El Fuego del Sol -- Structural Steel Insulated Panels and Indigenous Building Materials Solutions, D.R. & Haiti

El Fuego del Sol -- Structural Steel Insulated Panels and Indigenous Building Materials Solutions, D.R. & Haiti

Haiti
Organization type: 
for profit
Project Stage:
Start-Up
Budget: 
$50,000 - $100,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Millions of displaced Haitian people have endured tents or worse for 13 months, post-earthquake. SSIP housing can be deployed in either temporary or permanent configurations. Fuego del Sol (FdS), a Dominican triple-bottom-line corporation, is prepared to deliver SSIP (Structural Steel Insulated Panels) to housing sites throughout the island of Hispaniola. FdS technology partners in the US can supply manufactured SSIPs now to the DR and Haiti while the Dominican FdS factory is created. The FdS solution features locally produced, Fair Trade, indigenous, and recycled materials - safely and comfortably housing people in need, providing good jobs and improving the urban ecology in a financially sustainable model. The FdS solution also features locally produced Sun Ovens and water filters.

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

The environment. The SSIP building materials benefits: The best protection from hurricanes is steel frame. With integrated Structural EPS Foam, FdS SSIPs are proven to resist wind loads of over 150 m.p.h. Earthquakes: Formed Structural EPS is a terrific shock absorber with tested resilience against the highest Zone 4 seismic loads. Fire-Resistant treated EPS Foam will not burn when in contact with open flame or direct heat. Surpasses US-EPA requirements: rated 2.5 times as safe as pine wood. Reducing the carbon footprint of buildings and prefabricating for zero jobsite waste Inorganic: will not support mold, termites, wood ants, etc. Carbon Sequestration: EPS foam locks carbon within the walls for safe durable performance for the life of the building. Then, the full system can be recycled.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

The El Fuego del Sol Geotourism Alliance is a strong network of NGOs, grass-roots organizations, corporations and individuals (from the DR, Haiti and the US) working together to engage international tourism to facilitate: Providing safe comfortable housing solutions Improving and protecting social and ecological environments Introducing renewable energy solutions Propagating Fair Trade products / services Celebrating the rich historical cultural splendor of the DR & Haiti. The best solution for building materials in the Dominican Republic and Haiti is El Fuego del Sol SSIPs. Stronger, safer and much more comfortable than concrete block, the completed buildings look and feel identical to block construction, but the cost of maintenance is less expensive. The walls are insulated for much more comfort with or without air conditioning. Perfect for hotels, resorts, retail, factories, schools, hospitals, individual homes, apartments, condominiums, community centers, and anywhere comfort and safety is important. Built to withstand the strongest hurricanes, and much safer than block in an earthquake. The Dominican Republic is a strengthening and economically growing democratic country; however, the D.R. has a dramatic shortage of viable building materials. The door is open for scalable profitable building solutions featuring ecological, indigenous and recycled products. The profitable Dominican market will subsidize the introduction of FdS SSIPs in Haiti. Work in Haiti will be based on the Cost-Plus model and will be marketed toward groups in Haiti creating communities.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

FdS projects are diligently documented with the goal of replication and scalability, e.g., our Whitepaper at elFuegodelSol.com. Our biggest challenge is moving beyond the obstacle known as the status quo. We found direct resistance to the adoption of the Sun Oven because it is different than the cooking methods that our recipients are used to. We have addressed this challenge by incorporating the innovation of local community leaders who have been the first to adopt the technology. Our local leader associates have then gone on to directly, personally encourage others to follow their example in consistently properly using the technology. For our design of an efficient housing unit, we have gone the further step of including the designs of local Dominicans and Haitians for a small comfortable place to live. Our design can be implemented in an initial temporary configuration in a camp setting. If the organizers provide separate camp-kitchens, latrines and showers, then each of our 320sf homes can temporarily house two families. When space and finances allow, additional homes can be provided and the existing 320 sf homes can be converted for permanent use for one family. Or the home can be relocated for permanent installation. The same unit can be assembled into single homes, duplexes, quads, or multi-story buildings up to 4 stories high. Thus, our success is measured by the level of comfort experienced by people who live in the homes we will build, and by the history we have had with our Sun Oven program we plan to replicate in our complete housing and communities program.
Sustainability

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

The mindset in the DR and Haiti is fixated on concrete block. We provide all the positive attributes of block, plus we dramatically exceed block on all measurable factors from insulation content to carbon footprint. Again we have the issue of status quo, few want to change from systems that they are accustomed to. However, the key to introducing the new technologies is the price. Ecological benefit does not readily change business behavior on this island. What will make the change is proven money savings. The DR and Haiti are interconnected to the point that once an innovation has proven to actually save money, it can be adopted quickly. Active and direct opposition to implementation of beneficial solutions should not be underestimated. When SSIP construction is clearly demonstrated to save money, reduce construction times and reduce the building’s long term operating costs, the concrete industry will be negatively effected, and they will not be happy. Some projects can be started now with imported materials, but the real changes will come after our DR factory is up and running, and the first buildings directly demonstrate the benefits that the SSIP system provides. SSIP construction is far superior to frame construction as well, but the construction industry in the US has been extremely slow to move from the status quo. For the multiple benefits of SSIP construction and for future innovations including hydrogen fuel options and renewable energy systems, success in small nations so close to the US may eventually provide the leverage to move the US further toward adopting sustainable solutions. Our list of collaborators includes, the following for-profit companies: Sun Ovens International, Transcon Steel, Grupo Duarte (Legal Services and Business Development in Santo Domingo, DR), Cedano Legal Services, Elfi Wall Systems, Neptun Ultra-Efficiency Lighting, Woodgas Stoves, Architecturalhotwire.com, rebuildhaitibetter.ning.com and 19-Grado Estudio Sostenible (Sustainable Architectural Design Studio); as well as the following non-profit organizations: Grupo Jaragua, Grupo CONACADO, SHE-Inc. Solar Household Energy, Global Exchange, WBEZ – Chicago Public Radio, Solar Cookers International, The University of San Francisco, Faith in Place, Rise International, Bethel UCC Elmhurst, IL, The Zakat Foundation of America, The Natura Park Ecological Foundation, The Annual Higuey Book Fair and The Rotary Club of Higuey, DR.
About You
Organization:
El Fuego del Sol
About You
First Name

Kevin

Last Name

Adair

About Your Organization
Organization Name

El Fuego del Sol

Organization Phone
Organization Address

Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Organization Country

, PD

Country where this project is creating social impact

, SE

How long has your organization been operating?

More than 5 years

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Innovation
What stage is your project in?

Operating for more than 5 years

Share the story of the founder and what inspired the founder to start this project

Kevin Adair has over 20 years of business development experience. His corporate presentations have appeared on NBC’s Today Show and ABC’s Good Morning America. Kevin has also been working to improve environmental and social conditions for decades.

Since 2005 Kevin has lived, worked and led Geotourism travel in the Dominican Republic, extending into Haiti in 2007. FdS manufactures Sun Ovens in the DR for distribution in the DR and Haiti.

Before choosing Sun Ovens as the best solar cooking technology, Kevin evaluated every solar cooker available commercially, and found cooking with the Sun Oven superior in every respect. Then, Kevin started the Sun Oven Introduction and Adoption Program with the NGO, Grupo Jaragua. Now US citizens can make tax deductible donations supporting that program through our US NGO partner, Solar Household Energy, Inc.

Kevin repeated the diligent evaluation process in other sectors, and now FdS also represents ecological lighting and biomass stove products.
Over the past two years Kevin has evaluated dozens of ecological building systems before selecting the SSIP system for introduction in the DR and Haiti. SSIP technology was selected due to it having the best combination of ease of use, safety, insulation, cost, comfort and ecology.

Social Impact
How many people have been impacted by your project?

1,001 - 10,000

How many people could be impacted by your project in the next three years?

More than 10,000

What barriers might hinder the success of your project and how do you plan to overcome them?

Who owns what land is a huge problem in Haiti. Our homes can be assembled in a temporary configuration to quickly give people solid housing. Then they can be moved to permanent installation with only hand trucks. Walls can be finished to look like concrete. Culturally, Haitian people want the look and feel of concrete housing, but they don’t want it to fall on them. Our homes incorporate local, renewable and recycled materials, but Haitian partners helped design them to be comfortable. No one wants mud/wood huts. They want a solid house. Our plan addresses that issue sustainably. How will they cook? Our design (attached) has an integrated kitchen for cooking with Solar and biomass. Recipients should also participate in providing their own housing, so they value it and take pride in it.

How will your project evolve over the next three years?

Our product line is growing to ecologically provide complete human basic needs. We continue to add compatible products. The advent of our DR SIPP factory will be a huge step forward. Practical and ecological as EPS Foam is, it cannot be cost-effectively transported over water in its inflated/formed state. Our DR factory will provide over-road shipping throughout Hispañola, providing the first locally produced SSIPs on the island. FdS will continue to incorporate recycled and indigenous natural materials in the construction process whenever possible. We plan to create complete self-sufficient communities which include solar electricity, wind power, potable water, waste recycling and waste-to-energy. After proving the concepts on the island, we hope the ideas transfer to the US and beyond.

Sustainability
For each selection, please explain the financial and non-financial support from each

FdS was started with conscientious funding from family and friends. Our network of supporting individuals has continued to grow with visits, investments, donations, volunteering, advice and economic participation opportunities. Foundations have provided us insight, networking opportunities and have been our clients for consulting work in the DR and Haiti. NGOs have partnered with us on all our major projects, from Sun Ovens, to GeoTourism, to project promotion. We prefer to form exclusive licensing agreements for our geographic region for the products that we represent, manufacture, sell, distribute and promote. This method increases employment opportunities in the US, the DR and Haiti. Since the products tend to be licensed from US companies, we create jobs in all three countries. Our model is not to outsource jobs from larger countries, rather to import tested ecological technologies to produce products locally that are used locally. This process becomes a tandem manufacturing and implementation process with the associated company in the US. Thus, US customers buy US manufactured goods, and customers geographically closer to our location, buy the licensed products from FdS. We follow Fair Trade manufacturing standards and we encourage all of our suppliers to follow them as well. We are participating in the regional and national Small and Medium Sized Enterprises Program of the US and DR governments. We are certified as a tax-free importer of renewable energy products under the DR 57-07 law. NGOs are our customers, so are individual consumers and beneficial geotourists

How do you plan to grow and/or diversify your base of support in the next three years?

While providing quality products and services, we constantly quest to promote and to network with others. Proposals are currently being reviewed by several potential additional partners and financing entities. We frequently update our website and have pages on Facebook, Youtube and other social media sites. We document all of our projects with photos and video. We are now dramatically increasing our web presence in conjunction with our US non-profit partner, Solar Household Energy, Inc. We are building pages on Network for Good and Universal Giving. We have a growing core of volunteers assisting us with promotion and expansion. We participate every year in the National Public Radio Worldview Global Activism Expo in Chicago. We have entered every appropriate competition through Changemakers in the past 4 years, including participating in the National Geographic Geotourism Challange since it began. We are open-source, so we would love to hear your ideas at to how we could improve or do more. El Fuego del Sol is owned and operated by Americans, Haitians and Dominicans and we make direct outreach to all related communities and grass-roots organizations for input. We also maintain several related websites including elfuegodelsol.com, dominicanconsuting.net and carefulloans.net. One of our founding principles is to create a snowballing network that builds as much as possible on every contact; e.g., this competition introduced us to, Kevin Rowell. He has been working in Haiti as well; we are now discussing potential collaboration ideas for some point in the future.

Collaboration
Please select your areas of intervention in the home improvement market

Financing, Design, Technology, Technical assistance, Labor, Property rights, Sanitation, Water, Infrastructure, Energy conservation, Renewable energy, Green housing, Environment, Income generation, Urban development, Rural development, Citizen/community participation, Public policy, Other (please specify).

Is your innovation addressing barriers in the home improvement/progressive housing market? If so, please describe in detail your mechanisms of intervention

Yes. The mindset in the DR and Haiti is fixated on concrete block. We provide all the positive attributes of block, plus we dramatically exceed block on all measurable factors from insulation content to carbon footprint. Again we have the issue of status quo, few want to change from systems that they are accustomed to. However, the key to introducing the new technologies is the price. Ecological benefit does not readily change business behavior on this island. What will make the change is proven money savings. The DR and Haiti are interconnected to the point that once an innovation has proven to actually save money, it can be adopted quickly. Active and direct opposition to implementation of beneficial solutions should not be underestimated. When SSIP construction is clearly demonstrated to save money, reduce construction times and reduce the building’s long term operating costs, the concrete industry will be negatively effected, and they will not be happy. Some projects can be started now with imported materials, but the real changes will come after our DR factory is up and running, and the first buildings directly demonstrate the benefits that the SSIP system provides. SSIP construction is far superior to frame construction as well, but the construction industry in the US has been extremely slow to move from the status quo. For the multiple benefits of SSIP construction and for future innovations including hydrogen fuel options and renewable energy systems, success in small nations so close to the US may eventually provide the leverage to move the US further toward adopting sustainable solutions.

Are you currently collaborating with private companies, or have you partnered with private companies in the past? With which companies?

Our list of collaborators includes, the following for-profit companies: Sun Ovens International, Transcon Steel, Grupo Duarte (Legal Services and Business Development in Santo Domingo, DR), Cedano Legal Services, Elfi Wall Systems, Neptun Ultra-Efficiency Lighting, Woodgas Stoves, Architecturalhotwire.com, rebuildhaitibetter.ning.com and 19-Grado Estudio Sostenible (Sustainable Architectural Design Studio); as well as the following non-profit organizations: Grupo Jaragua, Grupo CONACADO, SHE-Inc. Solar Household Energy, Global Exchange, WBEZ – Chicago Public Radio, Solar Cookers International, The University of San Francisco, Faith in Place, Rise International, Bethel UCC Elmhurst, IL, The Zakat Foundation of America, The Natura Park Ecological Foundation, The Annual Higuey Book Fair and The Rotary Club of Higuey, DR.

Please describe in detail the nature of the partnership(s)

El Fuego del Sol Geotourism Alliance connects and collaborates with non-profits, corporations, government agencies, educational institutions, artists, innovators and activists toward improving the environment and society. We are a true Hybrid Network: we form close working relationships with for-profits and non-profits to work together to improve ecological and social environments in the DR and Haiti.
El Fuego del Sol is an independent secular triple-bottom-line (focusing on people, planet and profit) company that seeks to work with any entity of any affiliation toward the mutual goals of improving society and the environment. We respect all backgrounds and traditions in our quest to find common ground and move forward together. We follow the cost-plus-fixed-fee model to transparently offer a just price for the products and services we offer. We are working to financially sustainably provide ecological products that provide for all basic human needs. Our partnerships further that goal. MBA programs teach about the concepts of: triple-bottom-line, hybrid social enterprise business networks, cost-plus, and social entrepreneurs, but few examples are actively engaging those concepts and documenting their efforts, but El Fuego del Sol exemplifies all of those concepts, in association with our network partners. Thank you for this networking opportunity to share information about El Fuego del Sol with Changemakers from around the world.

Select the unit(s) with which the partnership was formed

Foundation of the company, Corporate social responsibility department, Marketing department, HR department, Sales department, Logistics department, R&D department, Other (please specify).