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21 August 2014

ENR Features HOK-Designed Orphanage and Children’s Center in Haiti

Project Haiti

Thanks to the pro-bono contributions of the U.S. Green Building Council and HOK, the William Jefferson Clinton Children’s Center is setting the stage for sustainable, resilient construction in Haiti, which was devastated by a magnitude-7 earthquake in 2010.

“The Fondation Enfant Jesus, a nongovernment, nondenominational, apolitical charity, says there are hundreds of thousands of orphans in Haiti. FEJ’s Project Haiti, of which the new center is part, provides health care and other services and offers children a pathway to adoption. The new building will replace an FEJ orphanage destroyed by the quake.”

“The idea for the sustainable center, which will serve 25 to 30 children at a time, belongs to Rick Fedrizzi, the USGBC’s president, CEO and founding chairman. At Greenbuild 2010, USGBC announced the project. Last year, it named the center in recognition of the Clinton Global Initiative’s work in both sustainability and in Haiti.”

“As designed, the main, three-story structure, which includes living space, is an L in plan with a courtyard. Kitchen and dining areas and a corner stair tower will provide safe spaces during storms. A separate tower contains training and office space. There is also a ground-level safe zone for refuge during an earthquake.”

“The center will be Haiti’s first LEED-certified orphanage and children’s center, says USGBC. The annual net-zero-energy-use design aspires to the highest rating—LEED Platinum—of the USGBC’s green building rating system.”

“The building will be independent of local utilities, which are often unreliable. ‘When we first started designing, there was no power grid, no water system, no wastewater system,’ says Mary Ann Lazarus, HOK’s sustainable design leader, currently on leave to the American Institute of Architects as an AIA resident fellow.”

Located in Port-Au-Prince, the 6,000-sq.-ft. building is expected to open by the end of next year.

ENR