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Rubble-House: Rubble with a cause

Rubble with a cause

Rubble House doorway
Marietta, Ga. (Aug. 26, 2011) – Dr. Fatih Oncul in the School of Architecture, Civil Engineering Technology and Construction Management and Division of Engineering professors Dr. Wasim Barham and Dr. Metin Oguzmert are overseeing a joint project with the humanitarian relief organization Conscience International.

In less than three weeks, volunteer students and faculty members will build a house from concrete rubble and “destructively test” (read demolish) it in the grassy area between Howell Hall and the Atrium Building (J).

Conscience International has spent the past year building new homes from the rubble created by the January 2010 earthquake that left so many Haitians homeless. The group needs scientific data to support its belief that, not only are these houses easy and inexpensive to build, but they also provide greatly improved safety over traditional concrete block-built homes, in the event of another earthquake.

SPSU faculty members are being encouraged to use the Rubble-House project as a learning opportunity for their students.

Drs. Oncul and Barham will supervise the volunteers in loading rubble into wire frame baskets that will serve as the walls of the structure and then covering them with concrete. The volunteers will use only simple hand tools – no power tools.

Construction, which started on Aug. 23, will wrap up around Sept. 12 if the weather cooperates. After the structure is completed, its durability will be tested a few days later.

For information updates and photos of the ongoing project, visit the Rubble-House web page. To view news coverage of the project, go to this WSB-TV clip. 

To volunteer, contact Dr. Oncul at ext. 3267 or