. . . but it’s not a bad idea, when you think about it. The article dates from 2016, but I’ve just come across it.
The recent devastation of Hurricane Matthew was especially hard on the third-world country of Haiti. But even in a hurricane, there are places to see the light amongst the bad. Several Haitians are alive today thanks in no small part to loving people combined with the ingenuity and effort found in agriculture.
Sukup Manufacturing has made a name for themselves through high quality grain bins across the United States, but a different kind of product has been on display in Haiti in recent years. Called Safe T Homes, the buildings are converted grain bins described by Sukup as “quick and easy to construct” and “engineered structures that are suitable for all phases of recovery effort.” They’re a mighty contrast to the houses normally found in Haiti, which are built with questionable rebar-less concrete walls and flat sheet metal as a roof.
The Safe T Homes are said to offer certain qualities like fire- and termite-resistance, and, as recently displayed by the destruction of Hurricane Matthew, weather-resistance.
“When Hurricane Matthew hit, the eye of the storm was just to the west of where our facilities were located,” van Gorkom said. “The hurricane came up from the south and we took a direct hit. And we’re very happy to say that all of our Safe T Homes, which is nearly 200 in Haiti now, are still standing. They were engineered properly by Sukup Manufacturing and performed as they were designed to perform.”
In 140-mile-per-hour winds, every single Safe T Home was left standing — a major contrast to other southern portions of Haiti. The BBC reports aid workers have noted 90% of certain regions, many in the south, have been destroyed.
There’s more at the link.
Converting grain bins into houses? That’s pretty ingenious. I understand they get hot in the summer, beneath Caribbean sunshine, but that’s going to happen whatever sort of house you have. If they can be insulated against heat and/or cold, they’ll certainly be more durable than traditional knocked-together tin shacks or mud huts. I don’t know about their cost, but they’ve got to be easier to erect in place rather than truck old, unused shipping containers to where they’re needed.