Saturday, November 7, 2015

Rebuilding the Villages of Kaule and Bhangeri - III

The Kaule Prototype

April - May 2015 
Recce visit 
In May 2015 Sujoy Das, and Sharan Lal, both from Kolkata, visited Kaule and Bhangeri - villages in Nuwakot District and home to South Col’s friends, porters and guides – Santaman, Shyam, Sushil – among others. 

In this trip, corrugated Zinc Sheets donated by the trekking community from South Col Expeditions and Sujoy’s friends and contacts were distributed among the villagers. The sheets provided temporary relief to the villagers and has seen them through the monsoon season.

June 2015
Design of a House
On their return from Kaule and Bhangeri, realizing the need for design intervention, Sharan Lal set up a small group of email friends and worked on a design of a prototype house with the intention of helping the villages to re-construct their village in a an appropriate manner. The design would seek to resist inappropriate construction materials and technologies - like Reinforced Concrete – that threaten to obliterate the invaluable vernacular building traditions and community wisdom that the villages of Kaule and Bhangeri possess, and have take generations to acquire, nurture, and preserve.  

The draft concept design (video) developed with this brief after the May 2015 recce visit can be seen here:

July 2015
Prototype for re-construction 
The draft design received a good response, and we decided to:
a. build a prototype for a house in Kaule that is built using traditional building materials and techniques, and caters to requirements of a seismically secure structure as per the Nepal Building Codes. 
b. Conduct a Training Workshop for the villages' masons, carpenters, and other artisans to empower them with necessary skills for making the prototype, and by extension their own houses in the future under our guidance.

September 26 – Oct 5, 2015
Pre-training recce and village survey 

A pre-training recce trip was carried out in September 2015 – soon after the monsoon - when the villages of Kaule and Bhangeri were observed more closely, and some basic measurements. Apart from this, the villagers were photographed, and their basic family data studied. A report on the September trip can be viewed here:

October 26 – November 3 ,2015
Skills training
A six day hands-on training and workshop for the villages of Kaule and Bhangeri is planned from Oct 26 onwards in the Kaule School compound. The training aims to make villagers aware of the properties of traditional materials and techniques used in construction - bamboo, stone, mud, and timber - and to empower them to use these in ways that would make their structures seismically less vulnerable. 

December 2015 Onwards
Construction of the Prototype
The prototype for a typical house will be constructed by the villagers under our supervision over a period of 2-3 months. The exact dates for these are yet to be finalized depending on availability of funds and resources for the same.

Reconstruction and rehabilitation of Kaule and Bhangeri
The lessons learnt in the construction of the prototype will be used to prepare a detailed plan for the reconstruction and rehabilitation of the villages of Kaule and Bhangeri.  The plan includes incorporation of concepts like Community Forestry, Solar Micro grids for electricity generation, ulitisation of Boi-mass for energy and long-term, sustainable income generation schemes utilizing the natural and tourism potential of the villages. A consortium of professionals will be formed as an SPV (Special Purpose Vehicle) to take this stage forward. A report on the Prototype process and village planning and design is being prepared by Sharan and the same will be presented to an international agency for funding support. 

The Kaule Protoype Team

The people who have been working on the project till now are:

 Ashish Sharan Lal, Architect, Alleya and Associates, Kolkata, India 
Team leader

 Sujoy Das, South Col Expeditions, Kolkata, India
Group mentor

Santaman Tamang, Tour operator, Kaule, Nepal
Village Representative and Local Support

Ajmal Shoban, Retired edical professional, Virginia, U.S.A. 
Donor Representative

Hanif Barma, Finance Professional, London UK  
Donor Representative
Archana Hande, Artist, Mumbai, India
Photographic documentation, Administration and Accounts 

Vivek Rawal, Architect, Ahmedabad, india
Technical Mentor and resource person

Areen Attari, Architect, Mumbai, India

Training and Workshop resource person  Manu Narendran, Engineer, Ahmedabad  Training and Workshop resource person
Pradeep Humagain, Electrical Engineer, Gham Power, Kathmandu Nepal 

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