Bati Byen: Rebuilding in Haiti - 2011 Year in Review

Bati Byen: Rebuilding in Haiti - 2011 Year in Review

  • by Architecture for Humanity
  • Jan 11, 2012
  • comments

"There are many complicated things in building a school and this new building is beautiful. It is not a building, it is a work of art, and we did that. Thank you."
—Vivianne Vieux, headmistress, École la Dignité, Cayes Jacmel

It has been two years since an earthquake struck Haiti on January 12, 2010. Architecture for Humanity's Rebuilding Center in Port-au-Prince has supported the reconstruction effort through the reconstruction of schools, clinics, small businesses and long-term planning efforts. It's been a busy year. We wanted to thank you for your support and give you an update of our progress.

This year, the Rebuilding Center completed four schools and three clinics, inaugurating safer, stronger places for learning and healing. We assisted thousands of (mostly displaced) Haitians, and helped raise the bar for construction standards and design. Six more schools are in various phases of design and construction.

In planning, the Center recently completed the Santo Community Development master plan. Over several months, more than 150 members of a new mixed-use rural community directed the community's composition and confirmed its needs. The invaluable feedback from the charrettes coupled with some serious technical inputs generated a development blueprint (pdf) for rural projects across the country. The first phase of construction is currently under way with residents moving in mid February. We're also helping several groups in mapping and early stage community planning in 2012 and we look forward to sharing these plans in the coming year.

We have also surveyed more than 400 businesses to identify small business owners in need of reconstruction assistance in active "economic corridors" in the metro Port-au-Prince region. The Center is working to partner with four local banks to help these small businesses rebuild. By rebuilding businesses in these key economic corridors, we are working to recover jobs and support Haiti's long-term economic development.

The professional outreach and training aspects of Bati Byen are working to address the challenges of a lack of building code enforcement and poor quality construction in Haiti. Burtland Granvil will be picking up where Stacey McMahan left off as our AIA USGBC Sustainability Design Fellow charged with helping improve construction standards. Bati Byen's mission to advocate for safer building has led to a consumer education initiative - including billboard and radio campaigns activating local resources and invitations to Haitian small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and other communities to seek design and construction referrals through the Rebuilding Center. We now have a constant stream of 2-3 visitors who stop by the Rebuilding Center each day seeking assistance. In addition to on-the-job training of construction professionals, this program hopes to build consumer awareness of the need for safe building.

Special thanks to the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund, Students Rebuild, the Stiller Foundation, Nvidia and Prudential and many others for their broad support of our projects and programs.

Our Impact

The impact metrics below reflect our work as of January 12, 2012.

  • The Rebuilding Center started with a staff of just 4, and is now staffed by 37 architects, engineers and support staff, including 7 long-term professional volunteers and 22 Haitian staffers.
  • Distributed Rebuilding 101 Manual to 5,000+ builders
  • Provided mason training and seismic construction training grant impacting 599 builders
  • Provided CAD/BIM training to 37 professionals
  • Hosted professional networking events in which 98 professionals participated
  • Schools completed: 4; schools in design and construction: 7 - impacting a total of 3,757 students
  • Hosted 69 visiting professionals (long-term and short-term)
  • Performed damage assessments of structures impacting 4,218 people
  • Designed camp improvements and upgrades impacting 25,000 people
  • Increased healthcare access to over 12,000 Haitians
  • Employed 1,858 Haitians on projects to date
  • Totaling 51,186 design and construction beneficiaries to date

Video Highlights

Architecture for Humanity:
Building Jobs

Clinton Bush Haiti Fund

Behind the Scenes: Diandine
Global Nomads Group
for Students Rebuild

Santo Housing Charrette:
July 14, 2011
David Gonzalez
for Architecture for Humanity

Architecture for Humanity and Save
the Children: Ceverine
Frederic King,
NYU Schack Institute for Real Estate

2011 Milestones

Students Rebuild enables stronger, safer schools to open

On the anniversary eve of Haiti's devastating earthquake, Haitian students are celebrating. That's because two new schools supporting 490 students have opened their doors, with three more schools to follow in the coming weeks. Students Rebuild is working with other partners to rebuild schools...with one major difference: the initiative is entirely youth-powered.

More than 1,880 middle and high schoolers worldwide have connected with peers in Haiti and helped raise $650,000 to rebuild Haiti schools. The program included a year-long curriculum and series of Interactive Videoconferences between participating Students Rebuild teams and classes from the partnering Haiti schools.

Students Rebuild is a collaborative initiative of the Bezos Family Foundation, Global Nomads Group, Architecture for Humanity and others. Learn more.

Download the Haiti Schools Initiative Report (PDF)
Watch A Story of Youth in Action documenting the past year with Diandine, Stacey McMahan and thousands of young humanitarians

Construction Outreach Supervisor Program

The Construction Outreach Supervisor Program brings Haitian engineers in direct and managerial contact with construction to international standards. The Outreach team, based at the Rebuilding Center, travels to job sites to audit construction practices and techniques, providing advice and verifying quality as needed.

The program has been responsible for the safe and timely completion of Architecture for Humanity’s Haiti School Initiative projects. The Rebuilding Center intends to expand outreach to other architectural projects as they enter construction, develop an accreditation system and begin inspecting unaffiliated construction sites on a consultation basis.

Helping Small Businesses

The economic development agency conducted by the Rebuilding Center is currently aimed at the recovery of key economic corridors via urban acupuncture, traffic management, debris removal, and rebuilding small-to-medium enterprises by assisting them to access construction financing in partnership with local banks. Corridor mapping specifically identifies businesses, business types (both pre-quake and post-quake), and the varying rates of pedestrian and vehicular traffic.

Responding to the threat of economic dead zones and foreign dependency, Architecture for Humanity partnered with ShoreBank International to engage local banks and encourage small business lending. The Rebuilding Center aims to assist local banks with construction oversight and make sure that businesses rebuilt are structurally sound and reduce the risk of loss in the event of future disasters. A short-term pilot for construction financing is in development.

Download Corridors report (pdf) for more information

Rubble Crushing Business Incubator

The rubble crushing business incubator will accelerate development on infill sites for projects across and beyond Port-au-Prince by making rubble a viable and profitable material for site infill. Funding from the Curry Stone Foundation enabled the purchase of rubble crushers to set up businesses. The Center has "road tested" the crushers and is training Haitians in-house to establish small rubble crushing businesses. Crushing is time consuming and labor intensive. It requires tremendous lead time. Making these crushers more suitable for smaller-scale projects. We're looking forward to refining this pilot program at future sites.

Civic Art for Haiti Schools

The earthquake had as devastating an impact on the culture of Haiti as it did on its buildings, streets and lives. There is now the risk that as Haiti rebuilds, much of her culture is forgotten as art and artists are foregone in favor of more utilitarian responses. The Civic Art in Haitian Schools program aims to engage schools as a staging area for civic art installations and facilitate interaction between communities unfamiliar with commissioning civic art and artists unused to working on commission.

Since the Request for Qualifications launch in June 2011, the Rebuilding Center has received enthusiastic engagement from school owners and dozens of portfolios from Haitian artists. A panel of judges consisting of Haitian artist peers, school owners and members of the Rebuilding Center evaluated identified a shortlist-artists that were then led on site visits of participating schools. The artists are now working on their commissioned pieces; fabrication will commence in February with openings expected later this Spring.

Many kind thanks to both Digicel Foundation and Deutsche Bank for supporting this wonderful initiative. Learn more and view artist portfolios.

Academie Timoun with BAR Architects

In 2010, Architecture for Humanity invited San Francisco-based BAR Architects to lead the design and documentation of Academie Timoun, a new rural primary school for 250 children. The result was a unique collaboration, employing decades of collective experience, office-wide participation and top expertise at every stage of design.

After six months of active participation, construction documents were finalized. Work is now proceeding on the first classroom block. We see a lot of potential for similar collaborations in the future. Many profound thanks to everyone at BAR for their dedication, ingenuity and resourcefulness. We have loved having your staff here with us in Haiti.

Monitoring and Evaluation

A monitoring and evaluation system has been established, in collaboration with third party consultants Associates for International Management Services, to better track our projects.

Fourteen Haitians were trained to conduct surveys – a much-needed skill for a place where data and statistics are lacking. We're looking forward to tracking our long-term impact and thank AIMS for their invaluable assistance.

Program Overview

The Haiti Rebuilding Center works simultaneously on several programs addressing different aspects of reconstruction. In addition to the Haiti School Initiative the Rebuilding Center offers design and construction services and professional training and consultation through Bati Byen; reconstruction financing through Construction Financing; construction quality oversight through Monitoring and Evaluation; and in-house architectural management through Design and Construction Services on work including clinics, urban planning, rural mapping and sports facilities.

Bati Byen provides resources for Haitian design and construction professionals including professional training sessions, a consumer awareness campaign, referrals of projects to local and Center-approved
contractors, and a directory of these businesses.

  • Professional Directory - The Rebuilding Center, as part of Bati Byen, is compiling a directory of Haitian design and construction offices–offices that can work towards bid packages and participate in construction training and oversight useful for strengthening economic foundations.

    Download the Directory (PDF)

  • Construction Manuals - The Center continues to collaborate on construction resources, references and manuals, such as Bamboo Beyond Words: a visual compendium of best practices, developed in collaboration with Kleiwerks International.
  • Monthly Meet N Greet - The Haiti Rebuilding Center's Meet N Greet is a monthly open house inviting members of Haiti's design and construction community to gather, meet fellow rebuilders and share ideas and plans for reconstruction.

École Ceverine – outside Maissade, Artibonite
The Ceverine School serves 257 students from a very remote rural community in Haiti’s interior.
The school experienced remediation of the existing classroom block and expansion of two classrooms and new latrines.

École La Dignité – Cayes de Jacmel, Sud
The only free private school in the Jacmel area serves 227 students and intends to launch a secondary school program for an additional 90 students, requiring a two classroom expansion.

Collège Mixte Le Bon Berger – Montrouis, Ouest
A six classroom, 12-grade school built just a few years ago is structurally unsound and must be entirely replaced. The new scheme includes rain water catchment and handicap accessibility.

École Elie Dubois – Champs Mars, Port-au-Prince
Elie Dubois is a secondary school run by seven nuns two blocks from the presidential palace. The campus supports a vocational program and several historic buildings used by 250 students, and is undergoing historic renovation, construction of new classrooms with water catchment and biodigester.

Institute Foyer du Savoir – Delmas 75, Port-au-Prince
Since the earthquake and destruction of their old building, the Institut has determined their old site, a rented piece of land, was not suitable for the anticipated 50% enrollment increase. A new site in the hilly Delmas 75 will support 400 students from Kindergarten to 6th grade.

École Baptiste Bon Berger – Pele, Port-au-Prince
A two-story, critically damaged school serving 1100 students requires a multiyear phase-in of 20 classrooms with improved ventilation and sanitary restrooms in the form of composting latrine blocks.

St Louis de Gonzague chemistry and physics building – Delmas 33, Port-au-Prince The chemistry and physics building of the renown secondary school class required a complete structural overhaul.

Basketball Court @ École Baptiste Bon Berger – Pele, Port-au-Prince
With funding from a Nike Gamechangers grant, École Baptiste Bon Berger will incorporate a basketball court into its tight urban context on the outskirts of Cité Soleil.

Santo Community Development Plan – outside Léogâne
At the request of the Municipality of Léogâne, Habitat for Humanity and Architecture for Humanity collaborated with a local population to create an urban infrastructural plan establishing a new population center. Local planning office SODADE facilitated the participation of the community and oversee design.

Villa Rosa: Phase 1 – Port-au-Prince
A neighborhood with a history of unplanned development faced catastrophic damage in the earthquake and requires a community-organized strategy to build back better.

Haiti Rural Mapping Initiative – various sites
With a grant from the WK Kellogg Foundation, Architecture for Humanity will map 11 communes across southern and central Haiti. These maps will contain basic geographic and political information which will be available as a resource for the country.

Madame Joa Clinic – outside Maissade, Artibonite
A small clinic built only a few years ago is suffering from severe deterioration. Save the Children has asked Architecture for Humanity to explore and employ solutions for an architectural renovation.

Medical Relief International (Merlin) Clinics – Turbe and Caraval, Ouest
Merlin contacted Architecture for Humanity to repair and develop plans for several clinics in the Port-au-Prince area.

J/P HRO Klinik Kominote – Delmas 32, Port-au-Prince
Adaptive reuse of an existing residence into a medical clinic and model for safe reconstruction.

J/P HRO Urgent Care Facility – Delmas 32, Port-au-Prince
In order to properly transition the medical services currently offered in the Pétionville Camp to the surrounding neighborhoods, J/P HRO relocated these health facilities into the Delmas 32 or 40B neighborhood.

Get Involved

Interested in volunteering? Architecture for Humanity accepts volunteers in our Haiti office and at our San Francisco headquarters on an on-going basis. Volunteers will help train and provide design services to the rebuilding community. Volunteers in the field should be willing to commit at least 2 months, pay for their own travel and provide their own computing/drafting/designing equipment.

Architecture for Humanity provides lodging and transportation for all volunteers at the Haiti team house in Pétionville.

Check out our Haiti Volunteer Overview, which articulates our volunteer expectations and application process. Send questions to Get Involved.

Our Team - 2011


Rolande Augustin, Eric Cesal, Crisnel Dessalines, Henri Dupont, Rick Ehlert, Gracia Eveline, Isnard Exantus, Fan Fan, Sergine Francoeur, Darren Gill, Burtland Granvil, Sandhya Naidu Janardhan, Jean Azor, Ronald Jouissance, Micheline Lestin, Jean Moliere, Sabby Stinfil, Martine Theodore, Lordana Vernet, Patrick Volel

Design Fellows

BAR Architects (Stephanie Amend, Jeremy Butler-Pinkham, Linda Crouse, Thomas Crowley, Chris Haegglund, Jonathan Hradecky, Lisa Majchrzak, Douglas Oliver, Will Spurzem, Lisa Victor, Shelley Young), Stephane Cherduville, Natalie Desrosiers, Kate Evarts, Dave Hampton, Carl Harrigan, Karl Johnson, Schendy Kernizan, Jean René Lafontant, Stacey McMahan, Lyndia Mesidor, Frederique Siegel, Olivia Dawa Stinson, Lauren Young

Construction Outreach Supervisors

Rene Balan Junior, Douyon Clotaire, Marc Henry, Stanley Joseph, Marie Elizabeth Nicolas, Jacques Nixon, Ulrick Pierre, Gerald Jeanty, Mikanol, Julien Jackson, Lyonel Saintime

Volunteers and Design Associates

Karl-Frederic Anglade, Arnika Blount, Josh Canez, Nancy Doran, Javier Edwards-Ibarra, Gabriel Fung, Audrey Galo, David Gonzalez, Ben Gordon, Mikano Gracius, Elfie Hamilton, Brandon Hubbard, Matthew Johnson, Jim Lutz, Sven Kalim, Austin Kilroy, Mari Krakenes, Abby Kurlinkus, Katharine McLean, Dot Miller, Mark Mismash, Samuel Morris, TJ Olson, Clio Pairaud, Amanda Pederson, Stéphane Pierre-Louis, Gerry Reilly, Marcus Richardson, Simone Ruschmeier, Kaitlin Schalow, Clara Shipman, Courtney Smith-Frank, Lisa Smyth, Michael Spinello, Emerson Stepp, Thomas Stewart, Kay Strasser, Brent Suski, Jessie Towell, Mackenzie Tucker, Jeremy Warms


American Institute of Architects, Arup, Associates for International Management Services, BAR Architects, Barefoot Foundation, Bezos Family Foundation, British Red Cross, Build Change, Clinton Global Initiative, Clinton Bush Haiti Fund, CORDAID, Curry Stone Foundation, Digicel, Duetsche Bank, Ecofra, Gensler, GiveLove/Onexone, Global Nomads Group, Global Philanthropy Group, Habitat for Humanity International, Haiti Child Sponsorship Program, Haiti Partners, Haiti Water, Haven, Inveneo, International Organization of Migration, J/P Haiti Relief Organization, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Merlin, New York University Schack Institute of Real Estate, Save the Children, Société d'Aménagement et de Développement (SODADE) Port-au-Prince, ShoreBank International, Students Rebuild, The Stiller Foundation, Turner International, United States Green Building Council, William K Kellogg Foundation

Special Thanks

Yves Francois, Christian Lubin, Concern, Paul Casimir, Digicel, Tommy Stewart...for their continued patience, support and their belief in building a better future.

Our internet connectivity is provided courtesy of our partner Inveneo.

Thank You

This work would not be possible without the generous support of our staff, volunteers, partners and donors. Thank you.


The American Institute of Architects, Adobe Systems, Arcus Foundation, Associated Builders & Contractors, Autodesk, The Bank of America Foundation, Barefoot Foundation, Bezos Family Foundation, The Clinton Bush Haiti Fund, Coalesse, Curry Stone Foundation, Franklin Advisors, Gill Foundation, Heath Ceramics, James and Deborah K. Millis, Modular Building Institute, Nike, The Nobelity Project, Nordic Naturals, NVIDIA Corporation Foundation, Online Resource Corporation,, Provincial Partitions, James Stewart Polshek, Prudential, Rockefeller Brothers Fund, The San Bruno YouTube UX Team, Save the Children Federation, The Stiller Foundation, Students Rebuild, Square, Turner International, UCD Volunteers Overseas, The United States Green Building Council, Universal Modular, Wilmot Modular Structures, The Winston-Salem Foundation...and many others.

Fundraising Organizers

Afar Magazine, AlphaGraphics, Architecture for Humanity - Austin Chapter, Architecture for Humanity - San Francisco Chapter, CityPages, College of Environmental Design at UC Berkeley, Dragonfly Sushi, Erin Bricker, FC3, Gallery 2345, Globe, University, Hang out for Haiti, Harvard Business School, Hike4Haiti, KEXP, Lover for Haiti, Loyal Loot Collective, Mathew Sumner Photography, Night of 140 Tweets, NIMBY, Operation Homelink, PechaKucha, Reem Sater, Rock the Mind, The Bosco Lounge, The Ivy Club Network, The Princeton Club, Three Trees, Titan Aid, Turk Pipkin, Warehouse Gallery

A Special Thank You

We'd especially like to thank all of the individuals who donated to support rebuilding in Haiti. Architecture for Humanity received over $330,000 in restricted funding for its Haiti Initiative from individuals in the first weeks following the disaster. Most of these donations were in increments of $25. While we can't list everyone here, we are especially grateful to you. These small donations are the seed funds that make all of our work possible.

Architecture for Humanity makes every effort to ensure accuracy in donor and volunteer listings, but on occasion errors may occur. Please contact us at 415.963.3511 with any questions or comments.