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Latest Updates

Rammed Earth Solutions Major Projects Update

Kyle Mohamed

Here at Rammed Earth solutions we have had a very busy, productive, and fascinating year promoting and building rammed earth throughout the Kathmandu valley.

We have completed four major projects including two private houses in the Kathmandu valley and Acham hospital residential accommodation for doctors. These have been very successful with clients very happy with the work that was done and completed on time. Here is a picture of the hospital accommodation. 

This marks only the first phase of the hospital building work constructed in partnership with Subedi Associated JV. There are lots of things we love about what we have achieved together:

1. Environmentally Sustainability: We have used local materials to build the houses as much as possible. 

2. Design: Not only are the buildings interesting and beautiful to look at, but the design is functional for water harvesting. The roofs of the house collect water for household use and the plan is to store the water continuously for the future.

3. Thermal Regulation: The houses are designed to regulate their temperature during summer and winter. For example, on our last visit it was 44 degrees outside, but inside the house was much cooler. Everyone was hiding inside the houses away from the sun! 

4. Earthquake Resistant: The rammed earth technology we use is resistant to ground movement. We have used strong foundations, thick walls, and horizontal and vertical rebar support. All these combined with a single story design give the buildings excellent resilience.

We are continuing to work on this project for the second and third phases and are really excited to see it grow. This will include the rest of the hospital buildings constructed with similar design and features in mind.

The house that we have built in Godavari is a social project which was funded by charitable donations to rebuild a house damaged in the earthquake. Built on a beautiful sport overlooking Godavari forest reserve, the house blends with the natural colour of the earth that surrounds it. We are now just waiting on the electricity to be installed, and then our client will move in.

 

In Bakhundol our single story design is again an earthquake resistant building with unique triangular windows. The layout is fascinating with a living area in the main room and then a bunk bed sleeping arrangement above that was made possible by a tall design structure and our stable earth technology.

In Gorkha we have also finished a small earth bag house in partnership with Good Earth Nepal. This was also a charity project aimed at supporting those that have lost their houses in the earthquake. 

We are going to be working hard in the coming months on our current projects to deliver quality, sustainable, and earthquake resistant building construction across Nepal. We are also going to be working even harder to keep updating our website and provide information on the work we are doing.

Any questions? Send us an email, we'll get back to you soon and would love to hear from you.

 

 

 

Progress with earth bag and other demonstrations for earthquake survivors

Kyle Mohamed

Since our last update Narayan and Santosh have been very busy.

The earth bag building at Gol dunga is progressing well. To date more than 200 people have visited the building site to learn about earth bag building. We have learnt a few lessons along the way, including that sourcing of fresh new rice sacks from the supplier that are all exactly the same size and shape would have been better than using recycled rice sacks which tend to vary in size. We also realize that diddling (turning in) the corners of the sacks would be better for preventing sagging at the corners and for packing the sacks tightly.

Laying earth bags on concrete tie beam above the foundations

Laying earth bags on concrete tie beam above the foundations with steel rebar going through the earth bag at the corner

Laying earth bags on concrete tie beam above the foundations with steel rebar going through the earth bag at the corner

As rebar is tied into the tie beam below we are lowering the earth bags onto the rebar as needed

As rebar is tied into the tie beam below we are lowering the earth bags onto the rebar as needed

We are making reinforced concrete tie beams top and bottom and there are steel rods tied into the tie beam at regular distances, including at all corners and sides of openings. Sacks are loaded onto the tied rods so that the rods go through bags not between them. Two rows of barbed wire are laid in between every layer of bags after the filled earth bags have been thoroughly tamped down (compressed). We are learning that it takes practice and care to get the bags and layers even and neat, but that this is crucial to a safe design.

Walls coming up but we need to work on even bag size, dibbled (tucked in) corners, and new rice sacks next time round. We think recycling rice sacks is not a good idea. Notice the steed rebar through the sacks which will be tied into the steel rebar in the bond beam on top.

As well as demonstrating the earth bag building we are supporting the community to advise them on how to recycle materials from collapsed buildings, especially zinc sheets. We are advising on insulation, how to tie the components together and how to prevent damage in wind and earthquakes.

We are looking for sites to demonstrate rammed earth building as soon as possible. If you have a site and the capital to get started with a demonstration building please let us know.

Narayan explaining the earth bag method to visitors

Narayan explaining the earth bag method to visitors

We will demonstrating building rammed earth walls like this next - this building has survived the earthquakes unscathed and we believe this is a great sustainable and affordable long term housing solution

We will demonstrating building rammed earth walls like this next - this building has survived the earthquakes unscathed and we believe this is a great sustainable and affordable long term housing solution


Demonstrations, Earthbag Building, Meeting Others

Kyle Mohamed

This is our first update since the earthquake on the 25th April.

We have moved into another gear since the earthquake and have been meeting other organisations that are supporting the rebuilding effort, doing demonstrations at our project sites, and working hard on our first earthbag building in Goldunga.

Our earthbag building in Goldunga has made some solid progress and is now a working demonstration site. Narayan has been back and forth making sure construction happens quickly so we can start using the site to train others and take the technology throughout Nepal for rebuilding.

We have had demonstrations at our house in Godavari that have been well attended. During these we shared our methods and technologies by giving tours of our buildings and explaining finer details. People were impressed that there is virtually no damage to our house after the earthquake, just like our four other project sites.

We went to a planning meeting with various other organisations interested in rebuilding Nepal in sustainable and earthquake safe ways. It was great to network with everyone, make plans for the future, and share ideas on how best to move forward. Their name is the Himalayan Disaster Relief Fund. 

This week our main focus is to continue with the earthbag building at Goldunga while planning for earthbag and bamboo building demonstrations in Taukhel. 

We will be sending out more updates soon!