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Contact Information: Tanya Klein Public Relations 973-596-3433

Architect at NJIT To Help Start Rebuilding Better Buildings in Haiti

Rima Taher, a structural engineer at NJIT has accepted an invitation from Architecture for Humanity (AFH) to join architects and engineers creating a construction guide for rebuilding in earthquake and hurricane-prone areas. 

The guide would be used as a resource to builders as they begin their efforts in Haiti.  The manual will cover job site safety, dos and don'ts for earthquake and hurricane-resistant building and a list of appropriate/sustainable materials. It will be distributed for non-commercial use.

Taher, who teaches in the NJIT College of Architecture and Design, recently wrote about best building practices for hurricanes in Caribbean Construction Magazine.  The information in this article might be very helpful in putting this resource together,” she said. “AFH anticipates sending a team to Haiti soon and hopes to make this resource available to other groups such as Habitat for Humanity, Build Change and Project Build.

Taher teaches courses related to wind and earthquakes with guidelines and recommendations for better design and construction in hurricane and earthquake-prone areas. She also helps prepare architecture graduates for the certifying exam and has authored a book on the topic.

Taher has written extensively about best building design and construction practices to reduce wind pressures on building surfaces and to resist high winds and hurricanes in residential or commercial construction. “Design of Low-Rise Buildings for Extreme Wind Events” (Journal of Architectural Engineering, March, 2007) by Taher highlighted such research findings. Wind researchers at the Center for Building Science and Technology (CSTB) in France, researched and tested reduced-scale home models at its wind tunnel facilities, and developed a prototype of a “cyclonic” or hurricane-resistant dwelling. Taher cooperated with the CSTB wind researchers, working on the structural aspect of the home’s design. 

AFH  is a nonprofit design services firm founded in 1999.  It focuses on building a more sustainable future through the power of professional design.  By tapping a network of more than 40,000 professionals willing to lend time and expertise to help those who would not otherwise be able to afford their services, AFH brings design, construction and development services where they are most critically needed.

One of the nation's leading public technological universities, New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) is a top-tier research university that prepares students to become leaders in the technology-dependent economy of the 21st century. NJIT's multidisciplinary curriculum and computing-intensive approach to education provide technological proficiency, business acumen and leadership skills. With an enrollment of more than 10,000 graduate and undergraduate students, NJIT offers small-campus intimacy with the resources of a major public research university. NJIT is a global leader in such fields as solar research, nanotechnology, resilient design, tissue engineering, and cyber-security, in addition to others. NJIT ranks 5th among U.S. polytechnic universities in research expenditures, topping $110 million, and is among the top 1 percent of public colleges and universities in return on educational investment, according to PayScale.com.