Christian Ubertini


Place / year: Haiti / 2010-2012
Organisation: Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC)
Function: Head of the school infrsastructure program (2009-2013)
Collaborators: R. Zemp, J. Reifler, S. Villiger, O. Ruefenacht, P. Louis, D. Stanley
  A. Wagnières, G. Roux-Fouillet, R. Mompoint, J.-R. Lafontant, D. Léonard













The elaboration of earthquake and cyclone resilient school models for schooling infrastructure in Haiti, is part of the SDC reconstruction program in Haiti “PARIS” implemented in partnership with the Ministry of Education (MENFP). The objective of school models is to “simplify, shorten and make less expensive the design phase of a school project” by providing the sector with well documented constructed and tested school designs, adapted to the local context integrating adequate architectural and structural standards. These school models were elaborated under the leadership of the MENFP with the technical expertise of SDC and in concert with the main partners of the sector such as: Inter-American Development Bank (IADB), UNICEF, Spanish cooperation (AECID), as well as the Ministry of Public Works and NGO’s.

A first model has been elaborated especially for two storeys building in urban areas. The building is designed following a modern and ductile seismic resilient concept in concrete. The structure consists in the repetition of small shear walls in both directions leaving large openings in-between, filled with light and flexible elements such as: shelves and cupboards between the classrooms, and grid-windows along the façade for an optimal lighting and ventilation of the classrooms. This model has three different typologies adaptable to the school program. A first typology with 3 spaces of 50m2 per floor; a second one with 2 spaces of 75 m2 per floor; a third one with 2 spaces of 25 m2 + 1 space of 100 m2 per floor. Each space can be further divided by light walls in order to create the requested room. This model is reserved to constructors specialized in the implementation of concrete structures.

A second school model in confined masonry has been elaborated for 1 storey school building adapted for most areas of the country, urban and rural. This model is based on the most used construction technique in Haiti of cement blocks strengthen by horizontal and vertical concrete beams and column. The design intends to provide slight improvements compare to traditional school buildings in terms of stability, material utilisation, and comfort of the classrooms (natural light and ventilation). This model is technically and financially accessible to the major part of the local constructors.

A third model in wooden frame has been elaborated especially for schools located in remote areas difficult of access where the transport of heavy construction material is problematic. This school models design intends to provide slight technical improvement to the traditional haitian vernacular construction (Kay peyi, Gingerbread, etc.). The model emphases the use of local avaiable materials and workforces.

Today, these models and the related documentation, are used as reference for school construction in Haiti, this enforced by a decree from the Minsitry of Education published on 1st April 2014.

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