Every picture tells a story. This photo by David Mackey was taken from a house built on four metre stilts in the Bahamas at the height of Hurricane Dorian’s fury. In the centre of the photo is the roof of a neighbouring house which belonged to Ken Williams, a Canadian, who is in the construction business. In a recent text, he told friends that, although his house was built to withstand a Category Five storm, the structure filled with water, and when the ocean receded, the internal water pressure blew it apart.
Williams has vowed to rebuild. He will have some help from a friend, Chris Calvin, the founder of a company called Light Weight Concrete Solutions Inc. (LWCSI). Earlier this summer, my company David Pratt & Associates started working with LWCSI, a company we believe has the potential to revolutionize the construction industry.
LWCSI has developed a concrete product that is lighter, cures faster and is stronger and much lighter than other lightweight concrete available on the market. LWCS Lightweight’s can achieve strengths in excess of 50MPA depending on the mix design. Importantly, it also has a reduced carbon footprint. While the company is interested bringing its product to market, Chris Calvin, also has a strong social conscience and a genuine desire to help. That’s why when he heard from Ken Williams of Hurricane Dorian’s devastation in the Bahamas, he decided to visit to see what he could do. Chris is in the Bahamas now. He hopes to meet Bahamian officials to talk about rebuilding houses and infrastructure with a stronger, lighter, more resilient concrete which would be better able to withstand future extreme weather events.
For the record, Hurricane Dorian was the most powerful tropical cyclone to strike the Bahamas and is regarded as the worst natural disaster in the country’s history. Only a few days ago, approximately one month after the storm hit, there are still 1,300 people unaccounted for. Tens of thousands have been left homeless and much of the Bahamas’ infrastructure has been destroyed. The official death toll stands at 56.
We wish Chris Calvin and his LWCSI team, good luck, safe travels and a successful trip to the storm-ravaged Bahamas. If you are interested in making a donation to assist those affected, visit the Canadian Red Cross at: https://www.redcross.ca/about-us/red-cross-stories/2019/bahamas-suffers-extensive-damage-red-cross-helps