Post-Earthquake Haiti: How Can Environmental Design Regenerate Haiti
Post-Earthquake Haiti: How Can Environmental Design Regenerate Haitiâs Communities, Economy, Culture and Ecology?
The January 12, 2010 earthquake that devastated Haiti, causing the deaths of 230,000 and leaving 1.4 million homeless, is an enormous tragedy for the people of Haiti, but also an enormous opportunity for Haiti to rebuild and restore itself in ways not possible before. East Bay architects Martin Hammer and Christopher Andrews will show slides and discuss appropriate and sustainable rebuilding solutions for post-earthquake Haiti. In particular how Haitiâs communities, economy, and natural resources can be regenerated through design solutions that revitalize Haitiâs rich cultural and architectural history, and its natural environment that have all been neglected in recent decades. This includes reviving rural and urban vernacular building traditions, and honoring their cultural sources. It also includes infusing traditions with newer appropriate and environmentally sound technologies. All through a process of working with and helping Haitians themselves build safe, affordable, culturally appropriate shelter, in vibrant, self-sustaining communities.
Martin Hammer is an architect in Berkeley, CA. Martin has been involved with the design, testing, and construction of straw bale buildings since 1995 and has experience with rammed earth, passive solar, photo-voltaics, rainwater catchment, greywater, and other sustainable building practices. He has been involved with the development of building codes for sustainable building materials and systems since 2001. He is a contributing author of the book âDesign of Straw Bale Buildingsâ, and is co-authoring a Strawbale Tutorial for seismically active regions of the developing world for the World Housing Encyclopedia. Mr. Hammer helped introduce straw bale construction to earthquake-affected Pakistan with the organization Pakistan Straw Bale and Appropriate Building (www.paksbab.org). Martin traveled to Haiti in March with a reconnaissance team from the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute, and in April doing historic preservation assessment of the Gingerbread District in Port-au-Prince with a team from the World Monuments Fund. Martin is currently representing Builders Without Borders in Haiti.
Christopher Andrews is an architect and town planner in Oakland CA, with a focus on environmentally sustainable and contextually and culturally appropriate design. He has worked with several renowned architects and design firms, including Dan Solomon, Christopher Alexander, and the environmentally innovative design-build firm Skillful Means. Chris has designed scores of residential, commercial, community and urban design projects, several of which have been published in The New York Times Magazine, The Los Angeles Times, and Progressive Architecture. Over the last half year as a visiting lecturer at the University of San Franciscoâs Architecture, & Community Design Program, he has been working with his students to document vernacular architecture and environmental development in Haiti, focusing on Creole innovations and their connection to African, European and American culture.
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