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Haiti Block

Costello + Associates , Ball State Student Associates

Project Name

Haiti Block


Project Status

Concept Proposal


  • Toney Costello, FAIA
  • Colin Marshal
  • Kevin Snyder
  • Maddie Toth
  • M. Caleb Wild



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Project Description


The impetus or catalyst that “jump-started” this project was an event that took place on January 12, 2010. This was a catastrophic magnitude 7.0 M earthquake, with an epicenter near the town of Léogâne, approximately 25 kilometer west of Port-au-Prince, Haiti's capital. Estimates are that 75% (+/-) of the existing concrete and concrete masonry structures were damaged or destroyed. Haiti's government has estimated the death toll at 230,000 and says more bodies for which a final determination of death in future years may never be known.

The devastating failure rate as a result of the dynamic, lateral forces on the structural integrity of the majority of structures in Port-au-Prince and its environs confirmed what anyone involved in the design, engineering and construction of masonry already knew. That is … the lack of any building code coupled with the total lacking of any quality control as it applies to both the materials and methods of construction of these two systems led to the inevitable total collapse or severe compromise of their structural integrity.  
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