Hometown U: A smarter, stronger roof design for Haiti and beyond | Living | ADN.com

But he hadn’t forgotten the Haitian roof problem, one repeated around the globe, from Africa to South and Central America — any place where housing is insufficient. He applied for seed money from UAA’s Innovate fund to try his hand at a new idea: the concrete, barrel-shaped shell as a potential new roof system in Third World countries.

His new idea is really an old one employed in the United States up to the middle of the last century, before high labor costs and cheaper material costs shifted this design to the sidelines. But architects are still drawn to the rounded simplicity of those rounded concrete shells, demonstrated in the spectacular roof of the Sydney Opera House.

In 2013, Hamel got $10,000 in seed money to design and evaluate a “thin-shell, latex-modified concrete barrel roof unit.” The latex is leftover paint that is difficult to recycle. It’s also a sophisticated polymer that, when added to concrete, increases its flexibility. via  ADN.com


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