“In Haiti, there were a lot of collapses in buildings because they had no rebar and no high-strength concrete,” Kwan says. “In our module, we have a vast amount of rebar and concrete strength that normally goes up to 6,000 psi in testing.”
Wally Sanger, founder and president, patented his first hurricane-resistant system in 1989. By 1992, when Hurricane Andrew wreaked havoc in south Florida, not one of the more than 500 RCC-designed projects in the area had been damaged, Albert claims.
RCC products have been popular in hard-to-reach places and throughout the Caribbean for its speed of delivery, ease of construction and resiliency. Because hooks for interior finishes are embedded in the concrete, and electrical and plumbing are roughed into the design, finishing requires little onsite skilled labor, Albert says.
“Speed of construction is one of the benefits, but that’s not what we got them for,” says Tom Zeh, base operations team leader for the Atlantic Underwater Testing and Evaluation Center Deep Water Weapons Range/Naval Undersea Warfare Center in West Palm Beach.
In 2008, Hurricane Ike hit AUTEC’s facility on Andros Island in the Caribbean, and the only buildings left standing were five RCC units built there in 2003 for Coast Guard housing.
“After Hurricane Ike, we got FEMA Katrina trailers and they were so poorly constructed that they are falling apart,” Zeh says. “And they cost as much as the concrete housing.”
RCC has devised a way to deliver its products in 20- and 40-ft-long standard shipping container equivalents, to keep transportation costs down and facilitate delivery by truck, rail or shipping.
The product was developed specifically with the armed forces in mind, Albert says. Installations like the one at Andros, which is hit by a hurricane on average every 2.5 years, have historically relied on temporary housing for military personnel.
�This is more durable than temporary housing, and it will withstand hurricanes,� Zeh says. �As we change out the old trailers, we are replacing them with housing from Royal Concrete Concepts. We plan to buy singular bedroom modular units that can be barged in and dropped into place.�
RCC has responded to several United Nations requests for proposal for rebuild work in Haiti, but no contracts have yet come to fruition. �Everyone we�ve talked to says there are a lot of people wanting to ship product down there, but not necessarily any dollars being spent,� Albert says.
The absence of enforcement of the International Building Code and specifics on standard living-unit size make it difficult to compare the real value of rebuilding proposals in Haiti.
�A lot of people are proposing just shipping containers and other temporary fixes,� Albert says. �We figure we have come up with something that can be constructed quickly, but can be permanent and stacked or added on to. There are a lot of different types of systems being proposed, but none are permanent in nature like ours.�
Using RCC products to rebuild Haiti would be a �great idea,� Zeh says. �It would be perfect for Haiti. They can just put them in a container and get them down there right away. All you�d have to do is come up with generators or some sort of small power plant.�div id="articleExtras"