French TranslationFounded in 2012, Veerhouse Voda Haiti specializes in the design and construction of disaster-resistant buildings and economic residences through a method using expanded polystyrene (EPS), consuming less energy and offering construction times that are five times shorter than traditional methods.
Every year for the last eight years, the Digicel Entrepreneur of the Year Awards have been honoring initiatives by Haitian entrepreneurs from across the country that inspire and serve as role models for other entrepreneurs. Of the 50 innovative companies selected, it is interesting to note that 32-65 percent were founded after the 2010 earthquake, mostly by Haitians who lived abroad and came back to help. They since decided to stay and to contribute to the long-term healing of the island. This is the case for Brendon Brewster, the founder of Veerhouse Voda, who arrived in Haiti with his father after the 2010 earthquake to assist Haitians. This year, he won the Construction Category. There is no doubt that this award underlines his initiative and innovative product, as well as the efforts made by Veerhouse Voda to implement this modern method of construction. There is also a push to locally produce and source the essential material for construction as well.
Brendon Brewster PMP, CEO was born in Trinidad and Tobago. He is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania with a Project Management background certified by the Project Marketing Institute (PMI). He has spent more than 16 years consulting and working with construction industry leaders on landmark projects. Brewster set up the company in New York in 2009 and realized that his company would be the most useful in Haiti after the 2010 storm. “After the earthquake, we were shocked by the devastation left due to the techniques and the poor building materials available to Haitians,” he says. Veerhouse Voda’s proprietary methods allow construction to be completed five times faster than with traditional methods. They are ideal for Haiti because of their para-seismic qualities, resistance to hurricane, water, and fire and its exceptional insulation capacities – 65% less energy usage! All of these qualities combine with the fact that the materials are easy to transport, are lightweight, and come from locally produced materials.
This construction system is widely used in Europe, Asia, Africa, and South American to build schools, individual housing, offices, hospitals, commercial buildings, and other important structures. It has now been adopted by many companies and professionals. “More than 50 buildings have been built following our system since 2013. None [have been] damaged by any of the storms,” Brewster proudly announces. Not only is the system the perfect answer to the building criteria in Haiti (namely being fast, economical, and strong), but the local factory of EPS is now fully producing materials and employing workers.
Veerhouse Voda has conducted several projects with social impact and has received awards highlighting its interest in social, environmental, and economic development. A finalist of the Building Better Communities project, an exhibition presenting buildings that can withstand earthquakes, in 2010. The company won the Complete Caribbean’s Enterprise Innovation Challenge Award (EICF) in 2014. In Haiti, its construction system has already been used to build over 25 projects, and five new ones are in process for 2018. The building system offered by Veerhouse Voda has had great success with medical community facilities: MSF France, with its Premier Burn Unit Hospital in PAP to be built in 8 months (over 2,000 square meters), MSF Belgium with a pharmacy in the PAP Region (600 square meters), NOAH with its Premier Dialysis clinic (the only one in Haiti!) in Fort Liberté, as well as school units in Plateau Central.
Four years after the opening of the Drouillard Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) manufacturing plant, EPS sales for construction tripled in 2017, reflecting the market’s interest in this lightweight and insulating material, the core of the Veerhouse Voda Haiti construction system. With these increase manufacturing capabilities, “The Company of the Year” is on the rise for 2018.
About Veerhouse Voda
Veerhouse Voda LLC is involved in the design, marketing, manufacture, and delivery of sustainable, inexpensive, environmentally friendly, disaster-resilient housing and commercial buildings. In Haiti, the company operates as EPS Haiti, with a factory located in Port-au-Prince.