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From the Ground Up Foundation

Ghumarichowk disaster

Ghumarichowk is a Tamang community of almost 2100 people, with around 400 houses clustered along the hills of Manichud, on the north-east of Kathmandu Valley, 45 minutes uphill from Sankhu. After the quake, around 80% of the houses were uninhabitable, and so people were forced to live in temporary make shift shelters of tarpaulins and bamboo. A total of 3 people lost their lives in the disaster. We completed visual assessments (as per the rapid visual building assessment orientation conducted by NEA) of 46 houses, in the process of consulting and counseling the local residents as to the condition of their house. To assist the locals in reinstating themselves in better shelters, we proposed designs that can be easily implemented in the village. The designs focused on the concepts of sustainability, methods/techniques of earthquake resistant, local vernacular and economy in construction. The design of Shelter Type A utilizes the materials available on the site, a portion of which can be extracted from the ruins of the damaged houses. The house can be easily constructed by local craftsmanship at an economic cost. The foundation makes use of rubble dampers as a deterrent to lateral seismic forces. Along with this, horizontal ties are provided at sill, and lintel level to tie the whole structure together. In addition to this, although drawing from local sensibilities and approach to construction, the proposed shelter boasts better structural integrity, along with orientation and ventilation. The design of Shelter Type B is based on the use of earth-bag walls with the barbed wires in between each course, as instructed in the manual by Owen Geiger. The non-erodible mud rendered earth-bag walls stand on the compacted earth base with simple supported GI roofing or mud roofing. The design of Shelter Type C focuses on the use of bamboo as the main building materials.  The structure of bamboo mesh supported on posts stand on the stone footing with the simple supported GI roofing. The bamboo mesh is rendered with non-erodible mud plaster.



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