“We are extremely proud of the results of this project as we managed to achieve our targets and have had a very positive response from the Jiri locals. The Jirel house has been a response to local architectural vernacular and to the Jirel family’s comments during extensive consultation and discussions. It is a marriage of earthquake resilient earthbag design and our client’s lifestyle and culture. At the Jiri Build Project, we believe that this approach to design and rebuilding is absolutely crucial for the success of a project in Nepal.
Phulping, Sindhupalchok: This first of its kind school reconstruction project reuses existing steel posts, steel trusses, metal roofing, foundation, concrete slab floor, windows and doors, and integrates them with earthbag tube walls. The design is very strong because the steel frame braces the earthbag walls, and the earthbag walls and buttresses reinforce the steel posts.
As most readers have already heard, I am touring earthbag projects near Kathmandu in collaboration with Good Earth Nepal.org (winner of NEA design award). Every day is exciting, informative and productive even though there are many challenges traveling in rural areas on heavily damaged mountain roads. For instance, the “main road” to China, which one would think is a major trade route, in some places looks like a bulldozer simply cleared aside a crude path on top of millions of tons of rocks. And that is in fact what it is!
“It was almost a year ago that a massive earthquake rocked Nepal. Nearly 8,000 people died and hundreds of villages were destroyed. Many buildings crumbled to the ground.
But out of those dark moments, a group of UNM students are shining through. Their goal: to help rebuild. A group of UNM engineering students have rebuilding on their minds after their visit to Nepal before the earthquake’s destruction.
I’ve had the pleasure to meet and train several hundred builders, architects and engineers in earthbag building techniques in Nepal. Even though I’ve been researching, working with and promoting earthbag building heavily since the Asian 2004 tsunami, it still amazes me how practical and efficient it is to build with earthbags. Here’s just a brief list of advantages that many people are not aware of.
Earthbag building in Nepal is growing swiftly for numerous reasons. For one, around 55 earthbag buildings survived the earthquakes with little or no damage. That’s about the most powerful advertising you can get. People saw for themselves how earthbag buildings are stronger than the rest of the buildings in the area. In some cases almost all of the other buildings collapsed – including concrete structures – while the earthbag buildings safely withstood the quakes. This obviously made a huge impression on people and the word has spread rapidly.