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I am watching CNN Live with Ali Velshi talking with someone from Habitat for Humanity about the Haiti transitional housing and rebuilding from the earthquake. A recent article and segment on CNN had described the emergency tool kits that Habitat for Humanity was sending and are continuing to send to Haiti with hammer, tarp, saws, and other handy tools for individuals and families to use immediately. That is absolutely brilliant. They showed just now what a more permanent housing will be and said it will take about 6 weeks to build each one? Verbally the Habitat for Humanity representative described what the temporary housing will be like between now and then. He described what is essentially a shed for each family as temporary housing which the rainy season will flood, the mudslides will wash away and will be so hot as to be dangerous to human life in that region. The hurricanes will be there within two – three months – a matter of weeks. Why don’t they join together (the NGOs, Haitian government and charitable emergency international aid organizations), and build a school that is off the ground – can be used to shelter people from the coming storms temporarily and then be used as a school after the hurricanes and rainy season have passed?

Why can’t they use those multi-billion dollar donations to do one thing right for these people to give them real shelter from storms, mudslides, floods, winds and dangerous weather that they know is on the way? The temporary shelter systems won’t do any of that and many, many more people in Haiti will be dead if the aid organizations insist on doing it that way . . . I can’t even watch anymore knowing the Haitian government is engaging in genocide at every stage of this operation through ineptitude, greed, corruption, taxing donations that are coming in, screwing around, not listening to anybody that can genuinely protect the lives of their people and on and on and on . . .  The Haitian government delayed getting the supplies sitting on the tarmac to the people that were less than three miles from where they sat. They have insisted on customs laws being applied to the donated tents and goods in order to line their own pockets and to slow down the process of these items getting to the populations that have been affected. They are busying themselves gathering up money around the world that they don’t intend to ever help the people by using appropriately and they are using our military resources as it suits them even when the way in which they use them results in more suffering, deaths and failures to get aid where it can do the most good. There is nothing but days until the situation grows even worse than it is now and they know it, but nothing seems to get through to them that would accurately change the way they are doing things (apparently that is how it has always been and ten years from now – will still be that way, its a shame.)

– my note, cricketdiane


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My Note –

This company and several others that meet military specifications for weather proof structures that are precast with concrete and steel could provide better choices for temporary housing in Haiti against the hurricanes and rainy season that is coming. There would have to be built-in ventilation systems of some kind but they have a better chance of saving human life than most of the metal and plastic sheds they are about to spend $2500 dollars each to buy and place in Haiti which will be blown to hell when the hurricanes come.

– cricketdiane


I just thought these are gorgeous designs and would be great to see in Haiti for the rebuilding . . . (my note)


PBS Sustainable Earth Shelter Project Planned to Overlook the Pacific Ocean – http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/sldt/0509/#/24

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(and no, I’m not paid by nor working for any of these companies – I looked them up online and really believe they represent a much better option than the metal sheds that are being planned to put Haiti’s people and children at further risk to life, limb and safety.)

– cricketdiane


My Note –

By the way, once the international aid organizations have spent $2500 each for temporary metal sheds without any foundation for each family in Haiti that are right now sitting under bed sheets out in open spaces and then put together some other transitional housing system for only those families who own their own land or property somewhere, they could have given the original $2500 to every Haitian and they probably could’ve bought just about anywhere in the territory . . . you know what I mean. It is ridiculous to conceive of the ways some of this is being considered by the people spending that money which people around the world have given to help protect, clothe, feed, give health care and housing to the people in Haiti who’ve been devastated by the earthquake. The amounts of money are literally staggering and amounts exceed the $2.3 Billion dollars that I added up from the donations around the world, individually and from countries within a couple weeks after the earthquake. No telling what it is now, except that it looks like many of the NGOs standard operating procedures take the donations and then leverage them or invest them in pools where the take off the return in investments or whatever is the only actual money used to help anybody. I’ve been meaning to look at that further because if the markets are not moving in a positive way, those funds could quickly be wiped out as well as the fact that I’ve been wondering if they’ve been using the new donations and funds for Haiti and other disasters to replenish moneys they lost when the stock market tanked over the last three years . . .

– cricketdiane


Haiti Rebuilding Efforts Make News

by Carol Lanham February 17, 4:49 p.m. In The Media

As humanitarian efforts in Haiti shift from meeting immediate needs to planning for long-term rebuilding, One Dome at a Time continues to make headlines. The non-profit was formed last October between Monolithic and Haitian rapper and entrepreneur Won-G. At the time, no one could have imagined just how great the need would be.

“Haiti’s need is larger right now that anything we’ve seen,” Monolithic’s David South told the Austin Chronicle. “You’re talking about mind-boggling numbers of people without housing.”

First on the agenda is a village of 500 EcoShell domes similar to the ones that were built in Indonesia. The cost for the Haitian project could total $5 million, but South says the longevity of the buildings have to be taken into account.

“I told them, “If they’re not still standing after 500 years, you call me and we’ll talk about it.” For more details or to donate, visit One Dome at a Time.

Featured Domes

When the Native American community saw their need for not one, but two, new school facilities on its Navajo Indian Reservation in Arizona, they got innovative. Superintendent Mark Sorenson explained, “We designed Tolchii Kooh to be like a district office, with Leupp and Little Singer as independent schools, subcontracted to Tolchii Kooh.” (Continued…)




My Note –

stumbled on this looking for more info on some concrete, steel reinforced buildings that I found recently online that the military used and is using for storage and emergency shelter from hurricanes/ tornadoes according to what I had read. And the structures I had seen online were capable of protecting human life of 6 – 8 people each even during a tornado. The dome structures site had this entry about the use for schools on the Navajo Indian Reservation in Arizona and where these dome structures are being used or considered in the recovery of Haiti. The overall shape of the structure was shown to have a better chance during hurricanes – there was a story of a house which was the only one to survive one of the hurricanes along the Gulf of Mexico a few years ago – I’ll look it up. The swept back edges of curving surfaces allowed the hurricane winds to go around the surface aerodynamically rather than confronting the structure flat on with constant fatiguing shocks. How they would do during flooding or mudslides / lahars is probably something else again, but any of these structures that have any chance of working during high winds would have to be tied down and possibly up away from the ground to be safe during floods (but not use the traditional types of reinforced concrete columns to do it – they would have to be earthquake and extreme event building methods for any raised level support system to work and endure the annual events in Haiti.)

– cricketdiane



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Example of Mokume-gane patterns in gold and silver alloys

Mokume-gane brass/copper billet

Mokume-gane ( 木目金 ) is a mixed-metal laminate with distinctive layered patterns. Translating as “wood-grain metal”, the name was borrowed from one type of pattern created in the forging of swords and other edged weapons.

First made in 17th-century Japan, the mixed-metal was used only for sword fittings until the Meiji era, when the decline of the katana industry forced artisans to create purely decorative items instead. The inventor, Denbei Shoami (1651-1728), initially called his product “guri bori” for its simplest form’s resemblance to “guri”, a type of carved lacquerwork with alternating layers of red and black. Other historical names for it were kasumi-uchi (cloud metal), itame-gane (wood-grain metal), and yosefuki. (Pijanowski & Pijanowski, 2001)

The traditional components were relatively soft metallic elements and alloys – gold, copper, silver, shakudo, shibuichi, and kuromido – which would form liquid phase diffusion bonds with one another without completely melting. After the original metal sheets were stacked and carefully heated, the solid billet of simple stripes could be forged and carved to increase the pattern’s complexity. To achieve a successful lamination using the traditional process required a highly skilled smith with a great deal of experience.

The modernized process typically uses a controlled atmosphere in a temperature controlled furnace. Mechanical aids such as a hydraulic press or torque plates (bolted clamps) are also typically used to apply compressive force on the billet during lamination and provide for the implementation of lower temperature solid-state diffusion between the interleaved layers, allowing the inclusion of many nontraditional components such as titanium, platinum, iron, bronze, brass, nickel silver, and various colors of karat gold including yellow, white, sage, and rose hues as well as sterling silver. (Binnion & Chaix, 2002)


Katana, showing mokume-gane from the forged in layers of steel with differing carbon content.

To increase the contrast between the laminate layers many mokume-gane items are colored by the application of a patina (a controlled corrosion layer) to accentuate or even totally change the colors of the metal’s surface. One example of a traditional Japanese patination is the use of rokusho. Rokusho is a complex copper verdigris compound produced specifically for use as a patina.

To color the shakudo and gold, submerse the piece in boiling rokusho, and hold there – agitating constantly – until it reaches the desired color. Rokusho colors shakudo a black-purple. The more gold is in the alloy, the more purple it turns.

Rokusho is produced in small batches in a traditional process and is somewhat difficult to acquire outside Japan. There are some proposed substitute formulas (see rokusho article.)

Traditionally a paste of ground daikon radish is also used to prepare the work for the patina.

The paste is applied immediately before the piece is boiled in the rokusho to protect the surface against tarnish and uneven coloring.

(Pijanowski & Pijanowski, 2001)

Shakudo can also be darkened by adding salt with ammonia in a plastic bag. The warmer the solution, the faster it will darken the metal.

See also




There is no excuse for the Republican governor who was trying to get FEMA trailers with formaldehyde and other chemicals still leaching out of the surfaces inside the living areas, sold to Haiti and the aid organizations helping there. To try and get things used in other places used in Haiti simply because that is the way its always been done, is unacceptable. If the design won’t suit the needs of the people and their safety in Haiti – then it doesn’t need to be done that way. It is hot there. It is humid there. It is going to rain – a lot.

There are going to bad hurricanes, floods and mudslides – it isn’t many days and weeks before that will be upon them. There is no excuse for sending trailers, metal or plastic unventilated sheds or anything else that won’t withstand the extreme weather that is soon to be bearing down on them. They could be a school building with a kitchen / cafeteria in the few weeks between now and then to be used as a temporary shelter during the rains and floods and hurricanes for the many people who are still homeless there. And, if not one more person, adult or child dies from the results of this earthquake, that would just be great. Last night, I was watching the weather channel storm stories show about the Hurricane Ivan hit on the Grand Cayman Islands and all I could think about was the people in the areas hit by earthquakes including Haiti that will then be hit by other destructive events, specifically high winds and rain / floods.

– cricketdiane


This is very interesting –


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Enables Shoring Spans over 20ft

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Amvic  Insulated Concrete Form (ICF) Condominium Project

AmDeck Floor & Roof System Concrete Joists

AmDeck® Floor and Roof System concrete joist maximum spans.

The table below is based on the following criteria and is for preliminary estimation purposes only.

  • 10 psf dead load
  • 40 psf live load
  • Single span wl2/8
  • Fy = 60,000 psi, Fc = 3,000 psi
    Slab Thickness Bottom Steel Top Steel
    Top Steel
    Max. Span
    2 2 # 6 #3 @ 16 o/c #3 @ 16 o/c 25ft
    2.5 2 # 6 #3 @ 16 o/c #3 @ 16 o/c 26ft
    3 2 # 7 #4 @ 12 o/c #3 @ 16 o/c 27ft
    3.5 2 # 7 #4 @ 12 o/c #3 @ 16 o/c 28ft
    4 2 # 8 #5 @ 12 o/c #3 @ 16 o/c 29ft
    4.5 2 # 8 #5 @ 12 o/c #3 @ 16 o/c 30ft
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    Isometric view AmDeck Floor & Roof System Form Cross Section AmDeck Floor & Roof System Form

    Cross Section of am AmDeck Floor & Roof System Form (Above Right)

    Cross Section of two AmDeck Floor & Roof  System Forms

    Cross Section of two AmDeck Floor & Roof System Forms (Above)

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    Google crisis response

    Support Disaster Relief in Chile

    On February 27, an 8.8 magnitude earthquake struck Chile. Join recovery efforts mobilizing around the world to assist earthquake victims. Your donation will help disaster victims rebuild their lives and their communities.

    News and Updates

    View Chile Earthquake helpful information in a larger map

    DONATE – see the page link below on google with a secure donation opportunity provided –

    Other ways to help

    Also accepting cash and in-kind donations are the following sites: AmeriCares, Oxfam, Save the Children, World Vision (English), World Vision (Spanish), Un techo para Chile, the Chilean Red Cross, KSAR Chile, SOS Children’s Villages, Global Giving, ShelterBox, Habitat for Humanity, Operation USA.

    The following organizations are accepting SMS donations in the US only:

    • SMS text “CHILE” to 25383 to donate $10 to Habitat for Humanity
    • SMS text “CHILE” to 20222 to donate $10 to World Vision
    • SMS text “REBUILD” to 50555 to donate $10 to Operation USA
    • SMS text “YOUTH” to 20222 to donate $10 to UNICEF

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    Posted on Thursday, 02.25.10


    As the rains come, Haitians wait for temporary shelter

    With rains becoming more frequent, most displaced earthquake survivors in Haiti don’t have adequate shelter more than six weeks after the quake.

    // <![CDATA[//

    Homes for Haiti
    InnoVida Holdings, LLC, headquartered in Miami Beach, is a company that builds fiber composite panels. It has pledged a donation of 1,000 prefab houses/shelters to Haiti. The company says the structures are waterproof, wind resistant and the walls have a far higher deflection capacity than concrete. The units have been designed by renowned architect Andres Duany.
    The Miami Herald

    // <![CDATA[// 0) {
    else {
    // ]]>

    Homes for Haiti
    InnoVida Holdings, LLC, headquartered in Miami Beach, is a company that builds fiber composite panels. It has pledged a donation of 1,000 prefab houses/shelters to Haiti. The company says the structures are waterproof, wind resistant and the walls have a far higher deflection capacity than concrete. The units have been designed by renowned architect Andres Duany.
    The Miami Herald

       One of the new camps in Port-au-Prince is ready to be used by needed  families that lost their homes after the earthquake.
    One of the new camps in Port-au-Prince is ready to be used by needed families that lost their homes after the earthquake.



    Miami Herald Staff Report

    BOUTILIER, Haiti — The thick gray tarpaulins could not come soon enough to this little mountain neighborhood high in the mountains above Port-au-Prince where the earth is brick red and the unpaved roads are littered with dusty gray rubble and rocks.

    More than six weeks after the Jan. 12 earthquake that wrecked the capital and its environs, Nepalese soldiers from the United Nations distributed tarps in Boutilier to quake survivors grateful to finally get something to put over their heads.

    “I was sleeping on the ground under the rain,” said Micheline Michelle, 43, who picked up a couple of the folded tarps in boxes and water in a plastic, military green container labeled ‘‘Property of the U.S. Government.”

    Her wait for materials to build a shelter brings into sharp focus the monumental task of bringing aid to people in all corners of the greater Port-au- Prince area where tens of thousands of quake survivors are living outdoors by their crumbled homes and in spontaneous camps under sheets, towels and pieces of fabric that have been soaked and muddied by rain at least twice in the past two weeks.

    The Haitian government and international relief agencies have made providing shelter a priority for the estimated 1.2 million people left homeless by the quake. Emergency shelter materials had reached 330,000 people — about 30 percent — as of Monday, according to the United Nations.

    Distributing plastic sheeting and other materials to make sturdier shelters has been slow as relief work focused on immediate life-saving and medical needs. And government and relief officials have debated over whether to prioritize providing tents, which have a defined shape and size, or tarps, which people can fashion into their own shelter.

    Both are considered short- term solutions while Haiti rebuilds. Relief agencies say tents — which residents here clamor for as a stronger type of shelter — usually last no more than six months to a year and are not always waterproof. Tarps are less expensive, more versatile and easier to install and repair.

    As of Monday, relief agencies had delivered around 104,000 tarps and 19,000 family- size tents to survivors, the U.N. reported. Another 232,000 tarps and 22,000 tents are in the pipeline and expected to arrive by the end of March.

    Tents are visible in some of the estimated 400 camps, sometimes arranged in neat rows of white plastic domes. But most of the half-million people living in camps are doing without them, including a majority of the 2,500 dwellers of a camp in Cité Soleil, said Simone Sarcia, an Italian camp field coordinator.

    “It’s a major, major prob lem,” said Sarcia, 28, who works for AVSI, the Association of Volunteers in International Service. The agency has slowly upgraded survivors to “provisional shelters,” generally small, triangle or dome-shaped tents held up by a wooden frame that can stand more water and wind than sheets and thin plastic sheeting but are not long-term solutions while Haiti rebuilds.

    “We’re facing a really hard situation, because if it rains we have no tents,” said Joseph Frimance, 38. “We need tents. It’s the most important thing.”

    The few large, sturdy navy blue tents from Italian National Civil Protection at the camp — the kind military personnel often use — were being used to house pregnant and nursing women, a makeshift clinic, temporary schools. One of the tents can fit two families.

    [ etc. ]

    Relief agencies have not been able to move more survivors into tents in part because there is not enough space to do so, according to the International Federation of Red Cross. For tents to be spaced far enough apart for people to be safe from fire hazards, a significant number of camp dwellers would have to be moved elsewhere.

    In a camp in the neighborhood of Peguyville, in Pétionville, survivors have upgraded their sheets with blue and white plastic sheeting and jagged pieces of corrugated metal. Haitian government officials have said they fear those homemade shelters could become permanent.

    In Carrefour, where some dirt streets were still partly flooded two days after rain fell, hundreds of women stood in a line guarded by U.S. soldiers to receive bags of milled rice from U.S. Agency for International Development. But no tarps or tents.

    Dwellers of a nearby camp with more than 3,000 people have propped the sticks holding their wobbly shelters together up on cement blocks and large rocks to raise them from the water.

    [ . . . ]

    In Boutilier, 43-year-old Marie-Josee Pierre waited four hours last week for the tarps to protect her and her nine children, weeks after the quake destroyed her home and killed her husband.

    “It’s not enough, but I didn’t have anything,” Pierre said. ‘‘We couldn’t sleep. We had to stand up all night because of the mud, because of the water. There’s a lot of mud up there.”

    As the rains come, Haitians wait for temporary shelter

    With rains becoming more frequent, most displaced earthquake survivors in Haiti don’t have adequate shelter more than six weeks after the quake.

    (above article)

    8 killed in heavy rain in southwestern Haiti