In the wake of the third anniversary of the devastating earthquake that rocked Haiti, leaving so many people homeless, local engineer Bruce Goddard is leading a group of volunteers to head south to help rebuild.
Arriving on Feb. 1, the four-person volunteer group is going to provide affordable and sustainable housing to the hordes of Haitians who lost their homes three years ago.
"I've been there more than 40 times now," said Goddard, who started traveling to Haiti in 1998 for volunteer projects. "I've worked on clean water projects and I'm a member of Engineers Without Borders."
Goddard is the vice president of engineering for the Destin-based Building Engineering-Consultants, Inc. (BE-CI).
Phase One of the groups' plan includes the construction of a manufacturing plant that will build the framework that is crucial to building safe homes.
"The Affordable Housing for Haiti" organization and Goddard will present plans to the Haitian government, asking for their permission to construct a Steel Structural Insulated Panel, SSIP, plant near the capital city of Port-au-Prince. SSIPs are a foam core of expanded polyurethane, pressed tightly between panels of galvalume steel. The design provides the flexibility and compressive strength needed to meet the harsh environment in Haiti — particularly earthquakes, while also meeting Florida State Building Codes.
Then the actual home construction can begin.
Goddard and the other volunteers will build the panels and the homes, while also teaching the Haitian engineers and contractors how to construct them.
"This is an ideal solution for breaking the deadlock of home construction after the earthquake," Goddard said in a press release.
During the upcoming trip, Goddard and the volunteers will be staying in Haiti for a month.
"We'll come back if we're needed though," Goddard told The Log. "We just don't have anything planned as of now."
Providing funding for the feasibility studies for this project is the Marietta, Ga., company Health and Relief Organization (HERO). Donations may be sent to P.O. Box 670804, Marietta, Ga., 30066.