SEED_Haiti is an environmental and humanitarian solution for providing relief housing with the adaptive reuse of surplus ISO shipping containers which in time turn into permanent homes. This solution uses the many shipping containers that are already in Haiti and the large number of shipping containers that are being sent to Haiti with relief supplies. In the coming months, there will be thousands of containers arriving to Haiti. SEED_Haiti is working on a strong incentive package to get this surplus of containers donated from the shipping industry for homes in Haiti rather than storing them or transporting them empty.
Key elements of the SEED_Haiti Design
Haiti’s hurricane season is approaching. The estimated 500,000+ of homeless need to be housed in stables structures quickly. The containers with their unibody construction of Cor-Ten steel, are not only hurricane and earthquake proof, they are also fire, mold, and vandalism proof. The design is able to seal back up in the case of another natural disaster protecting a family’s valuable possessions so that when they return home they are not starting from scratch again.
The SEED design transforms a 40’ shipping container into a home for 6-10 people with a minimum amount of effort. The container is cut with readily available equipment and utilizes low impact foundation technology to lift the home off the ground for ventilation and protect from flood. It is also covered with a secondary roof to keep the home cool. It is a low cost emergency solution. Incentives should be given to shipping companies to donate their surplus containers in Port-au-Prince and arriving containers with relief supplies.
The SEED home is equipped with 2 low cost pallet sized “pods” (water pod and energy pod) that meet the basic needs of access to drinking water, human sanitation and food preparation.
These elements are a micro infrastructure that provides self sufficiency a key element for place that has lost all infrastructure.
Possible questions of the SEED_Haiti Design
Is housing people in shipping containers appropriate?
Not only does it effectively protect the people that would otherwise be homeless or in tents, it protects them better than before. The container’s unibody structure is stronger than the homes which collapsed during the earthquake. As a dwelling type, container housing is already common as part of many countries vernacular and is being more commonly used in construction including luxury housing.
How do you transport such heavy structures?
The shipping container is the backbone of the global trade. Virtually every country in the world, including Haiti, has equipment for handling shipping containers. Transporting them from the port to a building site will be the same challenge for any emergency housing. In fact, other building materials and equipment will be delivered to Haiti in shipping containers.
Isn’t such a material (steel) in the Caribbean a bad choice in terms of heat gain?
The material will not overturn or collapse, but it will also not mold or burn. A canopy that is part of the design, provides not only shade and an additional space on the roof of the structure, but also a tunnel draft of air which insulates the roof. The emergency garden proposed for the roof also serves as insulation. The container’s simple cuts in the horizontal planes, provide natural cross ventilation.
For more information, visit http://10to10.org/.