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Design(er) A Call for ideas for an earthquake resistant housing manual for Kashmir

Help develop a guide for safer rural buildings.

Currently two million people are without adequate shelter. Aid agencies are struggling to keep up with the relief and recovery effort. With the winter baring down on the mountainous region of Kashmir many are not waiting for these groups to transition to reconstruction and have begun to rebuild with what materials are on hand. The danger is that many homes, while able to provide shelter in the short-term, will be structurally unsound and if another earthquake hits the region thousands more will die. By distributing knowledge of earthquake resistant housing construction we can make sure that homes are rebuilt safely and potentially save lives in the future.

We are seeking ideas for earthquake resistant housing schemes that will also help empower communities in the long-term reconstruction effort. Technical details and criteria are being assembled by a team of engineers and project partners and will be posted here shortly.

It is free to enter and teams have until January 20th 2006 to put together schemes that utilize local materials and technology. Once ideas are collected and reviewed a number of schemes will be developed into pictorial form and assembled into free manual. These Once produced, manuals will be given to international, local and government agencies for distribution in affected communities.

Working with Arup engineers we will also compile a number of ‘golden rules’ for rebuilding in earthquake zones. These will hopefully be used in the retrofitting of a number of partially damaged buildings as well as retrofitting a number of structures, in particular the nations schools.

Project Supporters and Partners: American Institute of Graphic Artists, Arup, Architecture for Humanity – Boston, Architecture for Humanity – Minnesota and the College of Architecture and Landscape Architecture (CALA) at the University of Minnesota.

This project was inspired by the work of Fred Cuny after 1976 Guatemala earthquake, Davina Rooney of Arup and by the Design[ER] project developed at the INDEX: Views summit in Copenhagen in August 2005

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