Shipping Container Cities to Shelter 2 Million Haitians From Hurricanes

by , 05/14/10

hurricane, hurricane season, shipping container, shipping  container architecture, haiti, disaster relief, green container  international aid, richard moreta, container cities, green design,  sustainable building, eco design, rebuilding haiti, haiti earthquake,  earthquake,

Moreta and his team, Green Container International Aid, have been working non-stop to begin construction on their Container Cities. A pilot project has already begun in Jacmel, which lies along the Caribbean Sea, in the Southern part of Port-Au-Prince. They will start building emergency shelters as soon as they start receiving shipping containers, which can be quickly retrofitted into durable structures that can withstand the hurricane season. These basic structures will include new exterior paint, plywood floors, a Green Roof (geo-textile fabric, gravel layers, humus, vegetation), fabric covers over the top to protect them from the sun and collect rain water, a screen panel at the entry doors of the containers to provide for mosquito protection, and a foundation. After enough shelters have been provided for the victims, the homes can be further built-out and made more habitable.

Richard Moreta has recently been down to Haiti trying to secure shipping containers, determine the best ways to utilize them, and prioritize their efforts. The situation, as Moreta told us, is not good. Right now there are 2 million people living in tent camps, and when hurricane season starts in June, they will have no protection. Experts are predicting that a major hurricane landfall in Haiti is likely this coming season due to a weakening of El Niño, so hurricane-resistant shelters need to be constructed NOW in order to secure the safety of Haiti’s disaster-stricken population. On top of that, many Haitians are now terrified of concrete buildings, and many do not want to be inside for fear that another earthquake will demolish it with them inside. Seismologists also fear that those cracked buildings will not be able to withstand hurricane strength winds.

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  1. Floating Shipping Conta... October 8, 2010 at 3:32 pm

    […] still have an emergency on our hands. Richard Moreta, who you may recall from his efforts to build shipping container houses for Haiti through Green Container International Aid, is back at it with a redesign of his housing solution […]

  2. rbjorkdahl September 8, 2010 at 11:17 pm

    Anyone interested in shipping container housing, please visit, we offer Super Therm (insulation ceramic coating), Omega Fire (fireproof coating, 2-4 hour fire rating protection), and iSTUCCO (insulating stucco ceramic product) All of these products are in demand for shipping container projects. Please contact me for help with your project or any questions you have on insulating or fireproofing at

  3. Pop-Up Village for Hait... August 30, 2010 at 4:17 pm

    […] Canadian musician Luck Mervil is leading the charge to help rebuild Haiti with houses made from repurposed shipping containers. Mervil is behind the Montreal organization Vilaj Vilaj, which wants to use 900 shipping containers […]

  4. russellemup June 2, 2010 at 2:58 am

    I have been interested in building container homes for some time, I currently own a small construction co. and I might be interested in volunteering for such a project if that were possible. Thanks R.T.

  5. Charlie P May 21, 2010 at 3:56 pm

    This is great. There is another really good option out there… Their panel-system might be faster and certainly lighter. Could even be cheaper? Anyone heard of these guys?

  6. thehealingartist May 15, 2010 at 7:57 pm

    Please take a look at http://www.calearth,org. These structures are INEXPENSIVE and EASY to produce, can withstand earthquakes, floods, etc and use mostly local supplies.
    While container dwellings can be excellent emergency shelter for people with money, the structures built using the Nadir Khalili method of building are far superior for Haiti.

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