Kathmandu University- bamboo and earth research lab
Bamboo and earth
has a long history in Nepal. According to Nepal's recent census, 73% of Nepal's construction uses non cement based traditional materials. In certain regions like Sindhupalchok the penetration of modern materials is less than 1 percent. Unfortunately, post earthquake, in the pretext of 'building back better', there is a been strong lobbying by the government to push for modern materials even though economically, culturally and environmentally, they might not be appropriate.
The last earthquake and our construction has shown that it is not the material but the design that makes buildings earthquake resistant. Although, Nepal has amazing history of earth and bamboo architecture, whenever, we try to get government permission there is a strong resistance saying, ' we do not have the data'.
In order to mitigate this, Kathmandu University, ABARI and INBAR have joined hands to build Nepal's first Earth and Bamboo Material Testing Lab. We plan to conduct state of the art, material tests, so that concerns about the engineering parameters of these materials are put to rest.