Feature photograph of Disaster Resilient Housing for Haiti

Disaster Resilient Housing for Haiti


ODG volunteered hours to research and proposed short term and permanent disaster resilient residences for Haiti after a massive earthquake crippled the city of Port-au-Prince and its surrounding provinces in 2010. ODG’s proposed designs were presented to a senator’s office and research agency after Ms. Olshesky was a panel member of a Congressional Briefing in February 2010. The proposed designs were also presented to the American Institute of Architects (AIA) at the AIA convention in June 2010.

ODG focused on designing structures that would provide a basic earthquake and hurricane resistant foundation and incorporate regional building materials, such as bamboo. ODG’s recommendations included construction systems made from a variety of materials including bamboo, sand, steel and precast concrete. ODG also researched methods to transport building materials from the manufacturer to the country of Haiti.

The enforcement of international and regional building codes was recommended to prevent a similar disaster from occurring in the future. Disaster hazard maps for earthquakes, hurricanes, coastal erosion, and mudslides need to be developed. Zoning maps can be developed once the hazardous locations have been identified.

Sustainable building technologies and the use of indigenous building materials were suggested when they proved to be prudent and cost effective.