In April 2023, the REACH for Nepal Foundation successfully completed construction of earthquake resistant classrooms at the Shree Amar Jyoti Primary School in Firfire, Tanahun in Western Nepal.
The construction of these award-winning designed classrooms were completed under the careful guidance of the original design engineer Mr David Carolan and architect Mr David Francis.
These classrooms are not only much safer than the conventional build, but they are also more sustainable and much stronger, lasting for generations to come.
A key component of the design is solid foundations, comprising both concrete and reinforced steel complying with international building standards. These solid concrete footings are designed to act as a single raft during a seismic event, providing a solid base to support the building structure.
Central to the design are also the lightweight steel wall and roof frames with bracing that can flex and resist catastrophic destruction during an earthquake.
These light gauge steel frames are pre-manufactured to design specifications and arrive on site, a bit like a Meccano set, enabling efficient construction.
Base stone walls add weight to the overall stability. There is no masonry above the window sill height to eliminate the likelihood of injury or death from falling masonry.
The design of these classrooms however is still similar to traditional school buildings with materials and tradespeople sourced locally wherever possible.
Safety, natural light, wall and roof insulation are all important to the design of these classrooms. The benefit of locally sourced materials not only enable classrooms to blend into the natural environment, but also stimulates the local economy and reduces transportation costs.
With the success of the build of these two classrooms in Tanahun, a second construction project at the Shree Barahi Basic School in Sukugandaki, Tanahun has just begun using the same blueprint. This project is sponsored by the Rotary Club in Hall and it is expected to be completed in June 2023.
Video of the Pilot Project Build