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Articles by Erica Fischer

Building Inspections in Haiti

Erica Fischer reports on construction challenges facing post-earthquake Haiti

The earthquake that hit Haiti on January 12th was described as a “middle-class disaster.” I was not sure what that meant until I arrived in Port-au-Prince on March 20th and began doing building assessments with the ATC-20 guidelines. Those who could afford proper building materials, a structural engineer to design their house, and a skilled mason to build the house, had homes which were in pristine condition. These people are considered the upper class.

Those who could not afford proper building materials, and either built the house themselves, or had a mason who did not know proper construction methods, were left with collapses and damages beyond repair. This group was the middle class. Read the full article…