Warrenton homebuilder designed tiny shelters with big impact.
Edward Lloyd of Edward Lloyd’s Elite Designs in Warrenton has been in the construction business for 28 years. His company specializes in high quality new homes, custom remodeling, cabinetry, and home additions, building all their projects from scratch to meet his own very high standards. But perhaps one of his most meaningful builds is a much smaller, less elaborate project than usual: a home with a footprint of 12′ x 8′.
In conjunction with Christ in Action, a disaster response organization that has been in operation since 1998, Mr. Lloyd designed and built the prototype home for the Homes for Haiti Project in 2010 which assisted victims of the devastating earthquake who had lost everything and were without shelter.
Warrenton Lifestyle sat down with Mr. Lloyd to talk to him about this special project.
I understand that Christ in Action spearheaded this effort. How did you get involved?
After the earthquake hit, I received a phone call from a guy named Denny Nissley of Christ in Action. He had heard that I was familiar with Haiti and wanted to know if I could work with them to come up with some kind of shelter for the people of Haiti. I told him that I would be happy to.
What was your connection to Haiti before Denny approached you?
I had taken my sons to Haiti on a mission trip in 2000. We helped to build a church there for about a week. There I met a young man named Abel St. Amore. He was our translator and soon became my friend. When the earthquake hit, we as a family immediately began to come up with a plan to help. We were instrumental in immediately gathering food, water, and clothing and getting them to Haiti.
What special design features does it have to make it appropriate for use in Haiti?
I designed a home whose materials could be easily shipped to the island and that could be easily built in the field with minimal tools; all that are needed are a screwdriver and screws. The houses have a 12′ x 8′ wooden floor. The roof was a shed roof design, with the upper area left open for air movement. It has a bunk bed on the back wall and a single door. The whole idea was to create an environment where they could find some privacy and be kept dry from the rains. For many it was a welcome relief from the horrible earthquake.
So how was the prototype built?
I built it myself, at my home.
Did you have any corporate sponsors/other donations to assist in the effort?
My son Joshua worked at 84 Lumber at the time and he worked directly with the owner of the company to secure significant discounts for the materials. I was able to work directly with Sherwin Williams in Cleveland, Ohio and secure massive amounts of paint at deep discounts as well.
How were these produced? Where?
Denny took it from there and secured a facility in Bealeton and began to mass produce the homes, panel by panel. Between Bealeton, Houston, TX, and Myrtle Beach, SC they produced 748 homes at a cost of about $600 each.
Were the homes a success?
They were. When hurricane Thomas went over Haiti a year later, I got an email from Danny that everyone who was in a Christ In Action home was dry and safe! Though I was given the opportunity to design the houses, it was Denny Nissley and his ministry at Christ in Action that really saw this whole thing through. It was he that organized the building as well as the transportation and delivery of the homes. It was quite an undertaking. His group really do some amazing things to help those in need.
Photos courtesy of Edward Lloyd
To further assist Christ in Action in their disaster response efforts, visit www.christinaction.com.