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Transitional L Kay Plan

This is a transitional design that allows people to start off with a small, easy to build shelter and then add more rooms later, as you can see in the illustration above.  Kay is the traditional house design in Haiti.  We've just adapted their standard design to earthbag building to boost the rate of local acceptance.

A kay is a long, narrow building (like the shotgun houses in the US which probably developed from it). Each room opens into the next without any hallways, allowing good cross-ventilation. It is easy to add on to, by extending the same rooflines.

A gallery at the narrow gable end of a kay always faces the road or path. An extended gable above it is used for storage. This 'soute' can be locked and accessed from inside or out. Larger porches are sometimes desired, but the entrance is always through the often lavishly decorated gallery that faces the street.

The basic square room shape of the kay (10 x 10' to 12 x 12') is a good structural module for safe construction. Earthbag walls in this size and shape are strong and earthquake resistant when they are tied together with an adequate bond beam.

The basic kay shape will be easier to add on to later if stepped piers are left where the walls will extend in the future. Additive construction is safe when each unit ties into the previous and follows the same structural form.


L Kay Floorplan


South Elevation


East Elevation


West Elevation


North Elevation

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