Today wraps up a week of training the newly hired engineers of Build Change, Haiti in earthquake engineering, and building evaluation and retrofit procedures.
The week started off with nine new engineers in my class and on Wednesday I got six more. The first nine engineers split into sub-groups on Wednesday and today they will complete their training with presentations on the example buildings for which they had to evaluate and design retrofits. The example buildings were three of the few remaining buildings that Build Change is currently planning to retrofit in the neighborhood of Villa Rosa.
One-story building with a light roof.
It has many cross-walls that divide the building into six different apartments. The evaluation of this building indicated that it needed minimal retrofit – only adding a continuous ring beam at the top of the wall and securing the roof to the beam. The second building that was evaluated by my class was for the most part completely destroyed by the earthquake (See Photo 2). The roof and two walls are entirely gone. This building will need to be reconstructed from the ground up, including new foundations, walls and roof. The third building is a two-story home (See Photo 3). It is complicated in many ways – the walls above do not line up with the walls below, an adjacent building is connected to the back and shares a wall with this building, some walls and columns have been damaged by the earthquake and there is a "public" corridor running through the ground floor between the rooms and the toilets (See Photo 4). This building requires the most work and the engineers have found ways to add walls and improve the performance while working around the existing challenges.It was interesting to spend time in Villa Rosa and also see some of the retrofits in construction and others that had been completed by Build Change. Photos 5-8 show a completed retrofit.[gallery class="lightbox" link="file"]