Cowboy Builders in Nepal — 11 Comments

  1. The amount of skill, concrete quality, and reinforcement for a monolithic roof pour, especially to the seismic structural requirements, isn’t a very diy thing. Yes monolithic concrete domes are very reinforced shotcrete and very durable. But diy, I vote ferrocement, especially in seismic areas

  2. They could have gotten closer to catenary and less roman, in order to keep forces more compressive and less tensile if there was not enough quality reinforcement or pour. A steeper pitched arch would have produced less lateral thrust.
    Sucks that this person ignored engineering.
    Ok I’m done but want more info

  3. Was it unbuttressed lateral thrust exerted from the outermost barrel vaults?
    Also, no real bond beam.
    The barrel vault ends (arched sides) need shear resistance, either thickened reinforced edges, or better substantial shear end walls. Squeezing in EB after the fact doesn’t count. Laying up quality tamped bag wall before roof pour, say right next to a form hoop can achieve the correct shape without being in the way.
    Straight tall vertical unbuttressed Retaining wall looks like it’ll fail soon with hydrostatic soil pressure.

    • I was told the temporary shoring was removed after just 3 days. No wonder it collapsed. This probably happened because of lack of training and communication between languages. The organizers were training locals to do the work on their own. They thought the locals understood the process by the time they got to this vault.

  4. “The builder was warned at least two times by professional builders and engineers that the structure would collapse, and exactly how and why it would collapse.”

    Any more details?

    • They did get some attention, but as far as I know cowboy builders get less attention than successful projects.

      One of the trainers on the project wants to tell his side of the story. Stay tuned.

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