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High Tech Devices Rebuild Haiti

Less than three years after the 2010 earthquake, Haiti is rebuilding—not just stronger, but smarter. Miyamoto International is working with Haitian engineers and contractors to deliver high-performance earthquake engineering solutions, such as dampers and base isolation. This innovative technology is widely used in the United States and Japan to mitigate seismic damage in buildings. Implementing such high-tech methods could also change the economic landscape of Haiti.

“We are proud to be rebuilding our city. We are learning new technology, training a workforce and building safer communities,” says Rafael Izmery of General Building Systems, Haiti.

Fonkoze, UNI Bank, UNICEF and the Catholic Church in Haiti are using high-performance earthquake engineering, which is the key to building smarter. These high-tech solutions are being applied to major structures that are being built less than three years after the earthquake.

Fonkoze is dedicated to providing financial services to the rural poor, predominantly women who are starting businesses. Fonkoze’s new office is engineered to include a buckling-restrained braced frame. This steel frame is highly effective for seismic energy dissipation, and use of it makes the bank the first major steel construction in Haiti.

UNICEF is also using a high-performance engineering retrofit that incorporates both dampers and fiber-reinforced polymer to seismically strengthen the organization’s six-story office building in Pétionville. UNI Bank is incorporating dampers to protect its data center, which will be critical in the event of another major earthquake. Dampers work by controlling seismic motions in the structure.

Says Dr. Kit Miyamoto of Miyamoto International, “It is important to bring the latest technology to Haiti so that investments in a safer environment pay off socially and economically. Job creation and capacity building are the most important tasks for the future of Haiti. This will save a lot of lives in the next earthquake. We are so proud to be a part of this new development.”

Miyamoto International is a global earthquake + structural engineering company that has been working with the Haitian government, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and the private sector in Haiti since the 2010 earthquake. Miyamoto trained over 600 engineers, 5,000 masons and 10,000 home owners, and has assessed over 420,000 structures, repaired over 10,000 earthquake-damaged buildings in devastated communities with various partners, including the Pan American Development Foundation (PADF) and UNOPS.

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