Closed-loop Sustainable Housing (CLoSH) built entirely with local building Materials and Methods Systems in Haiti.

Closed-loop Sustainable Housing (CLoSH) built entirely with local building Materials and Methods Systems in Haiti.

$1,000 - $10,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

The CLoSH project is a wholistic effort to provide housing in Haiti and the resources required to build this and future housing solely from locally grown, produced, manufactured and built products.

The entry's innovative strengths are; the buildings are constructed using existing methods and materials but with small changes along with transitioning to sustainable, high-performance materials that are similar in appearance and characteristic to those the Haitian trades people and homeowners are familiar with. All of the materials are to ultimately be grown, produced, manufactured and built in Haiti by Haitians.

By creating demand for new (to Haiti) methods, CLoSH looks to help deal with some decades-old overarching issues in Haiti: Permanent housing and economic vitality.

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

Housing for families; Jobs for individuals; Safety and security at a community level; Domestic product growth for the economy.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

CLoSH is a completely sustainable system that creates housing for six families totaling up to forty-two people in a safe, secure and healthy building that fosters community-based living. The community is defined as a small, succinct neighborhood with defined borders and functions. The housing is a six-unit, cooperative-style structure built on a single concrete slab and covered by one roof with a light/air vent. All the units are identical in layout, fabrication and materials. Each unit has two bedrooms and a small common living/eating/gathering room for the family. Additionally, lockable safes are cast into the slab (inside each unit) to protect personal items and the entrance to the individual units is a lockable door to/from the courtyard. The courtyard is shared by all units and, other than a small center zone, is sheltered from sun and rain. There are two entrances from the outside into the courtyard, each on opposite sides of the building. These entrances are gated but remain open to ventilation except in hurricanes where heavy doors protect the interior. The exterior walls of the entire structure are secure from unwanted entry so when the gates are secured, the occupants remain safe. The exterior windows are secure with heavy bamboo pole louvers but allow light and air to pass. Mosquito netting can be added. Directly outside the entrances are outdoor kitchen areas that the residents share. These are supplemental to the smaller kitchens within the units but serve to keep cooking away form the interior spaces to alleviate heat and fumes.
About You
About You
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About Your Organization
Organization Name


Organization Phone


Organization Address

120 w. 109th St., 5e, New York, NY 10025

Organization Country

, NY, New York County

Country where this project is creating social impact

, XX

How long has your organization been operating?

Less than a year

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What stage is your project in?

Idea phase

Share the story of the founder and what inspired the founder to start this project

Timothy Bell has a BA in Architecture and is in the third-year of the Masters of Architecture, both from Columbia University in New York.
Previously he has been involved in all phases of entrepreneurial development from startups through existing service-oriented industries giving him years of experience evaluating, directing and consulting for-profit enterprises.
Timothy became involved with Haiti in an advanced design studio focused on transitional housing and development immediately following the January 2010 earthquake. Shelter in Haiti has remained the focus of his research and architectural work since.
For Tim, the earthquake did not initiate but exacerbated the decades-long issues Haiti has faced; abject poverty, corruption, shortage of outside investment, myopic political and daily living practices at the expense of long-term vitality along with an ongoing series of natural disasters, all combining to create a situation where permanent shelter and economic viability are a paramount concern.
Timothy feels that simple but scaled solutions will have a far greater effect on the dignity, safety, security and health of the Haitian people. To date the shelter efforts of the 10,000 + NGOs and humanitarian agencies in Haiti and the Haitian government have been mainly focused on transitional shelters. These are a short-term cure and rely almost exclusively on imported materials, methods and skilled labor. The effect of these programs on long-term security, economic viability and perhaps most importantly, Haitian dignity is negligible.

Social Impact
How many people have been impacted by your project?

Fewer than 100

How many people could be impacted by your project in the next three years?


What barriers might hinder the success of your project and how do you plan to overcome them?

Financial- This award will provide seed money for the subsequent fundraising and grants-seeking efforts to raise financial support and to involve the existing NGO/Humanitarian communities already committed to and serving in Haiti.

How will your project evolve over the next three years?

Stage 1-Build in Haiti a 1:1 mockup of the individual units with bamboo poles and fabric wrap to give the potential residents a feel for the size of the space and to get feedback to better accommodate their needs.
Stage 2-Build the CLoSH housing structure using with what will have to be some imported materials and with improved and simple methods of vernacular construction (concrete blocks, reinforced concrete, confined masonry walls).
Stage 3-Collaborate with private, individual and corporate interests to invest in and develop the resource business (farms, processing facilities, roofing factory) and interest in the various phases of the project. Look to have 10 hectares of guadua planted and at least one six-unit housing structure approved and built within a year, 20 in three years.

For each selection, please explain the financial and non-financial support from each

This award will provide the seed money for the subsequent fundraising and grants-seeking efforts to raise financial support with the existing NGO/Humanitarian community already committed to and serving in Haiti among others. It will also be used to start building the demonstration unit in Haiti for local feedback and input.

How do you plan to grow and/or diversify your base of support in the next three years?

Collaborate with private, individual and corporate interests to provide the resources and interest in the various phases of the project.

Please select your areas of intervention in the home improvement market

Design, Technology, Technical assistance, Water, Green housing, Environment, Income generation, Urban development, Rural development, Citizen/community participation.

Is your innovation addressing barriers in the home improvement/progressive housing market? If so, please describe in detail your mechanisms of intervention

The barriers present in Haiti are products of poverty and disinterest of the world community in Haiti as a market. By creating a self-sustaining market (closed-loop) there is a greater attractiveness for investors. Each of the resource industries- Bamboo farming and cultivation; Bamboo mat corrugated roofing, Bamboo weaving- are all profitable in many parts of the world. There are not new business models and methods-they are to Haiti. The basic criteria for their success is proper geography and climate, low labor costs and demand. Haiti does and can fill these requirements very well.
While Haiti still in an uncertain political situation, because of the earthquake and the response of much of the developing world, it is not likely to revert to the situation it once had.

Are you currently collaborating with private companies, or have you partnered with private companies in the past? With which companies?


Please describe in detail the nature of the partnership(s)
Select the unit(s) with which the partnership was formed