Establishment of unit generation rates of building debris in Kathmandu Valley, Nepal, after the Gorkha earthquake

  • Raju Poudel
  • Yasuhiro Hirai
  • Misuzu Asari
  • Shin-ichi Sakai


Significant quantities of building waste were generated from collapsed residential and dilapidated buildings as a result of the disastrous Gorkha earthquake in Nepal on April 25, 2015. In this study, in relation to the field damage investigation of the earthquake hit area and based on the building types, different types of building waste produced from each building are estimated and evaluated. An estimation procedure was established to assess the amount of debris resulting from earthquake. In Kathmandu Valley, different types of buildings generated different quantities of building waste per unit area, and the values for these building types ranged from 1.90 to 3.23 ton m− 2 in weight and 0.89 to 1.57 m3 m− 2 in volume respectively. Residential buildings in Nepal generated a larger amount of waste per unit area (ton m− 2) than buildings in Japan and China. Waste amounts (excluding that in the foundation) generated by public reinforced concrete buildings in Nepal were similar to the amounts generated by reinforced concrete buildings in Japan and China. Wooden buildings had the highest volume per unit area of building waste in Japan, as compared to those in Nepal and Sri Lanka. These results can be used to estimate the amount of building debris that must be cleared for emergency response after a disaster. This information is vital to pre-disaster planning to establish disaster management protocols for smooth recovery operations.


Gorkha earthquake Building type Building waste Unit generation rate 



We express a heartfelt condolence to the relatives and friends of Mr. Shree Krishna Bagale (Sub-Engineer) of Vyas Municipality, Tanahun, Nepal, at his sudden demise during the period of preparation of this paper. His support in providing detailed drawings and estimates for various buildings in this study was invaluable. This research was supported by the Environment Research and Technology Development Fund, Grant Number 3K163009, from the Ministry of Environment, Japan.

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Copyright information

© Springer Japan KK, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Raju Poudel
    • 1
  • Yasuhiro Hirai
    • 1
  • Misuzu Asari
    • 2
  • Shin-ichi Sakai
    • 1
  1. 1.Environment Preservation Research CenterKyoto UniversityKyotoJapan
  2. 2.Graduate School of Global Environmental StudiesKyoto UniversityKyotoJapan

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