The Orange Tree Atelye (or Workshop)

Here’s another project taking off to help Haiti. Text quoted from their website.

We are an interdisciplinary research and design team from the University of Cincinnati. We were formed to provide a long term growth plan for the Good Shepherd Orphanage in Carrefour, Haiti. However, our ambitions do not stop there. We hope to use the orphanage as a model to introduce and disseminate sustainable design to all Haitians.

The Orange Tree Atelye
The Orange Tree Atelye

Our focus in this project was to use sustainable resources which are readily available to Haitians, while at the same time making the design both earthquake-resistant and hurricane-resistant. We landed on earthbag construction, a method employed throughout the world and providing just the benefits for which we were looking. Using proper stacking methods, horizontal reinforcement, and a cement-based plaster, the well-constructed earthbag wall is able withstand hurricane forces, but also is able to shift enough during an earthquake to avoid falling in on a building’s inhabitants. During the earthquake which hit Haiti in January of 2010, the Sun House, constructed using this method and very close to the epicenter not only survived the earthquake, but did not even sustain any major damage.

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3 thoughts on “The Orange Tree Atelye (or Workshop)”

  1. Hi Owen,

    Right you are. It did cause a little extra work. The reason was so that we would leave the bond beam exposed in Haiti so that it could easily be inspected after an earthquake event.

    Also. by being visible, it both looks good (like a masonry watertable course) and educates others as to the very important and necessary role it plays in construction.

    If someone were to knock off our system down there, they could not but help to be aware of that crucial element.

    Thank you for your note!


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