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Tuff Armenia Project

Designing Affordable, Energy Efficient, and Earthquake Resistant Houses

Background

The aim for this project is to construct earthquake resistant, energy efficient, sustainable, and affordable housing for families in need in Gyumri, Armenia. A 6.8 magnitude earthquake devastated the area in 1988, collapsing over 320 buildings. Previously, the Armenian Government and private organizations have promised to provide aid and reconstruct the area, however they have failed to follow through.

The Challenge

Houses in Armenia are not built to withstand the level of earthquakes that occur in that region. This causes devastation of thousands of homes.

The Solution

To overcome this problem, we need to develop new housing designs that can withstand earthquakes.

What’s the Plan?

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UVA Student Driven Designs

Create a team of UVA engineers and Architects to design and construct small, affordable, sustainable, insulated, earthquake resistant housing.

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International Student Collaboration

Work with engineering students from the National Polytechnic University of Armenia.

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Academic and Professional Collaboration

Guided by UVA Professors, professional engineering companies, and architectural studios in Armenia.

Health

The lack of earthquake resistant housing in the region has contributed to the economic hardships that play a major factor in the health of the people of Armenia. By providing earthquake resistant housing, we aim to give locals the fighting chance they need to live a healthy life.

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Armenia suffered from 20%-34% rate of malnutrition, placing it in the worst nutritional category amongst countries in transition.

Over 10% of the children have stunted growth and 12% are underweight

 

Leaking odorless colorless gas from punctured pipes cause lung related issues.

 

 

Our Team

Leon Yacoubian

Leon Yacoubian

President, Civil Engineering

I decided to study civil engineering because it’s known as the “people’s engineer”. I love working with people and trying to make the world around me a better place. Being part of this team provides me with the opportunity to give back to my home country, Armenia. To this day, hundreds of families are still affected by the devastation of the 1988 earthquake in Gyumri. I believe that since we have the will and capabilities to make a change, we should.

Katherine Genuario

Katherine Genuario

Systems and Information Engineering (Human factors)

I joined this unique team because I enjoy working with other people to help attain a humanitarian goal. I love art, architecture, and design as well as studying what makes technology more efficient and effective for the user. I hope that I can contribute to the effective implementation of new sustainable housing in Gymuri.

Bethany Gordon

Bethany Gordon

Civil Engineering (Structures & Materials)

I decided to study civil engineering because of projects like ESWB Armenia. 827 million individuals around the world live without adequate shelter or housing, which Maslow defined as one of the most basic human necessities in his Hierarchy of Needs. In order to move forward as a global community, it is essential to get involved in projects like ESWB Armenia. I’m thrilled to be apart of this team and I hope we can make a positive difference!

Meghan Jones

Meghan Jones

Architecture

As the ESWB Armenia project we have a beautiful opportunity to make a difference. I choose to study Architecture here at the University of Virginia because I loved the idea of creating practical and efficient spaces for people to go about their daily lives within. Through ESWB Armenia I hope to not only provide earthquake resistant housing for those in need of adequate living conditions, I also hope to provide a place, which can truly be identified as a home.

Tim Klawa

Tim Klawa

Engineering Science (Mechanical & Material)

I enjoy working on advanced projects that benefit society and make world a safer place.  I joined this group to be able to apply my engineering and other technical skills in a way that will have an impact for years to come.  Earthquakes pose a great threat to the lives of many individuals.  By using science and engineering, I want to find new ways to make the homes in Armenia resistant to the many earthquakes in the region.

Santiago Roca

Santiago Roca

Architecture

I was born into an American-Colombian family in France and recently moved to Madrid, Spain. I have had the opportunity to travel around the world and interact with a variety of cultures and document through photography. I am now studying architecture at the University of Virginia hoping to design new homes for communities around the world. I am thrilled to be part of the Tuff Armenia Project and hopefully help in order to make a change.

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