Hello everyone, from Ahuachapán in El Salvador! Today is day two of working on the Habitat home build. What us “newbies” learned today is that the construction of the homes in this area must take into consideration seismic (yes, there is an active volcano in nearby Guatamala) activity when engineering the design for the home construction. The design uses both poured concrete and cinder block while incorporating steal “tie bar” into the infrastructure. The homes must be designed to withstand a certain level of seismic activity. This design keeps the home standing when an earthquake hits the area. Amazing!
The frequency of seismic activity in the area has affected the quality of life for families in Ahuachapán. In December 2006, a series of strong tremors damaged more than 3,000 houses in five different municipalities, including Ahuachapán. Habitat El Salvador responded by building 200 permanent, seismic-resistant houses for affected families, subsidizing the loans of the poorest families in collaboration with various foundations.
Recently, these municipalities were affected by a new wave of tremors that have damaged other homes. Habitat El Salvador continues to build houses throughout Ahuachapán and—to date—has provided more than 300 housing solutions in the department.
The following pictures not only describe our day today, but also will show you a little bit about the “seismic resistent” home design used by the HFH building team. Enjoy and God bless!!