Construction in Haiti - Why Are House Foundations Built with Rocks and Not Concrete?

FACT: Houses are generally built on a foundation that is either a basement, a crawl space or a slab... In Haiti, house are built on a foundation made out of ROCKS... Why is that???

House Construction in Haiti - The Foundation (Sol)
House Construction in Haiti - The Foundation (Sol)

Lately, I've been paying close attention to how houses are built in Haiti and I am wondering... Why is the foundation of houses build in Haiti made out or rocks and not a concrete slab?

Why is it so darn high off the ground? Sometimes you have to go UP a couple of steps just to get inside the house!

My cousin is building a house in Haiti and she told me she spent so much money buying truck loads after truck load of rocks just for the foundation of the house.

She is building a one story home, typical 3 bedroom house with a car port, but there is more rock on it then on the Citadelle!

Why do Haitian Home builders use rocks instead of concrete?

I am asking because, I was reading How House Construction Works, and they say that houses are generally built on a foundation that is either a basement, a crawl space or a slab. I read the whole thing and nowhere in my reading did it say you have to use thousands of big rocks as a foundation and lay the house on top of it.

I'm no engineer, I am just trying to compare how things are done in Haiti versus the rest of the world.

SO... Can you tell me?

Why do Haitian Home builders use rocks instead of concrete when building houses.

Now that we live in a post-earthquake era, what happens to all these rocks when the ground begins to shake?

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Tags: Building Homes in Haiti, Houses in Haiti, Real Estate in Haiti, Haitian Newsletter Articles, Real Estate

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All Comments (9)

Mark says...

The cost of materials are extremely high there.

Probably 1/2 the price to do it that

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Kensonsun Bernade says...

Foundation with rocks is generally found in old building that were build in the 1900's.

The answer is simple it's just an old practice that Haiti got from the old time and have not been able to advance like other countries have.

Cement is expansive so we try to minimize the amount of concrete we put in the foundation.

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Erick Jerome says...

Egg-cellent observations! Many of the systems and approaches in Haiti need reform.

You asked a very good question, the rocks I imagine can be broken down into smaller pieces to create the mix for the concrete and would be cheaper.

Where do the boulders of rocks come from and when rocks are constantly being removed from their locations without geologic survey, doesn't this practice lead to possible land erosion?

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Ti Mede says...

Nothing beat the beauty and duration of building with stone; The Maya Indians, the egyptian pyramids and many historic buildings in the United States where built with rock foundation.

Consult with a local engineer.

Each region built according to its terrain.

Thank you for investing in Haiti.

Ayiti Toma needs more people like you, willing to return home and make a difference.

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Edouard says...

It's done that way because that's their know how and they will fight to keep it that way. Haitians, like may people, don't like change.

It is very difficult to explain that there is a better way to do things.

That goes for everything: politics, corruption and yes home building.

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Anna says...

pou kisa nou pa mete yon ti bout

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Bill Love says...

rubble foundations have been used successfully for thousands of years, mostly where the rocks are located adjacent to the site. They do not seem like a practical thing to use in an earthquake or otherwise unstable ground

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Patrick Princivil says...

Remember to go on WWW.cadsoft.com to find the best software to build your house, you can google it if you cannot find it.

Remember that we have a corrupt country, this mean anybody without knowledge can be engineer or doctor etc.

they can by the diploma and the lisence under the table, I recommend you to do the job yourself or you pay the Dominican company's people or other country like US-Canada's company etc to build your house; to much raquetor's Haitian in Haiti even-thought President Martely and the prime minister (Laurent Lamothe) don't use them in the construction of Haiti.

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Alana says...

In U.S. and other countries you have cement trucks to deliver cement for a poured concrete foundation or the houses are built modality.

In Haiti with the difficult terrain it may be harder to get a fully loaded cement truck to pour a concrete foundation for house.

Also the lack of newer big equipment is another problem I notice in

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