Concrete Masonry Unit

//Concrete Masonry Unit

The Concrete Masonry Unit project (CMU) aims to establish a reliable and economical production model for CMU produced in Haiti’s Central Plateau that includes recommendations for souring materials, manufacturing, and distribution, as well as a testing mechanism that is appropriate, consistent, and easy to operate. The project draws inspiration from the catastrophic earthquake that occurred in Haiti in 2010. The earthquake caused critical damage to an estimated 250,000 homes and 30,000 workplaces, most of which were composed of reinforced concrete or CMU. Upon investigation, it was revealed that much of the concrete used in these structures ranged in quality from poor to sub-optimal. This led to the creation of programs in the city of Port-au Prince, such as those offered by CEMEX and CHF international, which educate Haitian men and women on proper concrete design. While these programs are effective in the proliferation of general knowledge of concrete design, they are frequently limited in both scope of course material and in reach beyond the city. This can be observed especially in rural areas such as the Central Plateau where concrete testing methods remain limited or non-existent. Even where rudimentary quality tests exist, the way these results are interpreted would often be classified as unacceptable by the standards used in developed countries. As a result, the material properties of concrete units coming out of these plants can vary wildly. Compound the risk posed by these quality control methods with the high environmental risk presented by hurricanes and earthquakes, and it is no mystery as to why Haiti has consistently been ranked the most vulnerable country in the western hemisphere. When finalized, the method and apparatus designed through this project will mitigate risk in the Central Plateau and will be applicable in any resource constrained environment.

2019-03-31T19:29:08-04:00 Projects|