Cooler project improves quality of life in Haiti

Agriculture and food production can help build economies for countries like Haiti. But, the extreme heat makes it difficult to preserve fresh produce. For one farm in Haiti, a tilt-up cooler was the perfect solution.

Double Harvest is an organization that establishes and develops agriculture projects in Third World countries to increase food production and build local economies. For more than 30 years, Double Harvest has been working with Haitians to improve their quality of life through agriculture, but the organization needed a better way to preserve crops.

Through a mutual relationship, Star Inc. of Amherst, Ohio, partnered with Double Harvest to build a tilt-up concrete cooler. The 2,400-square-foot cooler features insulated concrete roof and wall panels to create the optimal thermal envelope. The cooler has a center dividing wall so farmers can control their energy consumption when only one side is being used.

Star, a member of the CON/STEEL Alliance™, had to adjust its typical tilt-up process for this project. Star completed the cooler during four trips over four years, with each trip focusing on a different aspect of the tilt-up process – foundations, floor slab, pouring panels and lifting panels. Since they couldn’t take all the tilt-up construction materials they needed on a plane to Haiti, the team had to rent a crane, and ship a lifting truss, as well as other necessary items. Unlike most tilt-up projects, these tilt-up panels cured for more than a year. When the panels were lifted, the bondbreaker worked as intended, and the panels were lifted with ease.

Kim Mulder, president of Star, said that he welcomed the opportunity to make a difference in people’s lives by leveraging the company’s expertise in tilt-up. He knew tilt-up was the right answer for this building, which will serve the community well into the future.

Due to the location, LJB designed the building to withstand hurricane-force winds similar to Florida and earthquake conditions similar to California.

We are proud to be a part of the design-build team for a project that is more than just another tilt-up building. This project is a simple cooler, but it will improve the quality of life for many in need.

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