CNU Co-Founder Duany designs housing for displaced Haitians

Architect, planner and CNU Co-founder Andres Duany has designed a prefabricated house for the victims of the earthquake in Haiti. On Wednesday, Miami-based InnoVida announced they would donate 1,000 of the homes to the battered nation's homeless.

As noted by CNU last month, planners are taking lessons from Hurricane Katrina and other disaster relief efforts to inform ways to move forward as Haiti's medium- and long-range priorities shift.

Duany's "cabin," which can house up to eight individuals, incorporates many of these lessons and represents the newest developments in emergency housing.

This version incorporates improvements Duany made based on research in Haiti and consultations with sociologists and anthropologists. Instead of the first version's open, screened-in sides, this one has solid walls all around and windows with wooden shutters.

It even has indoor plumbing -- a faucet connected to a pair of tanks on the roof, one to collect rain and the other potable water. Duany said he took as much care designing the simple hut as he does designing homes for affluent clients.

Duany also developed an elaborate plan showing how the modular houses, with variations to fit rural, suburban and urban environments and different topographies, could be easily expanded with additional rooms -- and how new rural villages, urban neighborhoods and suburbs could be erected using the cabin in various configurations.

The panels are fully insulated, lightweight and fireproof, and the assembled structures would stand up to a strong quake and has passed testing for a Category 5 hurricane, Duany said.

Backers of the project include retired U.S. Army Gen. Wesley Clark and retired Miami Heat star Alonzo Mourning. InnoVida said they plan to build a factory in Haiti to produce the homes which would also bring much-needed jobs to the country.

Duany also appeared on NPR Wednesday to talk about the project. You can listen in here.


Photos of the Haitian cabin

Ryan, it'd be great to see what these homes look like. Can you post a photo?


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