Earth Building Training

In Haiti, earth building = rudimentary Building
Earthen House (Haiti) 

For many Haitians, a mud house is synonymous with poverty and promiscuity.

Only the poorest build in earth because they have no other means. The less poor will not stoop to living in a mud house. The choice then becomes cinderblock, stone or concrete for the richest.

Earthen House (elsewhere)

Large concrete villas are less comfortable and less energy efficient than a well thought out earthen building constructed with traditional techniques taking into account modern improvements.

Maintained properly, they can last for hundreds of years and, if necessary, be designed to withstand earthquakes.

An observation that suggests 2 questions

Are the earthen construction techniques successfully used in many countries to improve the habitat of the most disadvantaged populations in particular applicable in Haiti?

If so, what actions should be taken so that Haitians or Haitian businesses can appropriate and disseminate this know-how?

Gather answers

The earthquake of January 12, 2010 triggered an influx of international aid for emergency accommodation but also for reconstruction in affected regions. Various earth construction specialists have proposed solutions and a few projects have been launched.

What happened to these projects? Have they been completed? What lessons could it be possible to draw from it? Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any information on this subject.

However, there are training requests
Assistance requests for small projects

The appeal of earthen construction in Quisqueya Natural Park is not new. In 2013, a project to create a training center in the park was proposed. Despite the interest shown during conferences and demonstrations given to journalists, universities and NGOs, it was not possible to generate sufficient momentum due to a lack of both human and financial resources.

However, the need for training in earthen construction still exists. The management of the park is trying to respond positively to the requests of a few associations wishing to incorporate the construction of one or more small earthen buildings into their action (see our 2013 project)

To respond to these requests, 2 actions:

To help for these requests, 2 actions:

  1. Identify and document the earthen construction projects planned or / and carried out in Haiti. Let's take advantage of positive experiences, avoid making the same mistakes ...
  2. Research  specialists for helping with seminars or training. The park does not currently have in Haiti a competent resource capable of directing an earthen construction site. However, we  will do our best to accommodate any volunteer wishing to supervise a small earthen construction project for several weeks.
Training cessions/seminars  training

The seminar project “CONSTRUCTING in EARTH” must again be postponed.

People avoid traveling for fear of being held hostage for ransom.

This situation also affects the finances of the park as there are no more visitors.

No one knows how long it will last.

It is impossible for us to organize a seminar without a minimum of security.

The park is secure, but the roads leading to it are not.

It is unlikely that this project can be realized in 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic has delayed any travel plans in Haiti. It should also be noted that the security situation in Haiti still requires some precautions in certain regions.

However, the availability of the vaccine allows us to be more optimistic about the organization of the next meetings. The timing will also depend on the responses from the various ongoing contacts. Our first estimate (April 2021) was overly optimistic. It is more realistic to consider June or July 2021 ...

(updated 2/16/ 2021)

Events in June 2024

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Contribute to content of the seminar!

The preparation of the seminar will take place over a period of 3 to 4 weeks, during which meetings and / or training workshops will be organized in the park or near the sites of the various projects. The presentation of the results will allow a detailed review of the methods of analysis and use of raw earth as well as the economic and environmental aspects of earthen construction.
In addition to the results directly linked to the various projects, we hope to be able to present at least two complementary subjects:

  • Tests for using pozzolan to improve the strength of compressed earth bricks
  • Testing of LGTS (Low Temperature Geopolymeric Setting) geopolymer bricks
    A method allowing stronger bricks while reducing cleaning time from a few weeks to a few hours.

The list is not exhaustive. It will also depend on the topics proposed in advance by anyone wishing to attend the seminar as an auditor or speaker.

The aim of the seminar goes beyond the framework of soil analysis techniques. The schedule for presentations is not yet established, and we are open to any suggestions for content. Details will be posted on our website as soon as a more precise schedule can be established.

Please circulate this note to anyone who is interested in participating in the development of the program for this seminar.

Use our facebook page:
Construire en terre en Haïti
Or the contact form

    2 blogs about the 2013 "Training Center" project
    An overly ambitious project at the time

    Millennial techniques (cob, cob, adobe, rammed earth ...) are now supplemented by modern methods (CSEB, earth concrete, geopolymer ...). There is no one-size-fits-all solution for building in earth, only a possible list of technical choices.

    To encourage people to build underground, construction must be carried out but also a study and training service must be created to facilitate the choice of a solution depending on the project and the environment.

    Despite the encouragement received, the demonstrations, and the beginnings of training made, it was not possible at this time to constitute a permanent competent team.

    Presentation made in 2013 during a demonstration (in French)
    Would it be possible to resume this project?

    The purpose of the project (a little utopian) was a transfer of competence, not the creation of a new permanent assistance. Haitian artisans, contractors and architects must be able to develop a profitable earthen construction activity while occasionally providing material and technical support for humanitarian action.

    The participation of experienced specialists is necessary for such a transfer by ensuring a continuous presence of several months, the time to put in place a resilient and efficient structure.

    Unfortunately, the limited budget and unforeseen events in the availability of competent supervision forced us to give up, at least temporarily, to continue this project.

    © SODEPA 2024