Degenkolb Engineers has been working with Build Change to train 12 personnel at CARE in the Seismic Evaluation and Retrofit Guidelines for Haitian Masonry Housing. Gordy Wray and Abe Lynn provided training for the first and second two-week sessions, respectively. When I arrived to the program here in Carrefour on Monday, March 12th, the construction of the retrofits were underway. As part of this training program, CARE is doing a pilot project to retrofit ten houses in the Carrefour neighborhood of La Grenade. (In order to view the Google Earth location file, please install Google Earth here.) Based on the success of this pilot project, they plan to build this program and tackle even more homes.
In the first week, I spent my time visiting each site a few times a day – stopping in to consult with the CARE engineer who was performing structural observation during the retrofit construction. Each engineer or technician had their own site (sometimes two) to observe. Two of the course participants were mobilizers, making sure materials arrived to the sites as needed. Two other course participants were the project manager and assistant project manager – they also spent time at every site each day to make sure the projects ran smoothly.
The photos below show the construction site assigned to the CARE engineer, Samuel. They show the progression of a reinforced concrete ring beam installation. The ring beam is located at the top of all the walls and helps the wall to span out-of-plane to the adjacent perpendicular walls at either side. These ring beams are critical, particularly for light weight roofs that cannot support the wall out-of-plane. They help prevent the wall from falling inward or outward in an earthquake.
Now that I am into my second week working with CARE, and the retrofit construction is near complete, we have been spending half days in the classroom, reviewing practice problems and course material. The training will wrap up with a final exam and final presentations by each participant.
By: Lizzie Blaisdell