Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Update from Peter (our partner from Kembe)

During the week of Christmas, I travelled up to Gros-Morne with a loaded truck and a 4 man building crew from Maxima S.A. (the company donating the houses). On the truck we had loaded the two houses which are comprised of over 200 different parts (panels, roofing sheets, ridges, straps, anchors etc etc). Once arrived in Gros Morne I had already warned Rogeste to have a crew ready to help us unload the truck, this was a great help as it was all unloaded and carried by foot (10 min walk) in less than an hour.
Once the truck unloaded, no time was wasted, as we had already spent half the day driving and thick clouds were forming above our heads. Within 2 hours we had set up the carcasses of both houses, I had directed two teams to work on each house simultaneously. Once the carcasses were up, the rain started and we had to stop working.
The next day started early (5am). It was now time to put up the roof, nail on the siding, secure all the panels and trusses with hurricane straps to secure it from any storms. As the day ended, we were forced back to Port-au-Prince due to time constraints. One of the workers from the building crew stayed behind to pour the concrete together with Rogeste as he has a lot of experience with this (he has built over 500 houses).
The next steps now are as follows. We are still discussing on the best possible barn, a team is doing research in Holland, while we also have experts from Jamaica advising us. Once the definite plans are set in stone, the setting up can begin which will take approximately a week. Furthermore, a design is being made to build a water tank on one of the houses (the one near the well) and install a solar pump for the well.
Greetings and I wish everyone a prosperous 2011 from Haiti, Peter de Gier


  1. Is that OSB - oriented strand board? Any thoughts on how long it will last in a wet tropical climate?

  2. SolarBob- OSB is indeed oriented strand board. With the proper sealant it is projected to last 5-6 years and the cost is $11/sheet. We use 17 sheets for each of the small buildings, the barn will not need OSB. If we were to use plywood the cost would nearly triple ($30/sheet) and the life span would only double (10 years). Since labor is inexpensive OSB is the most economically choice. Our construction consultant/partner is Peter, whose family owns and operates Maxima (one of the largest and most successful construction companies in Port au Prince). We certainly consider ourselves blessed to be able to tap into their vast knowledge and experience. I hope this fully answers your question. Thank you for your interest in our project and stay posted for more updates.