Seismic Resilient Design and Construction of Traditional Rammed Earth buildings

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Name of the Project: Improving Resilience to Seismic Risk
Name of the Grant: Japan Policy and Human Resource Development (PHRD)
Component C: Improving seismic resilience of Bhutanese traditional buildings
Implementing Agency: Department of Culture, Ministry of Home and Cultural Affairs
Allocated budget: USD 200,000.00
Background:
 
The Royal Government of Bhutan has received a Grant of US$1,285,500 in support of the “Bhutan: Improving Resilience to Seismic Risk” Project from the World Bank, acting as administrator of grant funds provided by the Government of Japan under the Japan Policy and Human Resources Development (PHRD) Technical Assistance Program to Support Disaster Reduction and Recovery. The objective of the Seismic Resilience Project is to improve the understanding of earthquake risk in Bhutan as well as opportunities and challenges associated to its mitigation.
Under the overall framework of the project, “Component C: Improving seismic resilience of Bhutanese traditional buildings” is being implemented by the Division for Conservation of Heritage Sites, Department of Culture under the Ministry of Home and Cultural Affairs. The general guideline for improved seismic resilient construction technique for rammed earth structures in Bhutan and training manual has been prepared as part of the PHRD project, aiming towards development of seismic resistance designs for new construction and existing traditional rammed earth buildings taking into consideration the existing construction practices and available resources.
Training Component:
As per the predefined activities under the scope of the PHRD project, the Division for Conservation of Heritage Sites has conducted training on “Understanding the seismic resilience of Traditional Bhutanese Buildings: General Guideline for improved earthquake resilient construction techniques for Rammed earth structures in Bhutan” from August 08~ August 09, 2016 for the local engineers and architects from following organization:
  1. Department of Culture
  2. Department of Engineering Services
  3. School Planning and Building Division, Dept. of School Education
  4. Health Infrastructure Development Division
  5. Thimphu City Corporation
  6. Department of Disaster Management
  7. Bhutan Standard Bureau
  8. Department of Geology and Mines
  9. College of Science and Technology
The training was conducted in Thimphu at the National Conservation Laboratory under the purview of Department of Culture, as part of the “Hiring of International Consultant for the development of General Guideline for improved seismic resilient construction techniques for rammed earth structures in Bhutan”. The contract was signed with Professor Dr. Takayoshi Aoki from Nagoya City University, Japan and the duration of the contract is 1.8 years (15 June 2015 till 31 December, 2016). This training program has provided the platform for understanding the draft general guideline and training manual prepared to improve the earthquake resilient construction techniques for rammed earth structures in Bhutan. This program contains modules and practice exercises of rammed earth structures wherein the participants can learn as well as share your views and comments.
Upon the completion of the contract with Professor Dr. Takayoshi Aoki on December 31, 2016, the Division for Conservation of Heritage Sites further conducted training entitled “Seismic Resilient Design and Construction of Traditional Rammed Earth buildings” from 11 January till 14 January 2017.
Prior to the conveyance of the training, Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the Department of Culture (DoC) under the Ministry of Home and Cultural Affairs and College of Science and Technology (CST) under the Royal University of Bhutan, for collaboration in the field of development, promotion and dissemination of technical understanding and knowledge on the design, construction and seismic retrofitting of traditional building structures in the country. The first activity carried out under this MoU was the training program jointly conducted by CST and DoC for two batch of local engineers and architects. The aim of the training program is to disseminate the findings on the traditional rammed earth construction features, introduce the seismic resilient features that needs to be incorporated for better seismic performance and to build seismic resilient community, catering to building safer homes to stay.
The 2 days training for separate batch covered the basics of earthquake engineering and general guideline on improved seismic resilient construction technique for rammed earth buildings in Bhutan with the aid of training manual from January 11 till 14, 2017. The activities carried out during the PHRD project and the outcome (i.e., the general guideline) was warmly received and appreciated by all the participants. The participants were engineers from 20 Dzongkhag and project engineers/ architects implementing various departmental works (DoC).
The training also provided the platform to the trainees to understand the values related to cultural heritage and heritage sites was taken as focus for the training course. Since most of the trainees are working in the field related to construction, heritage sites included, proper understanding of cultural heritage is needed. Further, to go in depth of the study of structural characteristics, proper understanding of traditional structures was found genuine and the presentation were made to inculcate the features of traditional rammed earth structures. The typology carried out based on the floor configuration of the rammed earth structures was presented in detail.
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-Division for Conservation of Heritage Sites

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