UNDP-piloted EQ-safe housing technologies included in Government catalogue

Apr 5, 2017

Two technologies for EQ safe housing piloted by UNDP have been approved by the Government of Nepal and included in the “Catalogue for Reconstruction of Earthquake Resistant Houses Volume II"

Two innovative designs introduced by UNDP have been made part of a catalogue approved by the Ministry of Urban Development that showcases relevant and cost-effective construction technologies. The “Catalogue for Reconstruction of Earthquake Resistant Houses Volume II” is the culmination of considerable efforts on the part of the Department of Urban Development and Building Construction (DUDBC, with contribution from a number of agencies and institutions, including UNDP Nepal.

The first design, the Random Rubble Masonry with GI Wire Containment technology, was prepared by UNDP in collaboration with the National Centre for People’s Action in Disaster Preparedness (NCPDP), India. This technology is an improvement on random rubble masonry structure, achieved through the introduction of GI containment wires. With minimal additions and alterations in the local construction system, the proposed design would enhance safety, while at the same time reducing use of precious timber and water. This would result in a rise in confidence in the use of mud mortar in stone masonry, which would not only cut costs substantially and preserve traditional construction practices, but also encourage more resilient construction for communities in remote, difficult-to-access locations where transportation of other non-locally-available material is difficult.This GI wire containment technology has been scaled up under ECHO funded project "Resilient Communities through Building Back Better" in Dolakha and Sindhupalchowk districts through construction of technology demonstration houses. Sharing of the project results especially house-owner's willingness to adopt the technology with the officials further supported in its acceptance at both government and local level.

In developing the second technology, Debris Block Masonry, UNDP sought the technical support of the Institute of Engineering (IoE) in Pulchowk. By way of reusing debris and other discarded rubble sourced from earthquake-damaged buildings, the building blocks prepared therein could then be used to construct new structures, lowering building costs as well as lessening environmental impact.   

The first volume of the catalogue had compiled 17 designs based on four construction technologies that were guided by the National Building Code. This second volume, however, seeks to introduce practices and procedures that are more farsighted and go beyond the current provisions of the Code, with a view to contribute to sustainable reconstruction of both urban and rural houses through cost-efficient, environment-friendly and green technologies. The catalogue encompasses 12 alternative materials and technologies with 17 model designs in a ready-to-use format with technical details.

UNDP, through its Comprehensive Disaster Risk Management Programme (CDRMP), had provided technical and logistic support to DUDBC in reviewing and finalizing the technologies to be incorporated in Volume II catalogue.

The catalogue can be downloaded from: http://dudbc.gov.np/uploads/default/files/bf5fef9d9ec4f81c07bb31edc3a59876.pdf

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