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    U.S. Green Building Council Kicks Off Two Haiti Initiatives

    The courtyard of the HOK-designed orphanage.

    The courtyard of the HOK-designed orphanage.

    The United States Green Building Council
    —the ecological building trade group and promulgator of the all-important LEED criteria for energy efficient design—has released details on a pair of new outreach programs aimed at helping the people of Haiti recover from 2010's devastating 7.0-magnitude earthquake. Global architecture office HOK will team up with the USGBC on a new orphanage and children's center for the non-profit Fondation Enfant Jesus in Port-au-Prince, while a new Sustainability Design Fellow has been by chosen the USGBC in coordination with partner organizations the American Institute of Architects and Architecture for Humanity.

    An aerial shot of the orphanage.

    An aerial shot of the orphanage.

    For the latter initiative, the new honoree, Burtland Granvil, will follow previous fellow Stacey McMahan, in leading Architecture for Humanity’s Rebuilding Center, also in Port-au-Prince. The Center, says Granvil, "will help educate and build together with local current and future builders of Haiti." The new fellow, who will serve an 18-month stint in the country, added that "this is the main reason why I joined Architecture for Humanity.  I am here with others to work on the long-term approach." The HOK-designed orphanage, targeted for LEED Platinum certification, will combine an envelope that responds to Port-au-Prince's traditional "Gingerbread" style of residential architecture with cutting-edge green building features, including a special closed-loop water system that collects, stores, and cleans water on site. Says HOK's Mary Ann Lazarus, "We are creating a replicable, living textbook of sustainable design tailored to the Haitian culture that we hope will influence the future of architecture in the region."

    Renderings courtesy of HOK.