Celebrated architect and co-founder of Congress for the New Urbanism (CNU) Andres Duany has designed a structure that could soon bring relief to thousands of homeless disaster victims in Haiti.
A Miami-based company, InnoVida, recently agreed to construct 1,000 of the rectangular, prefabricated structures for Haiti. Each shelter can sleep up to eight individuals and can withstand fire, hurricane-force winds and earthquakes. Duany's "cabin" is unique in that its panels can be put together in various configurations and can even be expanded upon. The cabins have indoor plumbing, which is connected to a potable water tank and a rain barrel.
What's more, InnoVida announced that they hope to build a factory in Haiti and employ thousands of Haitians to produce the cabins.
Miami Herald reporter Andres Viglucci reports, however, that this is not yet a done deal:
The Haitian government, the Red Cross and the United Nations have fielded dozens of proposals for shelter and housing. But the government has barely begun to sort through them. Some of the decision-makers have expressed opposition to prefabricated housing, preferring locally built homes.
For a more in depth look at the cabin and the discussion, check out the video on the Miami Herald site.
To learn more about the larger challenge of rebuilding, we highly recommend Architecture for Humanity's Haiti page (disclosure: Cameron Sinclair, co-founder of AfH, is a contributor to this site). Of particular interest may be their open-source Haiti rebuilding plan.