Sorry about the double post (more less a double), but I was not familiar with the reverse chronology orders.
Shipping containers do not work out well unless you have the doors and windows cut in and a local ability to unload from ships, enough trucks to move the the setting sit, a foundation of some sort and way to unload them.
If you are talking about recovery and rebuilding for the future or just for temporary relief? If rebuilding, forget about the pretty, useless frills like solar that can be added easily later when people are able to read the instruction and be able to install them. Shipping containers are a short term possibility if you can get enough doors and windows in them and be able to find the roads and trucks to move them. After they are used for a while, they will be trashed, just as many of the "Katrina cabins" were.
The important thing is to get the people involved in the rebuilding to keep them busy and providing permanent housing they have pride in.
After traveling in 37 countries for 40 years year I have seen a lot and learned that out of town experts are far down on the list to be considered unless they have been there and understand the communities, education, abilities and local resources.
I base this on spending significant time in many varied countries/areas such a Russia, Siberia, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovokia, Hungary, Romainia, Bulgaria, Bosnia, Turkey, Spain, China, Mongolia, Taiwan, Viet Nam, Thailand, Bangladesh, India, Bahrain, Abu Dahdabi, Mexico, Spain, Brazil, Argentina, South Africa, the remainder of Europe and of course the U.S. It has given be a very broad experience on what works, what does not work plus the general principles which are the needs, resources, economy and local materials, which over-ride.
One one common thread is the uniform material preferences for walls for 1 and 2 story residential structures based on economy and locally available materials. Attempts to import different materials are usually failures. The most dramatic was the housing for Moscow police that was the prefab the were shipped into Russia and most were returned because they were inferior and thought of as being dangerous compared to traditional Russian housing.
The one over-riding theme is that concrete or masonry is the most common form of construction in the developed world with a few pockets such as the U.S. and Canada (tradition) and a few small areas of Europe. In China, wood is formally discouraged because of ecology, durability, land use fears of fire. the "official" wall materials are concrete masonry and concrete.
In the Caribbean, the proven materials for walls are concrete block because of historic performance, economy and availability. Almost every island (large and small) has 1 or 2 powered block machines in addition to many small local manual block machines using local materials and local labor. the building are not usually built to an established code but the traditional constructions show what works. The reiforcement is usually a vertical rebar at each side of the doors and windows and possibly a rebar in a the top course bond beam to tie things together. The roof are lightweight and even in a seismic event they might fall, but the weight of the steel or wood rafters/trusses is little and they have continuity.
In the early 1990's, when the USSR was broken up the Poles were involved in a program to train masons. The bricklayers union and some U.S agencies were involved in a training program for masons to give them information to develop knowledge and use local materials to build a home and keep them busy and develop pride.
A similar program could be used in Haiti to use the local human resources, local materials to build housing, develop pride using proven traditional construction methods simiar to the other half of the island and the rest of the Caribbean. Of course code are out of question in a illiterate(80%) where there are not enough honest and qualified inspectors because the past generations of corruption. The worse of the proven successes were durable because of the traditional methods. I am not suggesting something like the traditional Brazilian 15-22 story apartments that are built out of 6" hollow block with light reinforcement and grouting. Something along the lines of the series of house plans from South Africa that that are heavy on graghic sketches (not CAD drawings) to make them usable.
Get the people involved and build from the ground up and then add the frills. Solar can always be added when there is a need beyond a light bulb and TV for demand. Local computer centers with internet access would be valuable even for the illiterate since children handle that better than adults.
I have traveled in 37 countries investigating construction techniques, designs and for the reasons for methods and materials used. The main countries/areas were Russia, Siberia, Belarus, Poland Czech Republic, Hungary, Bosnia, Romainia, Bulagria, Turkey, China, Mongolia, Thailand, Bangledesh, India, South Africa, Mexico, Brazil and Spain in addition to all of Europe and the U.S..
For single family construction, masonry and some concrete is by far the most common material in the developed world. Wood is a distant second except in the U.S. and some of Europe. China, in factor has make a public to discourage the use of wood because of land use and ecology and the need for permanent construction.
In a country with very little literacy, plans and codes are worthless until there are enough qualified and honest inspectors who have the authority. The multi story housing buildings were probably built during the corrupt generations and probable were not built to the any code because of the corruption and pay-offs just the be able to get the land.
The cost common preferred construction in the Caribbean is concrete masonry because of the cost, suitability to the climate and available materials. Every island seems to have 1 or 2 two powered block machines with vibration to make quality block and there are hundreds of manual machines use through the area.
Most of the 1 story buildings in the islands are not built according to a code, but are very serviceable and survive the annual hurricanes. Usually, the only reinforcement is at the sides of the windows and possibly some steel in a bond beam right This is really a learned tradition that is done automatically by the people who will eventually live in the home. The wrinkled tin quonset huts are of for a mobile army that can pick up and go, but not for a permanent and would not be suitable except in a short term like disaster relief, but would only become slums quickly because the people did not learn and get involved.
Immediately after the break-up of the USSR in about 1990, the U.S. Bricklayers were involved in Poland by the Polish government and some U.S. agencies to teach people to build with masonry. The basis was that people would have no jobs and they would be busy gaining a trade and building something to live in if they chose to go into something else. The construction there was more sophisticated and were built to a local code. A similar concept would be great in Haiti because it puts local people to work were they can work together and learn while they were building using local materials and creating a fine shelter. Growing the country creates housing and pride and stability.
The other half of the island has an annual income almost 15 times as great as Haiti.
I am not saying the should run out and build 22 story loadbearing block apartment buildings using 6" hollow block with light reinforcement like they do in Brazil, but is the start of beginning the growth and recovery by people building individual homes.
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