Haiti Building Standards Development Project



The flooding of May 21-24 and September 18, 2004 that affected respectively the towns of Mapou and Fond Verettes in Eastern Haiti, and the second largest country’s urban center: Gonaïves in Northern Haiti, claimed more than 3000 lives, affected an estimated population of 300,000, and destroyed approximately 4,500 houses. Following that disaster, an Emergency Response Disaster Management Program (ERDMP) has been undertaking by the World Bank (WB) to address in the mid and long-term the impacts of natural disaster in the country. Among the numerous factors explaining the extent of the loss of lives and goods are the absence of land use zoning and building guidelines, and comprehensive enforcement mechanisms.


There is no national building code in Haiti, and whenever technical standards are used, the choice seems to be determined by the educational background of the engineers responsible for the design of projects. Most common norms are, in order of importance: ASCE 7-02, French norms, Canadian norms. The same situation prevails in the universities and tertiary institutions where future engineers and construction professionals are trained. As a result, and confirming to the needs expressed by the Haitian officials, developing building standards for the country has been recognized as a priority. Building on our experiences throughout the Caribbean in developing building codes and designing enforcement mechanisms, the Department of Sustainable Development at the Organization of American States (OAS/DSD) has been approached to undertake that initiative.


Contact Information:

Technical Coordinator: Jean Marc Racine

Tel: (202) 458-3228 | Fax (202) 458-3560 |






This page was last updated on Wednesday September 29, 2010.