Traditional Buildings and Preliminary Report in Construction Methods to Combat Earthquake
The earthquake of April 2015 has affected lives of Nepalese people in a very disturbing way. Although an earthquake cannot be stopped or correctly predicted, proper measures can be taken to prevent the hazards’ impact. Construction of earthquake resistant buildings is one of the major steps towards minimizing the risk. Numerous major earthquakes occurred throughout Nepal’s history. Consequently, earthquake-safe building is necessary and care needs to be placed in choosing the building material, type and construction methodology. Readily available materials like stones and mud can redeem as the most economic and reliable source of constructing the village houses throughout Nepal. Houses constructed in traditional Nepalese hill style with proper reinforcements have proven earthquake resistant, as seen from the houses built in Namuna Gaun, Sanga, and Bardali Ghar, Phulbari, Kabhre. Similarly, the earthquake-damaged houses need to be managed properly so as to reuse and reutilize most of the material from the old buildings. This will not only reduce the costs of construction material but also play the most significant role in heritage preservation and conservation. The houses in Gachhen area (Bhaktapur) are filled with artistic handicraft windows and doors from Malla era. Proper care has been taken to dismantle the shattered houses and recover materials intact as far as possible. There have also been cases of theft of ancient artefacts from houses. Hence, much care has been taken to store the materials reliably and safely. Addressing the needs of earthquake-affected people, care has to be taken in the economic front as well. The construction needs to be reliable as well as within budget. This fact can be met when the materials such as wood, bricks, stones, roof tiles etc. from the old buildings are reused. In context of reconstruction of earthquake resistant buildings, traditional Nepalese style building would be one of the best options.
KeywordsTraditional Nepalese style building Earthquake safe building Indigenous construction methods Artifacts preservation Maintenance
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