Get our free book (in Spanish or English) on rainwater now - To Catch the Rain.

Difference between revisions of "World Shelters Rubble to Resource"

From Appropedia
Jump to: navigation, search
(Implementation Costs)
Line 1: Line 1:
[[File:Rubble jpeg.jpg|thumb|right|400px|Figure 1: Rubble from Haiti<ref name="rubble">2010 Haiti Earthquake. Flickr. Retrieved May 5, 2010. </ref>]]
[[File:Rubble jpeg.jpg|thumb|right|400px|Figure 1: Rubble from Haiti<ref name="rubble">Rubble Cleared from Site of Wrecked UN Haiti Mission. Flickr. Retrieved May 5, 2010. </ref>]]

Revision as of 02:35, 6 May 2010

Figure 1: Rubble from Haiti[1]


The object of this project was for Team Rubblution to design a Rubble Trench Foundation to be used in Haiti. Testing done on the design showed that it was safe for building in similar conditions in Haiti. Further testing needs to be done in Haiti for site specific conditions.


On Tuesday, 12 January 2010 a magnitude 7.0 earthquake hit Haiti. This earthquake caused massive damage in 3 major cities and the countryside surrounding the epicenter. The Haitian Government reported that an estimated 230,000 people had died, 300,000 had been injured and 1,000,000 had been left homeless.[2]

Problem Statement and Criteria

After the 7.0 earthquake in Haiti last January, many buildings were reduced to rubble, which is now inhibiting the construction of new buildings. With no place for this rubble to go, World Shelters has asked that a solution be found, so that the rubble in Haiti could be used as part of the reconstruction of Haiti.


Criteria Description Weight
Safety Withstand Hurricanes and Earthquakes 10
Level of Labor Creation create as much local labor as possible to revitalize the economy 8
Ease of Mass Production needs to be produced on a massive scale 8
Cost needs to have enough spending to support works but not enough to bankrupt the project 6
Use of Local Materials Use only local material to cut down on cost and carbon footprint 6
Ease of Assembly needs to be able to be build by Haitian workers 5

Description of Final Project

Figure 2: Final Trench Foundation

The Ruble Trench foundation system uses recycled concrete rubble left over from buildings that were destroyed in Haiti during the 7.0 earthquake mid-January 2010.

The Rubble Trench Foundation System can be used to support various new building structures in Haiti built by World Shelters and other organizations, and could be used in other locations.

This design provides more support against hurricanes and earthquakes than previous foundation systems used in Haiti. The Rubble Trench Foundation System provides work to unskilled laborers in Haiti and other locations where World Shelters works.


Design Hours

Throughout the length of the project we have recorded the time we have spent on each phase of our process, as seen in the chart below. In total we have spent 143 hours on our project. A majority of our time went in to our Literature Review, in which we researched how rubble has been used or removed in the past, and in to our Implementation and Testing phase, in which we dug our half-scale trench and tested it.

Figure 3: Design Cost(Hours)

Implementation Costs

The costs for the Rubble Trench Foundations were fairly low as shown in the table below. Our total cost for our half scale representation totaled at $11.68. When made in full scale, we estimated that the cost of the Rubble Trench Foundation totals at $23.36.

Materials Quantity Cost
Rubble 12 ft3 Donated
3" x 10' PVC Pipe 2 $5.84
Half-Scale Total $11.68
Full-Scale Total $22.26

Maintenance Cost

Because Rubble Trench Foundations will most likely have immovable structures place on top of it, there is no way this design could undergo maintenance until said structure is removed.

Testing and Results

A half-scale model of the Rubble Trench Foundation System was built in cooperation with team Humangineers, who placed a sand bag structure on top of it of the trench.

The structure was left in the rain for three days and settling was calculated based on the initial and final heights of the sand bag structure. The north side of our trench had approximately 3500 lbs whereas the south side had about 1900 lbs. The north and south side's final settling amounted to 2" and 1" respectively. Further testing results are found in the results table.

Weight on Structure (lbs) Initial Height (in) Final Height (in) Settling Height (in) Final Settling (lbs/in)
North Wall 3500 48 46 2 1800
South Wall 1900 24 23 1 1900

Discussion and Next Steps

The testing that was covered in our research is not comprehensive enough to make the Rubble Trench Foundation suitable for everywhere. Site specific conditions including soil composition, precipitation, and other variables need to be considered. Testing structures need to be made in the place where building is desired in order to properly prepare for these variables.


  1. Rubble Cleared from Site of Wrecked UN Haiti Mission. Flickr. Retrieved May 5, 2010.
  2. 2010 Haiti Earthquake. Wikipedia. Retrieved April 26, 2010.