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Saturday, July 2, 2011

Students Build House for Haiti

Port Elgin | by Daryl Morris  

Students from Saugeen District Secondary have been designing a quak-proof home

Inside the former Port Elgin Arena, a lot of work has been going on.

Sixty students from Saugeen District Secondary have spent the past school semester designing a home that can withstand an earthquake.

Teacher Bud Halpin says the idea came after hearing more than 1.3 million people were left homeless in Haiti after the earthquake.

He started thinking that it had to be possible to build a house that could stand up through a disaster -- and began sketching the design on a paper napkin.

Halpin says the students helped to create a house designed of panels, which withstood engineering tests.

He says the house stayed standing in 200 km/h winds, which is more than the winds that Hurricane Katrina whipped through New Orleans with.

Halpin says the project will continue next year, as they design and build permanent fasteners for the wall panels.

The plan after that, is to ship the house to Haiti, and also make the designs available online for anybody to use, or improve on.

Halpin adds there's no way the project would have been possible without the help of engineer Brent Freiburger, the Saugeen Shores Fire Department and the Port Elgin Missionary Church - which donated the space in the arena.

The cost of the house is seven thousand dollars for materials, and another two thousand dollars to ship it to Haiti.

Halpin says he's sure they'll find a donor to help once the project is complete.


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