Saturday, March 27, 2010

Project Description

Domes for Haiti is a grass roots disaster relief project that addresses the immediate need for transitional shelter in Haiti on a small scale. Our goal is to send ten pre-fabricated portable geodesic domes to Haiti by May 1st. The domes are 17’ in diameter and 9’ high in the center. Each dome can house from 10 to 20 kids. Constructed from a framework of self bracing triangles, the geodesic dome is the strongest and most economical structure ever designed. We are making the frames from 1” EMT conduit pipe struts bolted together in 35 overlapping joints. The dome covers are being fabricated out of recycled vinyl from the entertainment industry and will include windows for ventilation as well as mosquito netting and waterproof flooring. When properly anchored into the ground with rebar and cement, this two frequency geodesic dome design has been known to withstand up to 150mph winds. It can be assembled in two hours with two people using simple adjustable wrenches. While these domes are designed to be transitional shelters, with a little adaptation they could become semi-permanent homes.
Our focus is to procure as many in kind donations as possible from businesses in the NYC metro area so that the majority of the funds raised for this project can go to hire Haitian workers at a livable wage to prep sites and assemble the domes. We will be sending a project manager and one Creole speaking assistant to Haiti to deliver the domes and manage the work. We have logistical and ground support set up with an organization called Grassroots United in Port Au Prince where we will have storage and lodging. We have made contact with one orphanage in Laplaine which will be the recipient of three domes for their children. We are interested in locating a few more small scale orphanages to serve in the surrounding area. It is our goal to house at least 100 kids in time for the rainy season in these hurricane resistant shelters. Additionally, we are looking for people or organizations who are rebuilding on land using community based sustainable living systems. We’d like to help achieve this goal by providing them with transitional shelters while they work towards a more permanent solution.
So far we have a huge amount of momentum going forward on this project. We have received over $11,000 worth of in kind donations of materials, manufacturing, workspace and services. We have community support and involvement from volunteers and business owners in our surrounding area. We anticipate needing to raise approximately $5,100 to complete this short term project by the end of May. Some of this cost maybe defrayed with additional in kind donations we are in the process of negotiating. We hope to procure this funding by holding benefits in our community, seeking donations from private individuals as well as applying for appropriate grant opportunities.
We feel that while this is a modest sized project, it could serve as a valuable model for other communities to follow on the same scale or a larger scale. We also see the potential for major funding to allow us to take this to a massive scale by creating a new industry in Haiti manufacturing portable geodesic domes for affordable earthquake safe housing solutions in rural or urban areas.

We are sponsored under the umbrella of a 501c3 non profit called Not An Alternative.

Partial list of Supporting Businesses:

3rd Ward Brooklyn
AFYA Foundation
Laidman Fabricating
Buckminster Fuller Institute
Scenic Corps

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