Architecture Research Paper on Haiti after 2010 Earthquake

Haiti after 2010 Earthquake

Building Code Which Were Not Enforced

Some of the building codes that were not adhered to that led to the collapse of building after the earthquake included the disregard for the building codes by the constructors, neglect of the people to get building permits, ignorance of the government inspections, among other factors (DesRoches, 2011). If the building codes had been followed to the latter, the known places capable of earthquake attack could not have been put under construction. This would have totally prevented any collapse of the building or fatality. At the same time, weak building materials would not have been used. Places known to be earthquake zones would have been constructed using seismic resistance materials, and this could have arrested the situation (Lies, 2011). The building codes advocates for a person to get building permit from the relevant authorities. If this was followed, the necessary advice would have been offered thus reducing the impact of the seismic shocks through early warning. As construction continues, allowing inspectors to inspect the building thoroughly would have ensured that minimal errors in the stability of the building. There was also a poor building safety record.

Construction Methods Used in the Collapsed Buildings

According to the building experts, earthquake resistant building is likely to cost more than unstructured buildings. Due to the poverty level in Haiti, many of the walls of the buildings were constructed using cement earth, stones or bricks. This reduced the costs but left the buildings being weak. At the same time, many of the constructions in Haiti had been constructed along hills and slopes and had no proper foundations thus making them easy target.  

Advancements Made After The Earthquake

Prior to the earthquake, formwork was being used as a partitioning alternative to wood in the buildings. At the same time, heavy masonry walls instead of steel, cement and aggregate was being used ad it led to the buildings having low ductile and strength (Lies, 2011). After the earthquake, the construction advancement in Haiti embraced the use of reinforced concrete and steel frame construction. Instead of the formwork, it has was emphasized that the inside walls be built with masonry. Other advanced technologies included the use of dampers to absorb shocks and enable the buildings to withstand seismic shocks and the use of steel elements when constructing buildings (Lies, 2011).

Emphasis of Construction Today

The emphasis on the constructions in Haiti entails better construction for a better protection. In this, the relevant authorities have been involved in making and adopting building standards, implementing them to reduce any impact that seismic waves would bring (Bilham, 2010). At the same time, the modern buildings have been designed to have better foundations and built based on the building codes set.

Major Changes Occurring in Haiti Today

After the earthquake, some considerable steps have been taken in regard to the education and health status of the Haitians. Although the people are very poor, they are very rich in cultural values and this makes the country attract many tourists who come in large numbers to view the various scenarios of the state. Politically, the state is not stable since it has been faced with corrupt officials and political violence. The country has been having increased hotel construction and has been guaranteeing its visitors safety. The crime rate has been reducing and it is ranked the lowest in the Caribbean. The country has an untapped and unexploited market that has been helping many small ventures to become giants. The refurbishment of the hotel and tourism industry has helped the country generate foreign exchange while at the same time providing direct and indirect employment to the majority of the poor citizens.


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Bilham, R. (2010). Lessons from the Haiti earthquake. Nature463(7283), 878-879.

DesRoches, R., Comerio, M., Eberhard, M., Mooney, W., & Rix, G. J. (2011). Overview of the 2010 Haiti earthquake. Earthquake Spectra27(S1), S1-S21.

Lies, A. (2011). The earthquake in Haiti. Edina, Minn: ABDO Pub.