January 14, 2012
by Canadian Architect
Two years after the devastating earthquake that struck Haiti, the process of rebuilding has taken another step forward with the selection of Burtland Granvil, AIA, LEED AP, as the new Architecture for Humanity Sustainability Design Fellow.
Granvil will succeed Stacey McMahan, AIA, LEED AP, who was selected as the first Sustainability Design Fellow 18 months ago. Granvil will work directly with community members on the ground in Architecture for Humanity’s rebuilding center based in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.
While in Haiti, McMahan helped establish the Architecture for Humanity Haiti office. She was also instrumental in the creation of drafting and document development standards including code and accessibility and well as inventing a process to prequalify contractors for competitive bidding. McMahan oversaw the design and development of several schools, established sustainability design standards for Haiti and helped provide professional development options for Haitian architects.
The American Institute of Architects (AIA), the US Green Building Council (USGBC) and Architecture for Humanity recognize that the catastrophic destruction in Haiti has provided an opportunity to help rebuild as well as improve disaster responses elsewhere in the world.
Granvil’s work on the ground in Haiti will be vital to future education on how sustainability after a disaster can be achieved. “The earthquake didn’t take as many lives as the poor quality of construction did,” said Granvil. “Architecture for Humanity’s Rebuilding Center in Haiti will help educate and build together with local current and future builders of Haiti…this is the main reason why I joined Architecture for Humanity. I am here with others to work on the long-term approach. Haiti, as well as other post disaster areas, can benefit from this kind of transitional office with this mindset.”
Granvil has over ten years of experience, mainly in construction administration of various educational projects. He joins the Haiti Rebuilding Center to help with its long-term efforts. His role also expands to guiding Architecture for Humanity Haiti interns & volunteers through the Intern Development Program (IDP) process. Granvil is a descendant of Haitian parents and is interested in building back better while maintaining Haiti’s culture. He is one of many diaspora returning to help rebuild Haiti after years of civil conflict.
Through Granvil’s leadership on the ground and the collaboration with USGBC, AIA and Architecture for Humanity, the rebuilding efforts in Haiti will be based upon the key principles of green building including high-performance, structural integrity, higher energy and water efficiency and better ventilation quality for occupants.
Chief among Granvil’s responsibilities will be to provide tools and training for safe and sustainable construction to mitigate similar building failures in the future both to the informal trades and by increasing local professional capacity through training and assistance.
To learn more about the rebuilding efforts in Haiti, please visit http://architectureforhumanity.org/updates/2011-01-10-bati-byen-rebuilding-in-haiti-2012-annual-report.