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Bristol engineers and local partners start a safer project for building seismic safety in Nepal


Kathmandu: A team of engineers from the University of Bristol and local partners in Nepal cooperated to improve seismic safety and resilience of school and community buildings in our country.

After seeing the devastation caused by the devastating 2015 earthquake that resulted in the loss of hundreds of lives and the massive destruction of homes and properties, the SAFER (Seismic Resilience of Schools in Nepal) project team is preventing the destruction on the same scale again.

The project is funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) as part of the UKRI Global Research Challenges Research Fund.

A press release issued by the University of Bristol said that the team has a multidisciplinary approach that combines earthquake knowledge, structural engineers, geotechnologists, seismologists, geologists, computer scientists, sociologists, stakeholders, and decision makers from and around Nepal globally.

“We cannot prevent earthquakes from occurring, but we can develop smart, low-cost solutions to mitigate earthquake risks and improve our resilience to the fullest extent,” said Anastasius Sixtus, an earthquake engineering professor at the University of Bristol and principal investigator of the SAFER Nepal project.

“One of the proven ways to protect new buildings in earthquake areas in developed countries is to put them on sliding surfaces. Professor Sixtus added that this can be very expensive for many regions, but in Nepal, we use this principle to investigate low-cost, culturally acceptable and source methods Locally to produce a similar system.

In order to create a low-cost seismic isolation platform, a team led by Dr. Nicholas Alexander, associate professor of structural dynamics, uses the seismic vibration table at the University of Bristol to investigate how to enhance replicas of Nepalese classrooms, with cost-effective techniques, performing under seismic excitement.

The team is also working on developing a sophisticated mobile app that allows local engineers to identify schools at risk and enhance their safety.

Furthermore, it tests the engineering properties of locally used building materials, along with the National Seismic Technology Association (NSET), Nepal, University of Kathmandu and Institute of Engineering, Tribhuvan University.

The project manages activities through workshops and training on site, after this training from the project team (including Save the Children), Nepal’s local partners are about to embark on a major campaign of field tests across the country.

Moreover, the project also led to the creation of the first ever seismic risk database in Nepal, including a standardized soil database in Kathmandu that provides vital information and data for reporting and planning construction projects, according to the statement.

SAFER also works with Save the Children in Nepal. Conduct surveys of approximately 160 school buildings and consult with local communities, focusing on school management committees, teachers, and students, to understand the factors affecting flexibility in order to design and target interventions to help children return to school safely.

SAFER guidelines for building schools will be delivered in a new, low-cost manner in September 2020.

“We essentially create a framework that allows local decision makers to plan and respond to another major earthquake, and our cooperation will improve the local design culture with new and safer building technologies and responses that can be easily replicated by other countries.

Our focus has been on achieving tangible results and influencing the way policy makers approach building new schools in Nepal. Most of all, we help protect lives, especially the lives of young learners who will shape the future of Nepal, “said Professor Sixtus.

“The cooperation between the University of Kathmandu and the University of Bristol has been very fruitful and unforgettable,” said Dr. Prachand Man Pradhan, Assistant Professor and Head of the Department of Civil Engineering at the University of Kathmandu.

“This project was not only able to determine the mechanical properties and strengths of the various building materials, but also helped me learn the technological heights that the University of Bristol gained. The results obtained should be ultimately beneficial to the design and earthquake-resistant construction of new school buildings.” To be built in Nepal. “

Likewise, Professor Prem Nath Masky, of the Institute of Engineering at Tribhuvan University, said, “The cooperation between universities and organizations of Nepal, the United Kingdom and other countries combined in the SAFER (seismic resilience of schools in Nepal) research project has been exemplary. The project’s impact lies in the importance of research and cooperation on resilience Seismicity of schools. The project’s impact will be reflected in the necessary reinforcement and rebuilding of schools to cope with future earthquakes and other disasters. “

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