Tigger, I suggest that the containers NOT be cut in half.....they lose quite a bunch of strength if that is done.

Structurally, once the steel shipping containers are cut in half, they will not be able to resist the stresses and strains caused by Hurricane force winds and gusts.

YOU do know that the containers come in standard modular lengths of 20', 30' and 40', don't you?

FYI and adding my 2 unusable US Cents for good measure and just for the heck of it.......*LOL*

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#72

Re: Lack of Building Codes Cited as Major Factor in Haiti Disaster

01/26/2010 9:09 AM

Good Morning Everyone!

I happened across the following article in MSN Real Estate section this morning as I was gulping down my first mug of Joe that you will all find very relevant to the current blog discussion as it relates to using steel shipping containers for emergency housing plus a great other uses!

Enjoy!!!

http://realestate.msn.com/blogs/listedblogpost.aspx?post=1573463&_blg=1,1578982

Have a great sunny day!!!!

PS: BTW, there is another blog in CR4 Forum that I want to make all of your good folk aware of that is currently running parallel to this blog regarding shipping containers for use in Haiti as emergency housing shelters entitled "Shipping Container Housing".....blog has some 160 + entries and makes for some good reading and is very thought provoking...many members have tossed out some fantastic ideas and we've bantered back and forth about what is an appropriate use of emergency effort and ultimately, humanitarian relief funds =money. Some members have made initial contact with the UN Mission and the Haitian Government ( I myself have even emailed President Obama and the 2 siting Senators in Congress representing New York) making them aware of our wonderful worldwide engineer's effort in the forum to come up with fitting emergency responses, mainly about the proposed uses of these containers in Haiti for shelter.

Please visit that blog and read through it, and after you're done please write to the President, Congressional Representatives, and the UN Mission). Tell them what you think and equally important is make them aware of these two CR4 Forum blogs! Thank you for your time, and God Bless.

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#73

Re: Lack of Building Codes Cited as Major Factor in Haiti Disaster

02/05/2010 12:29 AM

What the Haitian earthquake has brought to the place isn't a thing that you just need to have payday loans to patch up the damage. Haitian earthquake relief is something that is kind of vital. I'm betting that this is going to be a bit on the cheesy side but I'm looking forward to when they debut the We Are the World 2010 song. It can be for a good cause.

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