Architecture for Humanity

Architecture for Humanity is a nonprofit design services firm founded in 1999. We are building a more sustainable future through the power of professional design.
Aug 19, 2013

The Toolkit is getting ready for Greenbuild


The Green Schools Investment Guide (aka the Toolkit) is getting ready for Greenbuild 2013 Philadelphia where Architecture for Humanity will, in collaboration with the USGBC's Center for Green Schools, lead a charrette-style workshop that introduces the Toolkit and provides working tips for key members of the school community to guide school building investment decisions on their own school turf. 

During this session, participants can expect to gain an introduction and insight into innovative ways to:

  1. Outline and champion a path for schools to finance and implement healthy building retrofits, from a pre-retrofit student and school community engagement process to post-upgrade commissioning, operations and maintenance
  2. Address various school decision-maker concerns around the costs of building retrofits by incorporating insights into student performance, health and energy efficiency.
  3. Easily identify and share successful models for school improvement finance, including key paid-from-savings and traditional school funding approaches, like bond measures and loans
  4. Appropriately leverage existing industry-leading resources and tools, such as the LEED Reference Guide for Green Building Operations and Maintenance and relevant LEED Study Guides.

This guide marks the first collaborative product between Architecture for Humanity and the Center for Green Schools at USGBC.  Fundamentally, our vision is simple: to make sure every kid in the United States attends a healthy and inspiring school. Our organizations are working together to create and apply easy-to-use resources that help communities to find ‘right-sized’ investment strategies to transform their schools into clean, safe and resource efficient learning environments. 

Aug 13, 2013

Tohoku Reconstruction Update: July 2013

Tohoku Newsletter Banner July 2013

Summer has arrived! The rainy season has passed, and temperatures have soared up in cities throughout Japan. These extreme temperatures, combined with high humidity, bring with them dangers such as heat strokes. As the heat continues over the next few weeks, we hope everyone remembers to stay hydrated and well!

Many projects and programs are making strides at our MakiBiz office. We are excited to begin supporting the eight businesses that were carefully selected through the RFP program, and these will be moving forward quickly over the coming months. In Kamaishi, an insightful community engagement workshop was recently held for the Kamaishi Park for All project, and the design continues to be refined with community input. Additionally, we have been providing consultation services as always, and round two of business seminars have been taking place at MakiBiz. Find out more below.

High temperatures will continue over the following weeks. Please take care of your health.

Architecture for Humanity

*As always, we hope you enjoy seeing where your support has taken this program, and our doors are always open for feedback.   


MakiBiz RFPMakiBiz Request for Proposal Program
The application period for MakiBiz's Request for Proposal (supporting the rebuilding of affected small businesses and entrepreneurs) has ended, and after careful consideration, eight businesses were chosen out of nearly 40 applications received from the prefectures of Iwate, Miyagi, and Fukushima. MakiBiz will continue supporting these businesses, and projects will kick off shortly! Look forward to updates to follow.

Park for All Community Engagement
On July 10, a community design workshop was held with nearly 50 local participants. Preliminary designs were presented with drawings and models, and participants were encouraged to provide feedback for design refinement. Read what the community came up with in the report here.

MakiBiz has supported 103 business owners to date. Information about our clients along with other MakiBiz updates can be found here.

On June 28th, the installation of a fence in the back yard of the community house was completed. Boards were fitted on both sides of the fence, and a door was also installed. Now children can play without the danger of falling. Full report here.


MAKOTO Business Seminar 2 at MakiBiz
MAKOTO Business Seminars
The second round of MAKOTO Business Seminars has kicked off at MakiBiz, with two seminars held to date. Mr. Tomohiro Takei is again, leading these seminars with the first two held on how to create a business plan. Four seminars remain in this series, all held in the evenings at our MakiBiz office free of charge. See this flyer (in Japanese only) to find out how to sign up. Reports on these seminars to come.



In Progress

Park for All in Kamaishi - 75% SD/DD


Shizugawa Fishermen's Workspace "Banya" - Completed Feb/2013
Maeami-hama Community House - Completed Feb/2013
Kitakami "We Are One" Market and Youth Center - Completed Dec/2012
Akahama Covered Alley- Completed Jul/2012
Oshika House - Women's Collaborative- Completed Jul/2012
Paper Crane Sculpture - Completed Jan/2012
Shizugawa Judo Juku - Completed Dec/2011
Ohya Green Sports Park - Completed Dec/2011
Hikado Marketplace - Completed Jul/2011

CA Construction Administration ; CD Construction Documents ; DD Design Development ; SD Schematic Design ; PD Pre-Design  - About the Phases

Aug 2, 2013

Haiti, July 2013: Advancing phases & volumes

The following are highlights of the work by the Haiti Rebuilding Center in the month of July:

• Phase 2 of Argentine School launches
• Elie Dubois school works toward its historic renovation and equipment for a new world-class culinary program
• Support secured for Haiti Land Transaction Manual, Volume 2
• A look back at the impact of the Economic Development studio

Phase 2 Launches at Argentine School

On July 31, the second of three phases retrofitting and expanding a 2000-student public school in the heart of Port-au-Prince launched. This next step in the project starts after the much delayed closing of an IDP camp on the school's campus. Argentine Phase 1, remediation of the existing one story classroom building, was completed in March 2013; we were able to "co-habitate" with the camp dwellers occupying most of the school yard.

Phase 2 continues rehabilitation of the site, including repair and reconstruction of the perimeter wall, demolition and removal of the remaining damaged buildings, and site cleanup. This work will continue for about six weeks.

We are working with the Organization for International Migration (OIM) to coordinate shared infrastructure with an 80-family housing project under way on the northern portion of the school site.

Phase 3, the "new construction" phase of the school, will follow.

Continuing Support for Ecole Elie Dubois

Representatives from ARGOS, the majority owner of Cimenterie Nationale d'Haiti (CINA) visited Elie Dubois on June 19, and reiterated their interest to continue funding the completion of the school project.

Architecture For Humanity-Haiti reconvened on site with the team of designers and chefs of World Central Kitchen who plans to design and implement a comprehensive curriculum for culinary arts for the schools' professional program. They also plan to design and provide a state-of-the-art teaching kitchen for the school.

We are working closely with this group to integrate this teaching kitchen into the renovation of the historic building. We are so excited to have World Central kitchen as a new partner for École Elie Dubois.

Volume 1

Haiti Land Transaction Manual, Vol. 2

This month has been very exciting for the Land Tenure policy program. In partnership with Habitat for Humanity and with funds from the Digicel Foundation, Architecture for Humanity has officially initiated work on the second Haiti Land Transaction Manual.

This second manual will focus on the rights and obligations of property owners and occupants in situations of informal or unclear tenure. Towards achieving this body of work, we've partnered with the Faculty of Law of the University of Quisqueya, where a team of professors and students are providing indispensable research on the relevant laws and legal procedures.

This program is proceeding with the support of the Haitian Government through both UCLBP (Unité de Construction des Logements et Bâtiments Publics) and PACEGI (Presidential Advisory Committee for Economic Growth and Investment).


  • The Grand-Ravine community development project has begun in Martissant
  • The ground floor slab was poured at College Mixte Le Bon Berger, Montrouis in Phase 2 of construction

Economic Development Studio Impact

The Economic Development arm of Architecture for Humanity's program in Haiti is drawing to a close. This ambitious program, which began in March 2010, was funded for 36 months and closed on April 30, 2013. The important achievements of this program include:

  • Creation of a large data base of six economic corridors in and around Port-au-Prince, with special emphasis on the downtown area.
  • Creation of alliances with three of the major banks in Haiti for loan programs.
  • Establishment of means and methods for an ongoing loan program linked to a growing base of vetted small businesses and local banking partners.
  • Identification and analysis of over 140 small business owners who have submitted documents to the small business loan program.
  • Provision of assistance to potential loan clients in the preparation of the proper loan application documents, weekly training sessions on business development and best practices with the loan clients, and continuous follow up and support throughout the loan application process.
  • Promotion of innovative business models and forging alliances with Haitian government sponsors
  • Laying the groundwork for the creation of a Small-Medium-Enterprise Servicing Unit (SME/SU)
  • Establishment of a business based curriculum that has been implemented in-house with over 40 participating small business owners.
  • Creation of a vibrant and rigorous internship program with INAGHEI, bringing young business school students into the workplace and mentoring them in best business practices.

We would like to thank our many collaborators and potential partners for their efforts over the past three years, and wish them every success. Given the paramount importance of private sector involvement in the long term reconstruction of Haiti we sincerely hope that these activities will continue, and that a robust financing sector will emerge over the coming years to become a driving force of the Haitian economy.

Architecture for Humanity, Haiti, will continue our core work in architecture and planning by building on our proven strengths. We will search out new opportunities for rebuilding Haiti by engaging communities, planning neighborhoods, designing and constructing buildings, training Haitians in the building trades, and supporting local economic growth.

Architecture for Humanity, Haiti, is dedicated to supporting the well-being of the Haitian people. We are here for the long term.

Project Tracking

Project - Phase - %Complete

Clinique Madame Joa - Construction Admin. - 100%
Collège C.I.M. - Construction Admin. - 70%
Collège Mixte Le Bon Berger (Phase 2) - Construction Admin. - 30%
Mod Ayiti Workshop - Construction Admin. - 30%
École Elie Dubois (Phase 2) - Construction Docs - 100%
Île à Vache Community Development - Diagnostic - 80%
Grand-Ravine, Martissant - Diagnostic - 02%
École Nationale République d'Argentine (PHASE 2) - CONTRACT - SIGNED
Ecole Bon Berger, Pele (W.C Buildings) - CONTRACT - SIGNED
Haiti Property Law Working Group - CONTRACT - SIGNED

For a complete list of Architecture for Humanity Haiti projects, visit the Haiti Rebuilding Center page.

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