As we mark the passing of a third year since the 7.0 magnitudeearthquake shredded Haiti’s capital city of Port-au-Prince and thesurrounding areas, it is fitting to take a look back, and a look forward.Nearly every Haitian was directly or indirectly affected by an unstablebuilding. No natural disaster had ever affected a capital city in sucha way, creating a ripple effect that paralyzed even the areas welloutside the disaster zone.Nearly every Haitian was directly or indirectly affected by an unstable building in the 2010 earthquake. In the midst ofthat disaster, Degenkolb was there. And, three years later, we remain committed to the recovery effort in Haiti.
We have been working in Haiti since 2010, when ourreconnaissance team assisted with post-earthquakebuilding inspections in Port-au-Prince. We have appliedour 70+ years of experience in seismic structuralengineering, while performing building evaluations,and reviewing damage patterns in buildings. Ourpresence in Haiti has grown exponentially over thepast three years. We have volunteered our servicesto the Appropriate Infrastructure Development Groupand established a deep-rooted relationship with thenonprofit social enterprise, Build Change.We are deeply civic-minded, with strong ties to someof the poorest and most affected areas in Haiti. Afteraccounting for staff and gathering resources, werolled out one of our largest investments to seismicsafety worldwide in our 73-year history—deliveringcritical training and assistance to Port-au-Prince andsurrounding communities.Hours volunteered by Degenkolb andengineering staff helped develop andimplement a training program for localengineers, and perform peer reviews.WHAT GIVES PEOPLE THE ABILITYTO WITHSTAND DISASTERS LIKE THE2010 EARTHQUAKE IN HAITI, AND NOTSINK INTO DESPAIR? RESILIENCE.RESILIENCE.OUR COMMITMENT:2010 TO PRESENTKEY FIGURESWE’VE TRAVELLED TO 27 INTERNATIONALEARTHQUAKE SITES IN 18 COUNTRIES.DATA GATHERED DURING THESE MISSIONSINFORMS OUR APPROACH TO DISASTERRESISTANT DESIGN AND REHABILITATION.SELF-SUSTAININGTrained Local Engineers + Local MaterialsSTIMULATED ECONOMYHAITIAN ENGINEERSTRAINED2300+ HOURS150Our engineers createda training program forgovernment engineersin Haiti. As part of thisprogram, local engineersare trained on theevaluation and retrofittechniques necessary toimprove the seismic safetyof local building practices.
RESILIENCY IS ACHIEVABLE WITH SMALL CHANGES, LIKE THEINCORPORATION OF SEISMIC CONNECTION DETAILS. WHATWE ARE DOING IN HAITI IS NOT REALLY NEW. WE’RE JUSTIMPROVING EXISTING APPROACHES THAT WILL GIVE HAITIANS ASTRONGER SENSE OF SECURITY ABOUT THEIR FUTURE. AS YOURCONSULTANTS, WE WORK WITH YOU TO FIND THE RIGHT SOLUTIONTAILORED TO THE UNIQUE NEEDS OF YOUR PROJECTS.
REBUILDING CAPACITY TOGETHER: 70+ YEARS OFEARTHQUAKE ENGINEERING EXPERIENCE + LOCALMATERIALS AND RESOURCESWe understand that needs are immediate and it’s important to develop solutionsquickly. We’re adapting already proven solutions that will give Haitians a strong senseof security about their future. People are already using the materials and techniques—such as concrete, steel and concrete block—needed to build strong structures. Withsmall changes, like the incorporation of seismic connection details, disaster resilienceis achievable. We envision a long-term process of educating the labor force to redesignand rebuild for themselves. We are improving on existing approaches, and allowingpeople to choose from a handful of locally appropriate solutions that address Haiti’sunique set of challenges. All of which are based on three key principles: 1) keep itsimple; 2) pay attention to details; and 3) use local resources.WE’VE APPLIEDENGINEERING PROCESSESTO SIMPLE CONCEPTS,USING LOCAL MODES OFCONSTRUCTION. BY USINGLOCAL RESOURCES, WEMINIMIZE COST AND BUILDTHE LOCAL ENGINEERINGCAPACITY—CRITICALTO HAITI’S SAFE ANDSUSTAINED FUTURE. IT’SNOT ONLY CULTURALLYSOUND AND APPROPRIATE,BUT IMPORTANT THAT THEMONEY RAISED TO BEINVESTED IN HAITI, STAYSWITH THE PEOPLE THERE.
“Many believe that it will takeat least two generations forHaiti to significantly improveand to recover and reconstructfrom the impacts of theearthquake. It will take a long-term international commitmentto rebuild the country. It’simportant to provide Haitianswith the skills and tools neededto be self-sustaining—tostimulate the local economy,and to sustain change.”OUR WORK IS A SMALL, BUTOUR WORK IS A SMALL, BUTIMPORTANT PART OF THEIMPORTANT PART OF THEROAD TO RECOVERYROAD TO RECOVERYSELF-SUSTAINING,SAFER COUNTRY- Abe Lynn, Degenkolb Engineers“Focusing on seismic safety, weare creating a built world that issafe. We go further than protectingagainst structural collapse. Wedesign to higher levels of structuralperformance, which protects thebuilding occupants and helpsreturn the community back tonormal quicker after a disaster. Asseismic engineers, we are acutelyaware of earthquake hazard andwe understand the potentialconsequences of a large seismicevent. In Haiti, I’m doing somethingproductive with my awareness.”COMPELLED TO USE OURCOMPELLED TO USE OURKNOWLEDGE FOR GOODKNOWLEDGE FOR GOODDEEP-ROOTEDCONNECTIONS- Lizzie Blaisdell, Degenkolb Engineers
SEISMIC SAFETY + RESILIENCEith more than 70 years of experience designing structuresin earthquake prone parts of the world, our engineershave a deeply-rooted understanding of life safety after amajor earthquake. Since 2006, we have applied our decadesof experience in earthquake engineering and seismic codedevelopment to public policy initiatives and thought leadershiparound disaster resilient communities.“The ongoing rapid expansion of urban areas in seismicallyactive, developing countries, means that future disasterswill increasingly become a part of the new landscape.Sadly, it may not be long before the world witnesses asimilar disaster with more than a million fatalities.”– Mark Sinclair, PrincipalW50We have visited morethan ﬁfty earthquakesites worldwide10000We have performed more than10,000 evaluations worldwide.Led or participated in the development ofevery U.S. seismic standard in use today.Led 150 agency Oregon Seismic Safety Policy AdvisoryCommission, studying the resilience of Oregon.Authored the pivotal “The Resilient City” a road map fordisaster recovery in the San Francisco Bay Area.We have performedmore than 3,000 seismicevaluations and retroﬁtprojects worldwide.3000
OUR AWARD-WINNINGSTRUCTURAL DESIGNS HAVESAVED OUR CLIENTS MORETHAN $550 MILLIONounded in 1940, Degenkolb Engineers is the oldestand largest earthquake engineering firm in the UnitedStates. During the last 70 years, we have worked closelywith organizations to provide more than 3,000 seismicevaluations and retrofits across the globe. Our award-winning structural designs have saved clients more than$550 million in the past ten years, and we have led orparticipated in the development of every US based seismiccode used today. At Degenkolb Engineers, we are problemsolvers and natural explorers. To better serve our clients,we draw on the expertise and resources of our staff of 160,located in six offices throughout the western United States.FWe have performed seismicretrofits on more than 300hospitals in the most seismicallyregulated environments. We’vecompleted more than 1400evaluations and retrofits for criticalcare facilities such as hospitalsand healthcare centers.1400+ EVALUATIONS AND1400+ EVALUATIONS ANDRETROFITSRETROFITSHEALTHCAREWe have a rich history of workingwith government agencies onseismic evaluation, upgrade,renovation, and new design projects.We played a major part in thestandardization of ASCE-31 SeismicEvaluation of Existing Buildingsand led the standardization ofASCE-41 (FEMA 356) Prestandardand Commentary for the SeismicRehabilitation of Buildings.CUTTING EDGE OFCUTTING EDGE OFSTRUCTURAL ENGINEERINGSTRUCTURAL ENGINEERINGGOVERNMENT
MORE THAN 100 NATIONALAND LOCAL STRUCTURALENGINEERING AWARDS WONssential facilities such as emergency operationscenters, community housing, communication controlcenters, hospitals, and water/wastewater facilities need tobe operational after community disasters. We understandthe need for nonstructural system-wide protection,especially as it relates to mechanical, electrical, plumbing,and telecommunications systems.We are experienced at designing to an Immediate Occupancyperformance for structural and nonstructural systems—which translates to complete system bracing/anchorageand post-earthquake functionality. A commitment topreparing our clients for disaster response and recoverydrives us to public policy advocacy, performance-baseddesign engineering, and support of recovery effortsworldwide.EWe have more than 1000 educationprojects in our portfolio and morethan 70 years’ experience usingadvanced analysis techniques tosave clients money in construction.We design and rehabilitate nextgeneration, sustainable, learningfacilities.1000+ PROJECTS1000+ PROJECTSEDUCATIONWe have worked on more than300 ecclesiastical facilities. Ourecclesiastical experience includesmore than 150 evaluations; 92seismic retrofit projects; 26 newdesign projects; and 11 historicalretrofit projects.300+ PROJECTS300+ PROJECTSECCLESIASTICAL“Following a major disaster, the difference between downtime and thetime it takes for the resumption of lifeline systems highlights the disparitybetween resilient communities, those whose lifelines rebound in somemutually agreed upon time frame, and those that succumb to widespreadlifeline failures for unacceptable periods of time.”– Chris Poland, Senior Principal
THE FASTEST WAY TO GET BACK INTO HOUSING IS TO REPAIRAND RETROFIT THE EXISTING YELLOW AND RED TAGGEDBUILDINGS. THIS ELIMINATES MANY CHALLENGES ASSOCIATEDWITH BUILDING NEW CONSTRUCTION SUCH AS DEMOLITION ANDDEBRIS REMOVAL, LAND AND HOME OWNERSHIP UNCERTAINTY,AND QUESTIONABLE RECONSTRUCTION STRATEGIES.
LEVERAGING OUR SEISMICEXPERTISE WITH LOCALKNOWLEDGE & RESOURCESn 2010, Mark Sinclair led our four-memberreconnaissance team on a ten-day visit to Port-au-Prince. In addition to reconnaissance activities, the teamassisted with ATC20-based post-earthquake buildinginspections—red/yellow/green tagging system. Afterreturning to the United States, we realized that many ofthe red and yellow-tagged buildings could easily return toservice if repair programs were supplemented with inherentseismic safety evaluations and retrofits.We adapted material from the existing seismic evaluationand retrofit standards (ASCE-31 and ASCE-41) into a rapidmethodology suitable for use in Haiti—the goal being toleverage Degenkolb’s seismic expertise and contributeto the recovery effort in a more significant way. Together,Degenkolb and Build Change developed and implementedguidelines and training, which has seen approximately 150Haitian engineers trained in existing building evaluation, andretrofit design and implementation.Build Change is an international nonprofit social enterprisethat designs earthquake-resistant houses in developingcountries and trains builders, homeowners, engineers, andgovernment officials to build them. Build Change leaves inplace permanent change in construction practice by buildinglocal skills and stimulating local demand.IThe manual and training materialsused for this program includesa field manual with checklistsfor different building types; fivedifferent retrofit techniqueswith over forty sample details;spreadsheets; and rapid evaluationand design tools. The packagealso includes PowerPoint trainingmaterials and teaching aids. Allmaterials can be downloaded here:http://www.degenkolb.com/2011/10/25/mtptc-manual/EVALUATION AND RETROFITEVALUATION AND RETROFITMANUAL + TRAINING MATERIALSMANUAL + TRAINING MATERIALSPROGRESSRETROFITS FOR MORE THAN 1000 HOUSES HAVEALREADY BEEN COMPLETED USING THESE GUIDELINES.AN ADDITIONAL 300 HOUSES ARE PLANNING FORUPCOMING RETROFITS. WITH OUR PROGRAM, A COREGROUP OF ENGINEERS WILL BE TRAINED TO A LEVELTHAT ALLOWS THEM TO TRAIN ADDITIONAL ENGINEERS.
DEGENKOLB + BUILD CHANGE HAVE DEVELOPED GUIDELINESSPECIFIC TO EVALUATING AND RETROFITTING MASONRYHOUSING IN THE REGION SURROUNDING PORT-AU-PRINCE: THESEISMIC EVALUATION AND RETROFIT MANUAL. THE MINISTRY OFPUBLIC WORKS, TRANSPORT AND COMMUNICATIONS IN HAITIHAS SINCE ADOPTED THESE GUIDELINES AND IMPLEMENTEDTHEM AS THE TECHNICAL ANNEX TO THEIR GUIDE FORHURRICANE AND EARTHQUAKE STRENGTHENING OF BUILDINGS.
LOOKING FORWARDur investment in Haiti didn’t stop after our first,second, or even third trip to the country. All levelsof our staff have been profoundly impacted by our work inHaiti, and our experience there has changed the way our firmdoes business. To further our commitment and investmentin the country, we have joined the UN Global Compact.This provides us with an opportunity to work on on-goingdevelopment projects in Haiti—not just on post-disasterrecovery and repair. Our success in Haiti, is marked by apermanent change in design and construction practices.We strive to transfer our knowledge and expertise to localengineers—building local skills and ultimately, stimulatingthe local economy.OPrincipal, Mark Sinclair, is dedicatedto making the small changes todaythat will ensure a more resilientHaiti tomorrow. Currently, Mark isworking on a concept to increasehousing density in the region. Thiswould significantly impact people’squality of living—providing safe,permanent and affordable housing.We’ve seen, first-hand, membersof the community join togetherto make positive and sustainablechange. We think beyond what’scurrently happening in Haiti. It’s notabout one project or one building.We are focused on the future ofHaiti, which is promising.SMALL CHANGES TODAY, FORSMALL CHANGES TODAY, FORA RESILIENT HAITI TOMORROWA RESILIENT HAITI TOMORROWHAITI’S FUTURE ISBRIGHTTHE INNATE RESILIENCY OF THE HAITIAN PEOPLE ISWHAT FIRST INSPIRED US TO TAKE ACTION. AND, OURCOMMITMENT TO HAITI HAS NEVER BEEN STRONGER.THE ROAD AHEAD MAY BE RIDDLED WITH COMPLEXCHALLENGES, BUT WITH STRONG LOCAL PARTNERSHIPS,WE CAN CONTINUE TO BRING LIFE-SAVING ENGINEERINGTRAINING AND DESIGN ASSISTANCE TO HAITI.
ENGINEERING A RESILIENTHAITI TOGETHERe continue to look forward—focusing on the future ofHaiti. We are beginning work on two projects, whichwe believe will have positive impacts on Haiti’s future. Wewere hired by UNDP to lead a program aimed at seismicrisk reduction (UNDP Plan du Nord, Haiti). Key deliverabalesinclude: Seismic Action Plans for the cities of Cap Haitien,Fort Liberté, Port-de-Paix and Ouanaminthe, which wewill develop through a collaborative process with eachcommunity.We will conduct a community education and outreachcampaign on earthquake hazard and preparedness with afocus on targeted social infrastructure, such as hospitals,schools, and civic buildings. Importantly, and like our otherprojects in Haiti, we will focus on building the capacity ofHaitian engineers, builders and organizations involved inearthquake risk reduction through appropriate training andinformation.WIt is estimated that more than 3,000 schoolbuildings were damaged or destroyed in2010. To be truly safe, learning facilitiesmust be built for long-term durability andresilience. A well-designed and constructedschool can also offer a safe refuge for thewider community in the event of a disaster.Working with Save the Children, we areassessing the La Renaissance School,which was tagged yellow and requiresrepair. The 2-story permanent building hasa temporary structure that is used forclassrooms. Sharing our knowledge of safedesign and construction, and engaging withcommunities about the importance of safedesign is our top priority.SCHOOLS ARE VITAL, SAFESCHOOLS ARE VITAL, SAFEENVIRONMENTS FOR CHILDRENENVIRONMENTS FOR CHILDRENA NEW KIND OFNORMALFUTURE PROJECTS IN HAITI PROVIDE OPPORTUNITIES FOROUR TEAM TO IDENTIFY AND PROPOSE LESSONS LEARNEDTHAT INFLUENCE NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL POLICYTHINKING ON SEISMIC RISK REDUCTION WORLDWIDE.
PROVEN EXPERIENCEINFORMS ENGINEERINGJUDGEMENTNo matter how much you read, or howgreat the computer model is, nothing hasa greater impact on our understandingof building performance than seeing itafter an earthquake. Understanding theseobservations enhances our engineeringjudgement—giving us the confidenceto make sound decisions so our clients’buildings will perform well when subjectedto a significant earthquake.WE BRINGEVERYTHING WE’VELEARNED ABOUTBUILDING SYSTEMS,DISRUPTIONAVOIDANCE, SOILINTERACTION,CONSTRUCTIONPRACTICES AND COSTCONTROL TO HAITI.THIS KNOWLEDGEOF PROVEN DATAAND EXPERIENCE—DEEPENS OURUNDERSTANDING ANDIS A KEY BENEFIT TOOUR CLIENTS IN HIGHSEISMIC RISK ZONES.
We’ve travelled to 27 international earthquake sites in18 countries. In 2010, we rolled out one of our largestinvestments to seismic safety and disaster resilienceworldwide in our 73-year history—delivering post-earthquaketraining and assistance to Port-au-Prince and surroundingcommunities. We bring everything we’ve learned about buildingsystems, disruption avoidance, soil interaction, constructionpractices and cost control to Haiti. This knowledge of provendata and experience—deepens our understanding and is a keybenefit to our clients in high seismic risk zones.
1300 Clay Street, 9th FloorOakland, California USAwww.degenkolb.comJorn Halle, SE, Principal1+ (510) 272-9040JHalle@degenkolb.comDEGENKOLB WEBSITE - TRAINING MATERIALS DOWNLOADhttp://degenkolb.com/index.php/blog/mtptc_training_materialsDEGENKOLB’S BUILD CHANGE PERSPECTIVEhttp://degenkolb.com/images/uploads/Perspectives_BuildChange.pdfBUILD CHANGEhttp://www.buildchange.org/resources.php#haiti
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