Bati Byen: Rebuilding in Haiti—2010 Year in Review

Bati Byen: Rebuilding in Haiti—2010 Year in Review

  • by Architecture for Humanity
  • Jan 03, 2011
  • comments

"I had the dream but Architecture for Humanity makes it happen."—Pastor Dorcinvil Wilkesse, School Owner and Principal, Home of Knowledge Institute, Port-au-Prince

This progress update is also available in: Français.

The anniversary of any disaster offers a moment to reflect, no more so than in Haiti where more than 1,000,000 people remain displaced a year after the 7.0 earthquake destroyed lives and livelihoods.

Even in the best case scenario rebuilding takes years. In Haiti, violence, political uncertainty and the recent cholera outbreak have slowed the work.

Despite these hurdles, the Architecture for Humanity team is making strong progress. We started out with a plan. (Steal this Plan.) In this first year, we've established a rebuilding center, distributed a basic guide to rebuilding safely to thousands, provided urban planning and construction expertise to our partners, and, most critically, worked to rebuild schools. All told, our design services have impacted the lives of more than 37,935 to date.

Looking ahead, we're excited to see students back in school. We're excited about our partnership with the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund to help rebuild small businesses, restore jobs, and bring Haiti's economy back to life. And, we're excited—together with our partners—to help build a more sustainable future in Haiti.

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Our impact

Distributed Rebuilding 101 Manual to 5,000+ builders
Provided Mason training grant impacting 500 builders
Schools in design and construction: 7, impacting 3,027 students
Hosted 58 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
Number of Haitians employed on projects to date: 1,340

Total design and construction beneficiaries to date: 37,935

In their own words

It's Hammer Time
Schendy Kenizan at a demolition site in Pele
Credit: Schendy Kenizan
Design Matters
Eric Cesal on the role of architects in Haiti
Credit: Architecture for Humanity Auckland
The Daily Jam
Architect Yves François on his daily commute
Credit: Yves François

Students Rebuild

Some of the most rewarding work we've done this year has been with students. Through Students Rebuild, we're rebuilding schools, brick by brick, day by day with funds raised for students by students.

Students Rebuild is a joint initiative of Architecture for Humanity, the Bezos Family Foundation and Global Nomads Group. Students are invited to start a team and raise funds to build schools in Haiti. In turn, students in Haiti are participating in designing schools and connecting with students around the world. Their funds are matched dollar for dollar (up to $2,500 per team) by the Bezos Family Foundation. Live videoconferencing, a standards-based curriculum, design workshops and a weekly blog keep students and educators connected and informed.

To date, we've raised $120,881 from 103 teams of students in eight countries before the matching grant. Meet our teams.

With the help of the Clinton Global Initiative, Global Philanthropy Group, Barefoot Foundation and The Stiller Foundation, we've committed to help build at least ten schools. Our goal is to raise $500,000 through Students Rebuild to support this commitment. As you can see by the number of schools in design or construction below, we're making good progress—and we're having fun doing it. Thank you to all the students in Haiti and beyond who are building a better future.

Battle of the Bands: Haiti meets United States

Are you a student or educator? It's not too late to start a team. Join us.

Building Back Business

We're pleased to announce a grant from The Clinton Bush Haiti Fund to support building back businesses in Haiti. The $816,472 grant to Architecture for Humanity, in support of the Rebuilding Center in Port-au-Prince will enable small and growing Haitian businesses to participate in post-earthquake reconstruction and ensure rebuilding incorporates better design and engineering.

The Rebuilding Center will serve as a one-stop-shop to provide technical expertise to Haiti's construction sector. It should help put more than 5,000 Haitians back to work and benefit the lives of 30,000 people within three years by providing workforce training, consumer education, and professional referrals. Part of this work will include supporting lenders and micro-finance institutions making construction loans. The goal: To make sure Haiti design and construction firms are aware of—and can compete for—reconstruction bids and tender opportunities while helping Haiti's entrepreneurs build back better.

Help us build back businesses. If you are interesting in providing matching support, please contact us.

Project overview

View Haiti Reconstruction Projects in a larger map

Haiti Rebuilding Center
The Rebuilding Center will serve as a one-stop shop for professional design and construction services. It will provide workforce training, consumer education, professional referrals, and serve as a clearinghouse for reconstruction bid and tender opportunities.

CAD and BIM Training Workshops
A series of two-week sessions on AutoCAD and Revit for Haitian professionals and students in the design and construction industry. The San Francisco office of Gensler donated support for classes at the Rebuilding Center with the help of some dedicated laptops and copies of the AutoCAD Suite 2009 donated by Autodesk.

Rebuilding 101 Manual
A concise 32-page graphic manual of recommendations for seismic and hurricane resistant buildings. Free to download, print and distribute!

Transitional to What? Report
This 51-page report examines and compares 10 transitional shelter types ("T-shelters") currently housing thousands of Haitians in Port-au-Prince, Leogane, Papette and elsewhere. The report rates components for longevity, adaptability and satisfaction of users' needs amongst other criteria.

Accessible House for Marie
LaRousse, Port-au-Prince. Handicap accessible house for a family of 14.

Accessible House for Odeline
Moler, Port-au-Prince. Handicap accessible house for a family of 4, including 2-year-old Odeline, who has limited mobility. Water and electricity to be sourced on-site.

Pétionville Club Improvements
The J/P Haiti Relief Organization has enlisted the help of Architecture for Humanity to engage the camp in several improvements to increase longevity and comfort for the 50,000 displaced Haitians now living there. Projects for benefit of residents include a women's clinic platform, an elementary school, child-friendly spaces, and an art school.

Haiti School Initiative
In partnership with Students Rebuild and other funding partners, Architecture for Humanity has offered design services and construction grants to support the design and construction of both transitional and permanent school facilities.

École Ceverine
Outside Maissade, Artibonite. The Ceverine School has been under construction for several years and is not yet complete. The school provides education to 257 students–approximately 4 classes of 60 students each. The school seeks remediation of any damage on the existing classroom block and provision of two additional classrooms and new latrines.

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
Champ de 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 to be restored. The school serves about 250 students. The nuns lived on campus prior to the earthquake and currently commute across Port-au-Prince.

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.

Institut Foyer du Savoir "Home of Knowledge"
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-storey, critically damaged school serving 1100 students requires a multi-year phase-in of 20 classrooms with improved ventilation and sanitary restrooms in the form of composting latrine blocks.

École Mixte de Nancy
Delmas 33, Port-au-Prince. Mixte de Nancy is a private preschool and primary school serving approximately 300 children ages 3-5 and grades 1st through 6th with 17 staff (20 before the earthquake). The land is owned by the school as well as an adjacent site where the temporary school is located. The existing 3-story school building was damaged and subsequently repaired to prevent collapse; the building is currently used for storage only.

Please note: This does not reflect all of the design and planning work in which we've been engaged. Due to the early stage of the work or requests from our partners, some projects are not listed above. We will include them in future updates when appropriate.

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.

Interested? Send questions to Get Involved.

Our team

Eric Cesal, Sandhya Naidu Janardhan, Ronald Jouissance, Sabby Stinfil, Tibab & Gracia, Lordana Vernet, Patrick Volel

Design Fellows
Darren Gill, Dave Hampton, Karl Johnson, Schendy Kernizan, Stacey McMahan, Lyndia Mesidor

Appirio, Heidi Arnold, Francisco Barrachina Pastor, Alex Barrett, Ryan Behring, Ronan Burke, Peter Constantini, Katie Davis, Tamsin Ford, Camilla Galli, Jennifer Graeff, Sinead Hugh, Adina Israel, James Jean-Louis, Vanessa Kleinfelder, Fredric King, Eric Kostegan, Kirklin Lee, Lilian Lee, Nadege Lespinasse, Rachel Litherland, Andrew Ma, Amanda Marquez, Nikolas Martin, Denorah Matias, Patricia Menadier, Kyle Miller, Dominique Moore, Alix Ogilvie, Jenny Phillips, Hill Pierce, Noni Pittenger, Gerard Reilly, Megan Roy, Salesforce, Adam Saltzman, Michael Samoc, The San Bruno YouTube UX Team, Niveen Sayeed, Anand Sheth, Caitlin Schroeder, Cara Speziale, Lisa Smyth, Tommy Stewart, Johnathan Stiteiman, David Thrasher, Kathleen Tierney, Mark Warren, Christine Welland, Neil Wilson, T. Luke Young

American Institute of Architects, Arup, BAR Architects, Barefoot Foundation, Bezos Family Foundation, Clinton Global Initiative, Ecofra, Gensler, Global Nomads Group, Global Philanthropy Group, Habitat for Humanity International, Inveneo, J/P Haiti Relief Organization, New York University Schack Institute of Real Estate, Save the Children, Société d'Aménagement et de Développement (SODADE) Port-au-Prince, The Stiller Foundation, Turner International, United States Green Building Council

Special Thanks: Yves Francois, Christian Lubin, Concern, Nathalie Casimir, Digicel, Tommy Stewart, Marc Roger and Sabine Malebranche...for their continued patience, support and their belief in building a better future.

Our internet connectivity is provided courtesy of our partner Inveneo. Learn more.

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, 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, Cause Media Group, CityPages, College of Environmental Design at UC Berkeley, Dragonfly Sushi, Erin Bricker, FC3, Gallery 2345, Globe, University, Haiti Assistance Relief Telethon, 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, What Gives, Zoe Saldana

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 $255,000 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.

Interested in supporting the on-going reconstruction work in Haiti? Donate now.

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.