Partnering with a local concrete block manufacturing plant to improve quality of construction materials in Haiti’s Central Plateau

  • Aaron Gordon Clemson University
  • Jeffery M Plumblee Clemson University
  • Kayla Dimarco Clemson University
  • David Vaughn Clemson University
  • Jennifer Ogle Clemson University
Keywords: Building Codes, Concrete Block, CMU, Earthquake, Haiti, Rural Infrastructure


This paper presents a successful ongoing partnership between Clemson Engineers for Developing Countries (CEDC) and a concrete masonry unit (CMU) manufacturing plant in rural Haiti. The infrastructure destruction and resulting loss of life of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti highlighted the need for improved building materials and codes. This partnership has helped to improve the strength of CMUs in the plant, both creating a safer local built environment and expanding the economic opportunities for this plant. Using samples of aggregate and cement from the site in Haiti, students in Clemson performed experiments to optimise the CMU mix design and made other suggestions to improve efficiency and quality of their product. Consistency continues to be a challenge for the CMU plant, and this paper also describes proposed procedures to help the plant implement quality control and quality assurance plans.


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