The area of fertile ground left in the wake of a flood.
Monday, May 13, 2013
Haiti- Day 4 And The Walls Go Up
Today our entire construction crew went to the house where we helped prepare the foundation the day before. The first thing that had to be done was to build a wooden frame that would go temporarily on the outside of the wire cages to hold them in place.
building the support frame
Once three sides of the frame were in put up we started bringing the wire cages over. The long wall cages (15') were maneuvered around the frame and put into position. Then, the two smaller sections of one short wall were set into place. All the wire caging was fastened together with thin metal wire. The frames themselves are made of 1/4" re-bar and chicken wire. The wall or basket is about one foot thick and 7 feet high. Once the three walls of baskets were in place and fastened together we brought the fourth frame and the last two sections of wall over to affix them to the structure. Now that all of the walls were secured we could begin pouring rubble into the walls. I climbed up on the end of one wall and Michael McEntyre climbed up on the other end. After some minor modifications to the tops of the wall we were ready to start the bucket line.
3 walls in place
Andy and Michael filling the walls
We spent the rest of the day trading places and continuing to fill the walls. Above the windows and the doors we constructed a small basket with short pieces of re-bar and chicken wire in order to suspend some rubble above the openings. The ends of the walls also had to be closed in.
Jeremy Holloman, Program Director for Latin America and the Caribbean, Conscience International (CI) arrived today. He is the CI staffer assigned to Haiti. He shared with the group the philosophy by which CI operates in Haiti. He also answered some of our concerns about the stability of the rubble houses. The walls are not tied to the foundation. This is done intentionally and actually adds to the stability of the structure. The home ways about 30 tons. It would take an incredible amount of force for the home to slide off of its foundation. The house would have to slide off of its foundation by 3 feet before the house would begin to crack and that it because at that point the rubble would fall out of the bottom of the wall that was off the foundation. This is highly unlikely due to the nature of the construction. Pouring the rubble into the walls from the top causes the compaction of the rubble at the bottom of the wall, thus creating a very stable, bottom-heavy wall. Added stability is achieved when the roof is installed as well.