Rapid construction system for housing complex

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Developed with Haiti in mind. The idea is to greatly reduce costs but most importantly, reduce time to implement.

The technology is a hybrid between cement block construction and SIP technology (Structural Insulated Panels). The minerals for making cement are readily available in Haiti (and many third world countries as well).

The system consists in manufactured wall units and a floor/ceiling unit that can be assembled on site by manpower and little equipment. Once the wall and floor/ceiling units are assembled into a dwelling, concrete is poured inside the hollow walls and floor/ceiling. These individual dwellings units can be stacked horizontally as well as vertically to build a strong housing complex structure that can resist all kinds of natural calamities.

In a typical configuration, single dwellings are stacked four stories high, ten units long by two unit deep (each side facing a street) for a total of 80 dwellings assembled in 12 hours and finished over a 3 day period. Each dwelling measures approximately 10 feet by 15 feet, which is acceptable by Haitians, especially given the current situation.

The wall units are of EPS inserts sandwiched between two cement board panels. The positioning of the EPS inserts leaves air spaces to be filled by concrete once the house unit is fully assembled. Wall units are made of single panels from floor to ceiling and the length of a room. That way there is very little on-site assembly required. The cement boards and the inserts require a very simple assembly plant that can be dismantled and moved to follow construction sites much the way a circus travels. This construction technique is faster to assemble and structurally stronger than SIP construction while having the required flexibility to handle earthquakes.

Because each dwelling is part of a large housing complex, it is easy to later open walls to double or quadruple the size of each dwelling by combining 2, 4 or more units together on a single floor plan or a two floor plan. In this way, over time, an 80 dwelling block would become a 20 dwelling block, with each dwelling having a floor space of 600 sq ft.

Given that the entire manufacturing process as well as the on-site construction happens to be in Haiti or any third world nation, labor costs are greatly reduced as are the raw material costs. Also, it improves the economy of the country, and the quality of life of its citizens by providing safe and secure houses.

The combination of materials, manufacturing system and on-site assembly makes this construction method faster than just about anything currently used, which makes it suitable anywhere, not just developing countries since the quality is excellent and the customization possibilities are endless.

Other advantages : The buildings are more space efficient and more in-line with environmental issues such as reduced footprint to allow for more farming and virgin land.
They allow for roof gardens that collect rainwater so as to reduce water run offs.

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  • ABOUT THE ENTRANT

  • Name:
    Gilles Boulanger
  • Type of entry:
    individual
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