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Rebuilding in the Face of Devastation

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Rebuilding in the Face of Devastation

After the seventh largest recorded earthquake in world history hit Chile in February, Chileans are in the midst of country-wide rebuilding. Locally manufactured OSB is at the heart of reconstruction, providing affordable CEA-certified (Construccion Energitermica Asismica) homes.

On February 26, 2010, much of Chile was devastated by an earthquake measuring 8.8 on the Richter scale, which is 500 times more intense than the recent earthquake in Haiti. Nearly 1.5 million houses were damaged and 400,000 were destroyed, leaving many Chileans homeless. Although government shelters were erected, the design for the government’s temporary housing was more than 50 years old. Chile needed a new solution to begin rebuilding that would provide immediate housing with long-term functionality.

One design already present in a number of homes throughout the country stood out to Chile’s Ministry of Housing: LP’s frame construction. When the earthquake hit, most of the homes utilizing this design still stood, prompting the government to invite LP to standardize a solution for the country: the BiCentenario, or bicentennial house, commemorating Chile’s 200th birthday.

Because homes use locally manufactured products including LP® OSB Sheathing, LP® TechShield® Radiant Barrier, LP® SmartSide® Lap, Panel and Trim, and LP® TopNotch® Sub-Flooring, they allow Chile to pump money back into its own economy with each home built. The construction method is energy efficient and able to withstand seismic activity, offering Chileans peace of mind. Each home can be erected quickly, providing housing in the timely manner needed during Chile’s reconstruction. Because the design makes the homes easily expandable, the BiCentenario isn’t just a stopgap measure but a long-term housing solution.

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