Engineering and Construction | The Way Forward for Rebuilding a Stronger Haiti

J/P HRO is taking a leading role in local neighborhoods to help earthquake-displaced families transition into permanent, secure and durable housing. The Engineering and Construction program is developing a raft of solutions responding to the spectrum of needs for the high-density, urban reconstruction of post-earthquake Port-au-Prince. In focusing on the neighborhoods of Delmas 32 and 40B, J/P HRO works to provide models, designs, price-points, experiences and solutions for the public and private sectors to use in the broader reconstruction effort in Haiti.

The J/P HRO Engineering and Construction program is helping communities rebuild as well as reinforce a broader strategy of harmonizing community services between neighborhoods and the camps. Our Engineering and Construction program provides three essential services: demolition of damaged and unsafe structures and clearing rubble; new construction and structural reinforcements for safe home or community structures; and training and educational opportunities through each construction project to make lasting changes to strengthen and improve the construction practices of Haiti.

Team members are currently clearing debris, demolishing destroyed structures, retrofitting damaged buildings and homes, and building new houses in the neighborhoods of Delmas 32, near the J/P HRO-managed Pétionville and Cité Maxo displacement camps. This is providing safe, new locations for community amenities and basic services: schools, medical facilities, community spaces and water kiosks. This program aids in the development of thriving, sustainable and prosperous neighborhoods that provide displaced families a viable, long-term alternative to camp life, which is also affordable.

Rubble Removal

After the earthquake, Haiti was buried in an estimated 10 million cubic meters (m3) of rubble and debris. Before rebuilding could begin, the rubble had to be cleared. In the summer after the 2010 earthquake, the J/P HRO Engineering and Construction Team began by first clearing roads and neighborhoods. To date, we have removed more than 500,000 m3 of rubble—approximately 31,250 dump truck loads—from city streets and neighborhoods and demolished more than 2,000 condemned homes, provided work opportunities for tens of thousands of people in the community. Our team also oversaw the demolition of the Haiti’s National Palace. With a 2013 grant from the American Red Cross, we are removing a total of 99,000 cubic meters of rubble, paving the way forward for reconstruction to progress in the broader Delmas area and Bel Air.

Partnerships and Pilot Projects: Kay Rose and Kay 4 Fanmi

J/P HRO construction efforts are largely focused in Delmas 32, a densely populated neighborhood of approximately 90,000 people adjacent to the Pétionville and Cité Maxo camps, which are managed by J/P HRO. Our Engineering and Construction Team has partnered with organizations such as Fondation Architectes de l’Urgence (FAU) and Haven Partnership to design and build new homes.

J/P HRO shares and supports the Government of Haiti’s mission for post-earthquake reconstruction to “Build Back Better.” Municipal leaders and community members are involved in all levels of the planned construction process: from the initial house designs to final completion. This process also engages local workers of Delmas 32. These collaborations produce homes that are earthquake- and hurricane-resistant and also appropriate for the local housing context. In January 2012, J/P HRO and FAU completed construction of the pilot home Kay Rose, which serves as a base model for an additional 29 expandable core homes that J/P HRO built in the neighborhood.

In June 2013, the team completed construction of Kay 4 Fanmi, a 2-story, 4-unit, pilot housing project that highlights the Ministry of Public Works, Transportation, and Communications (MTPTC) guidelines. Kay 4 Fanmi included a comprehensive public outreach program, including a feedback and instructional mechanism to demonstrate earthquake-resistant construction to local homeowners, boss masons, municipal government and the NGO community.


Building on the successful use of an innovative approach and using a homeowner-driven process that provided safe housing for 97 families at the end of 2012, J/P HRO and Build Change are partnering again in 2013. Together, our teams are retrofitting existing buildings, which will rehabilitate earthquake-damaged homes through structural reinforcement to provide secure and durable housing for 280 additional families.

In April 2013, the Engineering and Construction team opened a new office in Delmas 40B, expanding its reach, impact and community-oriented approach. The space will be the headquarters for neighborhood meetings and information sessions, and a valuable link with Delmas 32 residents as J/P HRO continues to shift its focus toward neighborhood development projects.

Connecting Community through Integrated Construction

The summer of 2013 marked the launch of the structural reinforcement and the new construction of multi-story homes in small, proximate clusters. All told, two projects combined will produce 59 living units, many of which will be housing families transitioning from the displacement camps. Uniquely, this project will connect the community through shared infrastructure: stairways, paths, street lighting and common outdoor space. By focusing reconstruction efforts in a concentrated area, the team is seeking to create a livable, urban space that promotes connections between neighbors for a thriving community. In this way, Delmas 32 can serve as a model neighborhood, showcasing the benefits of integrated construction for building back a stronger Haiti.

Key Accomplishments

Completed projects

  • New construction and structural reinforcements are complete on 147 homes and buildings, including two pilot homes—Kay Rose and Kay 4 Fanmi
  • 252 families now living in earthquake-resistant retrofitted residences and buildings
  • 2 medical clinics relocated into retrofitted and repurposed existing buildings
  • 1 community house relocated into a retrofitted and repurposed existing building
  • Demolition and clearing of more than 2,000 home sites and 250 technical demolitions of severely damaged structures located throughout Port-Au-Prince, including the National Palace.
  • To date, we have removed more than 500,000m3 of rubble from city streets and neighborhoods—approximately 31,250 dump truck loads
  • 2 water purification kiosks
  • 2 schools rehabilitated

Projects in progress

  • Community assistance is being provided for a ravine stabilization project to improve urban watershed management
  • An ongoing homeowner-driven retrofit project, targeting a total of 280 families in 115 structurally reinforced homes, 59 of which are complete
  • 45 new housing units to be built in clusters funded by The World Bank and the Government of Haiti
  • Ongoing demolition and rubble removal of earthquake damaged structures in Bel Air and the greater Delmas area will displace an estimated 99,000m3 of debris
  • Rehabilitation of the Community Development Campus and new site for J/P HRO run school, Ecole de l’Espoir