Open Minds 2013 Team: Engineering2Empower

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Engineering2Empower (E2E) delivers safe and affordable permanent housing in the developing world. Limited financial resources, the absence of codes and standards, and poor quality control currently govern these housing sectors. Starting in post-earthquake Haiti, E2E has created an innovative approach to navigate these constraints by moving away from the established masonry system and toward a frame and panel system. E2E has engineered a U.S.-code-compliant concrete frame with lightweight concrete panels to  enclose and partition the home. The level of safety against earthquakes and hurricanes is greatly increased, but the cost, materials, and skill sets required to build it remain the same as the current model. Through other innovations, such as customizable payment plans, prefabricated components, and standardized designs, E2E is able to deliver the model through locally operated businesses.

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