PhilaU student designs shelter for Haiti’s homeless

This transitional home known as “the Haiti House” by Philadelphia University students, was designed by five year architectural student, Kaitlyn Korber.

The house was built by Kaitlyn and the rest of her class, using cheap building materials that are mostly available to Haitians.

It is made from bamboo (which the class harvested themselves in Wissahickon Park), 5-gallon plastic buckets, plastic tarps, and nylon ropes.

It is intended to accommodate a five person Haitian family.

Korber explains that the house is “transistional, not temporary”, meaning that the structure can later be fortified with more permanent materials such as concrete.

Korber, who has assisted with designing buildings in East Africa, says that the structure takes into account cultural norms in Haiti.

There is no indoor kitchen, as families typically cook outdoors. Also, the family members all sleep in one room, where Kaitlyn has designed bunks made from a web of nylon ropes.

Her professor, Bob Busser, has worked to build houses in Haiti with Habitat for Humanity, and thinks that the structure is probably better designed than most plans being created by foreign aid agencies.

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