Firm led rebuilding effort of 10,000 homes in Haiti after earthquake
“It is our responsibility as engineers to do the right thing. We know how to mitigate risk and save lives.”
Dr. Kit Miyamoto, Miyamoto International
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (April 7, 2014) – California-based earthquake + structural engineering company Miyamoto International won a “Global Best Projects” award from the prestigious engineering publication, ENR, it was announced last week. Miyamoto International took top honors in the Renovation/Repair category. The winning entry was for the repair of 10,000 earthquake-damaged homes in Haiti, a major initiative led by the Government of Haiti, USAID, the World Bank, the Pan American Development Foundation (PADF) and Miyamoto. The program helped Haitians return to homes repaired to withstand future earthquakes after a 7.0-magnitude quake devastated the country in 2010.
After initially traveling to the stricken country to help assess the damage and finding many homes not reinforced to withstand earthquakes, Miyamoto partnered with PADF and other local organizations to train Haitian masons, engineers and contractors on modern building techniques that meet international seismic standards. While most other relief efforts focused on temporary tent camps after the disaster, Miyamoto and its partners spearheaded a plan that was more cost-effective and long lasting: fix people’s homes and rebuild them to last.
The initial 500-house pilot program was so successful, Miyamoto and its partners expanded the pilot and repaired 10,000 houses in Port-au-Prince and nearby Leogane.
“Earthquakes don’t kill people; buildings kill people,” said Miyamoto International CEO Dr. H. Kit Miyamoto. “It’s is our responsibility as engineers to do the right thing. We know how to mitigate risk and save lives. We know how to prevent these disasters.” The award will be presented to the winners in New York City May 13.
Part of his team in Haiti also focuses on repairing schools. Since his first visit to Haiti, he has started a nonprofit, Miyamoto Global Disaster Relief, to respond to disasters worldwide.