Monday, April 3, 2017

The Kaule Prototype design has been approved by the Government of Nepal  -  04 April 2017   

 

The Kaule Prototype design has been approved by the Department of Urban Development and Building Construction, Government of Nepal (DUDBC), and published in their Earthquake Resistant Design Catalogue Volume 2. Thank you to all who contributed and kept the faith. The design catalogue can be downloaded from this link here:

 

http://www.dudbc.gov.np/download/cat/13 

 

The Kaule Prototype Design has been approved by the Government of Nepal


RECAP - May 2015

This is how it started. 

 

In May 2015 Sujoy and I visited the villages of Kaule and Bhangeri in Nuwakot District while the aftershocks were still on. 

 

On our return - disturbed by the inappropriate re-construction solutions being suggested for Nepal villages from all over the world - I offered to redesign an earthquake resistant house using traditional materials and skills for the extremely talented and self motivated craft persons - almost all residents - of Kaule and Bhangeri villages. 

Sujoy had already formed a group of fellow trekkers and friends on FB who contributed towards the construction of the prototype design. A link to the design presentation posted on You Tube in 2015 can be found here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ggYpcH0APXk

 

And a link to an interview Sujoy recorded on the visit to Kaule in May 2015:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2q-SyINR_7w






Thursday, April 14, 2016

The Kaule Prototype is ready!  -  12 April 2016

 

The Prototype has been designed to fit into the the local landscape of rural Nepal



 

The prototype is ready, barring minor touch-ups, and the drawings for the Kaule Prototype have been submitted to the DUDBC (Department of Urban Development and Building Construction), Govt.of Nepal for inclusion in their Design Catalogue Vol-2.

On my last trip to Kaule, from April 5 to April 12, the scene was jubilant and poignant both. It has been a long journey - trying to convince the authorities that there indeed are solutions for re-constructing Nepal that would not necessarily be dependent of Reinforced Cement Concrete and devoid of the local culture, aesthetics and traditional skills. 

Designed to fit into the rural landscape of Nepal and built entirely by the village community using stone, bamboo, and mud under our training and supervision, The Kaule Prototype uses strengthened stonework for the lower and lightweight bamboo construction for the upper floor for seismic resilience. The design of the prototype house has been submitted to the Department of Urban Development and Building Construction, Govt. of Nepal, for its inclusion in their catalogue of Govt. approved designs for rural areas.  

 

This is what we observed on our numerous recce trips - the upper portions of most houses, built in stone, came crumbling down over its sleeping residents.

We strengthened the stone walls with corner and through stones, as well as horizontal timber bands, and restricted them to the ground floor only
A bamboo frame on the inside of the stone wall was added, along with multiple bamboo beams for supporting the floor...


....and bamboo posts extending to the first floor to bamboo trusses for supporting the lightweight roof above

A traditional verandah was added in front using timber posts and traditional carved brackets

Constructed entirely by the village community using local tools...


....skills...
 
.... and an all pervading tradition of bright, joyous colours...

....with the aim to keep local traditions in continuum and aesthetics intact
 
Each memory preserved, every moment cherished... Thank you people of Kaule and Bhangeri for sharing with us your unlimited capacity to smile in the face of uncertainty and adversity, along with some of the world's best 'Dahi' and... well, 'Rakhsi'... Will surely be back!







Friday, March 11, 2016

An idea is taking shape  -  12 March 2016

 

 

Ten months and and seven visits later, the germ of an idea that started in May 2015 - soon after the earthquakes struck - is taking shape on ground. Constructed almost entirely by the villagers themselves except for constant supervision guidance by our architects, the prototype is seeing the light of day in the manner it has been visualised.

Local in flavour but strong to deal with earthquakes.

My recent trip to Kathmandu - from where I returned yesterday - was undertaken to respond to a request from the DUDBC (Department of Urban Development and Building Construction, Nepal) for structural calculations for our design. With help from my friend Sanjay Thapa, an architect practicing in Nepal, we had the good fortune of meeting Dr. P. N. Maskey, Professor of Civil Engineering at the Institute of Engineering, Tribhuvan University, Nepal. Dr. Maskey has agreed to guide us to help provide the structural calculations and information required by the DUDBC for including our design as a part of a set of designs recommended by them to the people of Nepal. 

Owning to the unconventional material we are using in the design, it is a difficult task, but we are confident the process embarked upon yesterday will yield results and our design will soon feature in the DUDBC Design Catalogue Volume II.

Here are a few photographs of the idea and some from the site as of today:

 

The re-constructed house as designed

 

The stone work is complete and the bamboo posts have been fixed inside the room. The verandah frame is also done



The door leading to the kitchen to the East


The bamboo post and ties inside the room


Bhuval, the master carpenter from the village, shaped this wonderful 'lotus' knob to finish the top of an attic timber post


Local bamboo under test - 195 kilograms and ready for more!


The posts and ties ate tied together using 'fita' a cotton-nylon tape that is strong and resists stretching. This joint will now be wrapped around with more of the same.


The window frames for the upper floor is ready - along with 'lakhashi' - the corner bead that hides the joint between the frame and the mud mortar that is to come later


On the Rakhshi front there is no news, as the donors have withdrawn support for any drink other than water for the workers at site. The con side of this is the productivity at the construction site has reduced to half, and absenteeism among workers has doubled :-)

More later!


Friday, January 29, 2016

Prototype construction started at site  -  19 Jan 2016.

 

 

After another round of presentation of the design at the the Technical Committee Meeting of the DUDBC, chaired by Shri Rabi Shah ji, Sharan and Areen visited Kaule and initiated the construction with people trained from the village earlier.

 

Here is a report:

 

Under a pleasant, cool afternoon sun, the marking for a new foundation is under progress where a building once stood before the earthquakes. 70% of the original foundation was found to be alright and has been re-used.

The west-side foundation was damaged during the earthquakes and needed to be repaired.





 Gabion retaining walls made re-using stones from demolished buildings.



On another part of the construction site, PCC blocks are being cast as substitute for 'through stones' - stones that straddle the width of the wall at regular intervals providing additional bonding and, as a result, strength. Big stones are not available in this part of Nepal naturally.
Bamboo treated by the the villagers on their own after having received training provided by us - is free of insects and dry. When Areen and Bhuval tried to extract one bamboo from the stack for testing, the whole lot came down upon their heads, giving both of them lumps, and reminding us to re-stock the first-aid kit at site. Could have been worse!
The head lumps notwithstanding - bamboos are being neatly stacked and sorted by Rohit, Bhuval, and Areen.

More bamboo has been treated and stacked against the school building to dry. Dipped for 3 weeks in the newly made 'pucca' treatment pit (pix below), this lot was treated entirely by the now-trained work force from the village.

New, permanent bamboo treatment pit.

25 feet tall bamboo growing on Santaman's land 100 metres below the village.

Timber has arrived from the saw mill in Trishuli - 30 km from Satbise at the base of Kaule hill. Everyone is excited, especially our carpenters - Rohit, Resham, Sudershan, Bhuval, Ganesh and Ayteh.

A site table for ourselves with the stacked timber, without using any tools!

Who needs a computer?

Computer or no, even site tables get hacked by sophisticated, metallic edge handlers. Suder (shan), the master carpenter in action with a hand made axe that has been sharpened enough for a shave - demonstrated by Rohit for us.
The timber is being prepared, jointed and readied for use as plinth bands in stone masonry.

The plinth band is almost ready off-site.

Two coats of Terminator is applied for termite proofing.

Computer drawings are modified for site conditions...

.... and supplemented with site sketches.

....local designs are adapted for doors and windows...

....and for traditional details like timber brackets - that cannot, and need not, be bettered...

....only admired...

like this one here.

Or this...!!! roadside Calatrava - always believed the (our) profession of architecture was more common sense and not a necessity. Enjoyed the cantilevers.

That brings us back to Rakshi. The diagramme illustrates how rakshi is made. An earhten pot (now-a-days made of aluminum) contains millet that has been mixed with a special local herb (probably a form of yeast) in water and fermented for 3 weeks in an airtight container. The fire is lit below the pot helping the alcohol to evaporate. The mouth of the pot is lidded with a conical vessel made of brass that is filled with water. This causes millet vapour condenses on reaching the cone and drips below into another, smaller, brass vessel kept inside the earthen pot. The water in the conical vessel outside the pot is replaced with cold water when it becomes hot. This process is repeated thrice, and the rakshi that has collected inside the smaller container inside is considered to be the best. More cycles of water replacement outside increase the quantity of rakshi collected but reduces its 'rarity'

Millet seeds

Evening after work - freshly made rakshi with crisp, stir fried home grown soya beans and onions.

Cheers!! Areen and Me and the prototype site above, behind us. Manu joins us for three weeks starting 8th Feb after Areen's stint is over - for now.































Sunday, December 27, 2015

Prototype design submitted to DUDBC (Department of Urban Design and Building Construction), Nepal.

 

A set of drawings prepared in the format requested by the DUDBC Nepal was submitted to Ms. Pratigya Manandhar and Shri Rabi Shah of the DUDBC. 

The Kaule Prototype is also one of the three designs recommended to the DUDBC for technical review and approval by the Advisor to UNDP on housing reconstruction. The three options encouraged by the UNDP are:

Mr. Martin Hammer's strawbale construction option, Mr. Randolph Langenbach for Gabian band option in stone and mud mortar masonry and Mr. Sharan Lal for stone-mud masonry with bamboo option.

 

 


Friday, December 25, 2015

Prototype Construction Orientation. Dec 19, 2015

 

An orientation session was conducted in by Sharan Lal for seven residents selected as Team Leaders from the villages of Kaule and Bhangeri after the training session in Oct 2015. These skilled people will lead their own teams semi-skilled and unskilled residents of the villages for the construction.

Santaman, Bhuvan, Sudershan, Ram, Dawa, Shyam, and Prakash Chandra with Sharan on the 19th of December in Kathmandu
Santaman, Prakash Chandra, Sudershan, Dawa, Ram, Bhuvan, and Shyam were a part of the training in Oct-Nov 2015. They will now be leading teams from the villages of kaule and Bhangeri to construct the prototype.



Friday, November 13, 2015

Traditional Construction Training, Oct 27 - Nov 1 

 

A five day workshop in local building techniques was conducted for the villages of Kaule and Bhangeri using traditional building materials and talent to ensure they are better equipped to handle future seismic events 

 

The training was hands-on, with the help of some customised tools that we took with us to Kaule - bought with contributions from the South Col Earthquake Support group. The villagers were encouraged to participate and upgrade traditional skills-  like stone masonry, carpentry, and mud work - skills they have honed for generations.

The training was led by architect Ashish Sharan Lal from Kolkata, and conducted together with Areen Attari of Put Your Hands Together, Mumbai; Manu Narendran of Thumbs Impressions from Ahmedabad; Tribhuvanji Artisan from Saharsa, Bihar; and ably assisted by Aditya Rao and Siddhartha Arya from Mysore.

We planned for a group of twenty - fifty two people turned up with almost the entire village watching from the sidelines! Everybody wanted a saw! And a drill! and  hammer! Their enthusiasm and willingness to learn overwhelmed us completely - making the session a hugely satisfying and successful one.

Santaman Tamang as usual played a key, leadership role in organising the trainees and infrastructure at the training site. After the training we also met with the Deputy Director of the Department of Urban Development and Building Construction, Shri Ravi Shah, Biresh Shah, a well known architect in Kathmandu, our supporter Vivek Rawal from People in Centre currently working in Nepal for the UNDP, and a number of other prominent citizens in Kathmandu and presented to them our concept design for the prototype we are developing for the reconstruction effort.

Here are a few images from the training sessions:

(There are a number of names in the images that have escaped me even though I tried jogging...(my memory) - Apologies to them - I will fill the gaps next time I sit with Santaman). Also, Siddharth was given the responsibility of handling one of the cameras - so he features little. Thanks Siddharth!

OCTOBER 26, MONDAY - Day 1


'Khaja Ghar' lunch on the way from Kathmandu to Kaule

A stop for tea at Satbise, the bus-stop town at the base of the Sundara Devi hill reminded us what we are up against!

It is dusk by the time we reach Kaule. The driver of the Scorpio we were traveling drops us and turns back to return to Kathmandu to attend his niece's birthday. The Scorpio lost its rear bumper on the tough road up to kaule, along with the driver Pushkar's confidence to return on such a tough road with a not-so-tough vehicle

Areen, Manu, santaman and I inspect the pit that has been dug by the villagers for the dip treatment of bamboo and we retire for for the day to an annexe in Santamans house half way below the hill where we stayed for the duration of the training

  OCTOBER 27, TUESDAY - Day 2 

 

On the way to the training site in the morning, we are greeted by a series of bamboo clumps, growing wild - one of the materials we propose to use in the reconstruction effort

The pit is ready and lined with a plastic sheet to receive the solution of Borax and Boric Acid - required to rid bamboo of insects in the void of their culms

Santaman - the excellent orator and leader - addresses the participants and onlookers who have come from the three wards of the Sundara devi VDC - some of them more than an hour's walk away

Aditya is made in-charge of keeping track of the tools procured for the training - complete with a 'bahi khata' - traditional accounting notebook wrapped in cloth that he has brought along

Resham, the quiet, ace carpenter, is given the responsibility of storing them away after the session ends

The participants are encouraged to get a feel of the tools - mostly hand tools and man-powered
A fire is lit for heating water to around 60 degrees Celcius - required for mixing Borax and Boric Acid in water. this will then be added to the pit that is filling with water at the time

The mixing of Borax and Boric Acid - procured from Birgunj in the Terai against great odds given the fuel blockade situation currently in effect in Nepal - is in progress. Two parts of Borax is mixed with three parts of Boric Acid. Once the solution is ready it will be added to the pit for treatment of bamboo by dipping them. Owing to the small container - this process would be repeated at least 20-25 times to achieve the concentration required for a pit that is 40 feet long, 5 feet wide, and 4 feet deep

While the pit is being readied, Manu and Areen take the stage and make a presentation on bamboo and its uses in a nearby make-shift 'auditorium' - the committee room of a school presently under construction in the village. With window and doors missing, it took contributions of shawls and bedsheets from the residents of the village to make the audi projector-friendly

Santaman and I apprise the gathering of the prototype design and the site proposed for it - an old building on the school premises that will be demolished and its foundations used for reconstruction

Areen receives a rock star's reception by the crowd - full house, full attention

Given the responsibility for preparing the pit, Sanjay wades through the water to make sure the chemicals are mixed evenly in a solution. Borax and Boric Acid solution is harmless to the body and the skin. Sanjay, a guide/porter by profession during trekking seasons, is one of the toughest and strongest people in the villages, capable of lifting twice the amount of load meant for one person without a grimace

Nothing to do with Bharatnatyam - Manu is instructing the participants on how to sort bamboo which then can be stacked separately and used for purposes that fit their size, diameter, straightness etc. - no bamboo is wasted - they can all be used for some purpose or the other - posts, mats, jafri, wattle, or, if nothing else, as fuel for fire

Sudershan - an ace carpenter and people manager - measuring and sorting bamboo

Indians see Chinese saw! A China-make saw Manu got from the internet proved to be the best one around - prompting us to order more for the next stage (prototype construction). The locals are used to 'pulling saws' as against 'pushing saws' - this depends on the direction in which the blades are oriented and sharpened. The saws we purchased from Kolkata were pushing saws, which they found difficult to operate

Areen and Dawa - one of the all-rounders and ever smiling trainee - enjoy the battery operated power drilling of 4 mm holes in the bamboos for letting the chemicals into the voids - that is where the insects reside, and chew up the bamboo from inside making them weak over time

Power is a scarce commodity - so charging of batteries is possible - at best of times - once a day. Hand drilling is the solution - and the younger generation is attentive to the fact

"I have been framed" - Areen

On another location five minutes from the bamboo treatment pit, the building that was destroyed during the earthquake is being demolished - to make way for the prototype

Material salvaged from the demolished building is being stacked for re-use. Good, seasoned timber is a precious commodity. expensive and scarce

Meanwhile, bamboo, our material of choice, can be locally grown and has a turnaround time of three years when it can be harvested again - from the same clump. Presently we train the people in various ways in which bamboo can be joined structurally

Bamboo pins have great tensile strength owing to the longitudinal tissues - and are used in a combination with rope ties, nuts and bolts, depending on the joint, to provide easy and strong junctions. A trainee is being instructed in the making of a bamboo pin - usually 10 mm in diameter

Most of the participants are within the impressionable age

As clouds blow in from the east, Manu and I try communicating with the rain gods in the evening to try and stop him/her -  but there is no signal and our smartphones are not smart enough for this kind of communication

OCTOBER 28, WEDNESDAY - Day 3

Cereal and buff milk breakfast - excellent start for day 3...

...Followed by a training session with Gareth Bale and other wonderful 'monkeys' - as he calls them - from Santaman's joint family. Siddharth brought the football with him as a gift for the youngsters - the last trip we played with what looked like a pumpkin from their fields below

Are we early - or has the village has had enough of us already?


Not really, Dawa (from Kaule) and Ram (from Bhangeri) are here... two senior participants who make everything look easy. Santaman is now preparing a participant's list - as we have geared ourselves to pay a fee to the participants from the contributions made by the South Col Earthquake Support group. We have come prepared for twenty, we already have more than forty participants...

.... And the list is growing by the minute  as more join in...

We are in finally in business - dipping the bamboos prepared the day before in the pit ready with the chemical solution for the treatment

Initially the bamboos float in the solution - as the voids inside are yet to be filled through the twin holes drilled in each segment for the purpose

Cool job - keeping the bamboos submerged - wish I could exchange my desk job with their's
Sudershan - aces anything assigned to him - carpentry, bamboo work, supervision - with a very mature and cool head on his shoulders. If one was given the unpleasant job of picking the best of the lot - it would be him

Another team prepares bamboo splits - for use in wattle for the walls, and other flat applications and surfaces

We are invited for lunch to a house in the village - rice and fowl curry. The house belongs to one of Santaman's relatives. Most of the villagers are related to each other in some way or the other - it is a huge, extended joint family spread over two ridges


Meanwhile, the demolition of the destroyed building by another team of participants continues- by forming a human chain - a manual conveyor belt - to transport large stones the size of, well, large stones

The team working on the bamboo joints crafts one such under Areen's supervision

Getting the right fit between the bamboos at the joints is important for the loads to be transmitted efficiently and without causing stress on the material

Cross my bamboos and hope to tie...Once the fit is obtained using hand tools like saws (aari), chisels (batali), and files (reti), the bamboos are secured to each other using bamboo pins or nuts and bolts - depending on the nature and function of the joint, and tie together with inelastic ropes using innovative loops and knots


 OCTOBER 29, THURSDAY - Day 4



The clouds re-group - ominously and threatening the next morning's sessions. The smartphones obviously did not work - and as is usually the case, a complaint to the service provider's call center too did not. The girl at the other end of the line kept saying - please press the 'God' button followed by the 'hashtag', and kept me on perpetual hold to find out from her senior where the 'god' button was on the keypad...

Siddharth from our team is not only a tech wizard - he has four, half a centimeter diameter clip-on lenses for his One Plus smartphone (macro, fish-eye, and zoom), but he is also an experimental photographer who captures multiple moods in the same click...

Siddharth also excels in 'normal' photography - on the way to the site at around 12 noon - once the rain started to stop

Digging and clearing of debris from the foundations meant for the prototype - this will be taken up in December - but currently we will use this site for demonstrating measures to be taken to strengthen stone masonry in mud mortar

The bamboo soaks up the water - or is it a leak in the plastic?

Maan Singh is framed this time - literally. Maan Singh is an all rounder - and commands respect from the participants as their senior supervisor

We start the training session in demonstrating timber joinery embedded in stone masonry suitable for mitigating seismic loading


Manu differs with me on something as I prepare to knock him down while Areen is secretly regretting his decision to come to the site in shorts in what turned out to be a rather cold day after the rains. Siddharth is conveniently looking busy and away. He and Aditya - the young guns - never needed more than one T shirt though
 
Bhuvan - a very accomplished carpenter with deft hands - who lost his father to the earthquake - saws through the markings on the timber for making a right-angle extended lap joint to be used in wall corners

It has started raining again and an expert 'climber' - all of ten - helps us with a temporary tarpaulin cover

We shift under the verandah of the school building and carry on making a good joint

Lunch time - we are invited to another household - Resham's father's house - where we get steaming hot servings of noodle soup with eggs thrown in for good measure - the cold vanished into thin air - also thanks to the 'chhang' a local brew that accompanied lunch

 OCTOBER 30, FRIDAY - Day 5


Tribhuvan ji, the bamboo magician from Saharsa in the plains of Bihar in India, arrives on the scene. One day late, but this seventy year old bamboo artisan braved a road blockade, unfamiliarity with the local language, a sim card that was not working in Nepal, and torrential rains that hindered the best of us, and made it to the base of the hill. From there he walked up - full three hours, in failing light and falling rain, in his rubber slippers, aided by one of Santaman's sisters who accompanied him, and made it to Santaman's house at 8 pm previous night. Today, he is going to hold the audience spellbound with his artistry in bamboo handling, treatment, and design. Hats off! 

Tribhuvan ji starts weaving his magic, and has a special connect with the artisans from the village through the language of craft - though spoken Bhojpuri and Nepali are not totally alien to each other

The wattle panel made by Tribhuvan ji is being admire by the participants

Areen is trying to determine the proportion of sand and clay in the local (special) soil that is used for plastering here in Kaule - and finds that it has a perfect combination (60 : 40 :: Sandy : Clay) for the purpose

No special additives are necessary  apart from the usual - rice husk, cow dung, chopped hay, and 'maida' (fine flour) if available)!!! What Areen is wearing is the Chinsese saw in its holster - not a gun that EVERYONE thought it was


Demonstrating the final mud mix prepared by the participating ladies - ready for use in wall plaster



Plaster thus prepared is applied on both side of the wattle panel made by Tribhuvan ji

....With astonishing results...

....And immense possibilities... even if by using the cap of the plastic bottle for imprinting decoration!

The sample timber bands for the stone masonry is almost ready

And is set in place at the plinth level for the stone workers to start

All the tools he has - and needs

The man himself - the master mason

The stone masonry in mud mortar is prepared - using long stone - 'sur dunga'. The timber bands will be repeated at the cill and the lintel levels, making the wall stable during earthquakes - along with other measures - like using a bounding wire mesh in the corners on the inside and on the outside, and vertical members holding the bands together

Everybody is paying attention to the instructions

Every body...

And all seem to be understanding everything...

....Including visitors not originally on the invitee list...

Manu demonstrates lap jointing for structural lengthening of small pieces of timbers salvaged from fallen buildings for re-use

The work is completed by local carpenters who posses natural expertise in wood work

With satisfying results, in the shortage of time available - the edge-halved scarf joint)
Manu also demonstrates what many of us refused to believe - that apples bought on streets are coated with wax to retain their freshness and shine...

'Dhedo' - a kind of local 'halua' - made of maize flour is served with spinach and buff stew and tomato 'aachar' (preserve)

Prepared by Sanjay and his wife especially for us in their house in Kaule

Tribhuvan ji continues with his pursuit of perfection

Till every strand he touches has to transforms itself to a level he is completely satisfied with - a creative genius who does not believe in an iota of compromise
And then moves on to making 'jafri' a transparent wall without plaster that blocks the sun but lets in air - with mathematical precision

Meanwhile the building that stood hanging dangerously over passerbys has been raised to the ground, and material salvaged from it stacked neatly in piled inventories

The evening feels much better tonight - the Call Centre is doing its job!

OCTOBER 31, FRIDAY - Day 6


List of participants - to be used for payments today. It is decided between Santaman and even though we came prepared to pay only twenty participants a fee for their effort, we would distribute the sum evenly among all who participated. I also mentioned that we will try and re-imburse the remaining amount the next time - when we come back to build the prototype. One of the intentions of the excercise we have undertaken is to assist the villages in earning while working on the reconstruction effort - something that would otherwise needs to be spent on contracted labour from outside - and help revive the local economy along with disseminating knowledge and expertise

List 2

List 3

We are packed and ready to leave Santaman's house in the morning. The car will pick us up from the training site directly once the concluding session is finished in the school auditorium

Goodbye Gareth Bale - till the next time!

Each of us are offered a 'Khada' by Santaman's family members - a customary Buddhist scarf to protect us from things evil, to make our journeys safe, and to ensure success in our endeavours... Thank you and Namaste! Thank you also for putting up with our late night discussions over repeated rounds of Rakshi


Concluding session in the auditorium by Manu, me, and Rajen Sir - headmaster of a local school nearby - on my left

And a vote of thanks by Santaman

Remuneration for the hard work handed to representatives of the participants from the three wards of the Sundara Devi VDC

Ditto

The group photo before our departure to Kathmandu

Our Land Rover ready to roll - 'PHIR MILENGE'

NOVEMBER 1, SATURDAY - Day 7


At the DUDBC office to meet Shri Ravi Shah, Deputy Director DUDBC

Scale model of a design proposed by the DUDBC - using burnt bricks, concrete and steel - materials not easy to access in remote areas, and with large amounts of embodied energy
Visualisation of the prototype design proposed by us - adaptable to existing houses across the villages of Kaule and Bhangeri - using re-cycled stone, mud mortar, timber, bamboo, GI sheets, and thatch with marginal use of steel bolts and fitted with solar power units - constructed through community action and self-help with minimum - but strict - supervision for adhering to a standard of workmanship that ensures safety. (This last ingredient is applicable to all types of construction, else even RCC construction fails, and becomes MORE destructive to life and property)

Winding up dinner at Northfield Cafe in Thamel, Kathmandu, with (left to right) Siddhartha Arya - architect from Mysore, Manu Narendra - Civil Engineer from Ahmedabad, Vivek Rawal, architect from Ahmedabad, Areen Attari - architect from Mumbai, Santaman Tamang - tour guide and politician from Kaule, Ashish Sharan Lal - architect from Kolkata, Pradeep - solar energy specialist from Gham Power in Nepal, and Aditya Rao - architect from Mysore