Not long after CementTrust started discussing the issues of concrete construction in Haiti, we met another concrete expert working to make the buildings of Haiti stronger.
Sherman Balch is a well-known concrete contractor and developer in the Silicon Valley of California. He built his fortune and honed his skills by doing concrete tilt-up projects and providing training to others in the proper methods of concrete construction.
Mr. Balch’s company has specialized knowledge in seismic construction methods because he builds concrete buildings in the earthquake zones of the California Bay Area.
Sherman is a regular speaker and thought leader for the World of Concrete, the world’s largest concrete construction exposition.
After the Haiti earthquake Mr. Balch looked at the concrete construction methods and became determined to share his expertise with the people of Haiti. He formed a non-profit organization called Extollo, which means “to lift up” in Latin. Since that time he has been to Haiti several times to assist in the rebuilding and retraining efforts that are sorely needed. He is acutely aware of how poorly concrete is made in Haiti and his organization is working to change the way concrete is produced and applied on the island.
Extollo is building orphanages and solid homes for the Haitian people. They are teaching concrete construction skills to help put Haitians back to work in the rebuilding of their country. They are organizing working groups to go to Haiti and assist in the rebuilding efforts.
We salute Sherman and his team for using their skills and resources to help Haiti rebuild with better concrete. As more concrete experts join in the plan to improve cement-based building methods, we will see huge improvements in the sustainability of Haiti buildings in the future.