Florida Companies Work Together to Build Back a Better Haiti

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Miami-Based Architectural Firm, CMF International Group and SIPs Manufacturer, Structall Building Systems from the Tampa Bay Area team up to design a new Steel SIP System and build homes for the Building Back Better Communities Expo near Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

Front of the Home

2 Bed / 1 Bath - 815 sq. ft. of Living Space

We measured the interior of the home to be 12 degrees cooler than the temperature outside.

Miami-based CMF International Group, Inc. chose Oldsmar, Florida based Structural Insulated Panel (SIP) manufacturer, Structall Building Systems, Inc. to provide the 26 Gauge Steel SIP panels that formed the envelope of CMF’s entry in the “Building Back Better Communities” Expo.

CMF International, Inc. was chosen as a finalist in the “Building Back Better Communities” (BBBC) housing competition initiated by the Government of Haiti to investigate alternative forms of permanent housing for displaced citizens. The Expo was held on July 21, 2011 at Orangers, just north of Haiti’s capitol, Port-au-Prince.

The property was provided by the Haitian Government and the Expo was offered through the Minister of Tourism and the Minister of Finance. A total of 64 lots were provided in order to build 64 houses.

CMF International President and Architect/Designer, Carlos M. Flores, AIA says, “CMF has designed and engineered the Model Home to meet and exceed the requirements for seismic, high velocity wind, and thermal design, as required by the International Code and the Florida Building Code. We selected the Structall panel system because it is sustainable, fast and easy to erect, and cost effective.”

The exterior walls and roof are solely comprised of a new SIP developed by CMF International and Structall. Each 4’ wide SIP consists of a 4” thick sheet of expanded polystyrene foam bonded on both sides to a 26 gauge embossed steel skin. The new panel system incorporates two aluminum I-beams within each panel. The result is an R-Value of 16 on all sides, and a structure that is remarkably strong, easy to assemble, and structurally anchored to the foundation. The panels are locked together by Structall’s exclusive Snap-N-Lock™ interface system which creates an uninterrupted envelope of insulation from the elements.

Passive Design
CMF approached the design with Sustainability and Green Design in mind. Using the louvered windows and clear story windows as an integral part of the design allows for constant air circulation inside the house as well as offering a secured environment. Mr. Flores says,”The wall and roof panels are white in color to allow for the reflective and insulating properties to provide its full benefit, which makes this system so appropriate for the inclement weather of this Caribbean nation. We also measured the interior of the home to be 12 degrees cooler than the temperature outside.”

“We elected to design the model home with a fully integrated solar powered energy system that makes it a self sustained energy home,” says Mr. Flores. The dwelling will have clean running water by providing a well water system. Rainwater will also be collected using a roof gutter system and water collection tanks, allowing for the reclamation of the rainwater to be reused for toilets and irrigation. The sanitary line is connected to a septic tank / drain field that allows the household waste to be collected and processed in the septic tank by separating the water from solids.

Mr. Flores says, “The integration of all passive systems into the Model Home: Solar Power, Clean Well Water and a Sanitary System, will allow for a cleaner and healthier environment to live in. This will reduce the health risk the Haitian people are faced with.”

Completed in 8 Days
The construction of the house started May 22, 2011 and it was completed on May 29, 2011. The final product was photographed on May 30, 2011. The total time to erect the house was 8 days. It was completed using only three people trained in erecting the house (a technical person, a plumber, and the architect) and twelve unskilled laborers from the local community that were trained during the construction process. The BBBC is expected to select homes for their Exemplar Community in October 2011.

CMF International Group, Inc. (CMF) is a minority owned firm established December 2003, to provide professional architectural and construction management services to municipal, governmental and private clients in South Florida. CMF is a certified MICRO SBE, DBE, CBE with the Department of Business Development and is committed to the program.

Structall Building Systems, Inc. is a manufacturer and distributor of SIPs (Structural Insulated Panels) as well as a wide range of aluminum extrusion, windows, doors, and many other patio building supplies. Structall SIPs are used as floors, roofs, and structural walls - from patio covers and carports to screen rooms, room additions, residential home construction, and commercial building construction.


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Leroy Meyerson

Carlos M. Flores, AIA
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