Build Change is using compression testing to help Haitian block producers
In a world full of unusual records, I think that Haiti must hold the top spot for the most concrete block rubble within a country. CementTrust and Build Change are both working to change these statistics in the future.
The sad fact is that the crushing destruction from Haiti’s quake is much more serious than breaking blocks while holding an egg (see story of image below).
In many developing nations poverty sets up a situation where block manufacturers cut corners in the creation of their product.
When the quality of a concrete block is poor, then people suffer during a disaster. It is very important that quality control procedures are a part of the construction supply system in order to reduce these risks.
Producing good block requires properly graded materials, a good cement recipe, proper mixing and adequate curing steps.
Reliable concrete block production relies on a functioning supply chain to deliver the right raw materials, the dependable equipment and the necessary quality control. Testing is an additional layer of insurance that provides trust for local builders. Without this important part of the supply system in place, the poor will continue to live with the pain and suffering that comes when block buildings come crashing down.
CementTrust is joining with several other organizations in an effort to put some trust back into block and masonry construction projects in the poorest regions of the world.
In a new initiative, Build Change is putting a simple compression tester on a truck so Haitian workers can check block strength right at the construction site. These testing units will allow a level of quality control that is not currently available to builders within the country. They are demonstrating that material testing is an important link in a functioning concrete supply chain. This effort suggests that appropriately scaled technology is as critical to improving the quality of construction in Haiti as the current masonry skills training being shared by many organizations.
There are several opportunities to improve the quality of cement-based building in these developing nations. We commend Build Change for taking on the issues of block quality in Haiti.
What portion of the supply chain are you willing to assist with?