Team 5 second update – Schmidt hammer / Meetings / Laboratory Tests

Shock Safe Nepal’s team 5 has now been enjoying and experiencing Nepal for 3 weeks. A lot has happened since we’ve arrived and our excitement has only grown. We’ve faced many challenges regarding the project. However, this makes it even more exciting and fun. The diversity of the country and the project have provided us with ongoing new experiences. We are looking forward to experience more and share them!

The past weeks have been incredibly busy. Regarding the technical part of the project more research has been done both practically as theoretically. The university of Tribhuvan has been very hospitable and have helped us with our tests and research. The concrete samples have been made and treated for 7 days. Furthermore, they have provided us with a Schmidt-Hammer to do further research on the concrete and the simplification and optimization if the construction process of concrete and its quality.

After treatment, the samples have primarily been tested on their compressive strength using the Schmidt-Hammer. After which tests have been carried out using a compression machine. The combination of both, will provide us with comparable data. By comparing the data of the machine to the data of the Schmidt-Hammer, we hope to find a correlation, which could help test the concrete on-site using the Schmidt-Hammer. Furthermore, theoretical research has been done on the CSEB bricks, the bamboo, the concrete and the steel-rebars. The material properties have been determined, with which the foundation for starting static calculations have been made.

In addition, we have been working on the stakeholder analysis, network analysis, external factors as well as the implementation methods in order to create a long-term plan.

Now that the concrete has been tested and the material properties have been determined, it is time that we move forward and built upon our current results. The following step of the project is to start the statical calculations of the project. This will be the focus for the next few weeks and will surely provide us with new challenges. Nevertheless, we look forward to it and are currently shaping a plan to scope, divide and survey the workload. Besides the statical calculations, we’re currently also busy with the optimizations regarding the structure and the construction process. Consequently, we will be visiting Ratankot to start the local treatment of bamboo, at the end of the week.     

With the information of the meetings past week we will fine tune the network analysis and elaborate on the implementation methods. Furthermore, we are determining the external factors, such as social, economical, environmental, political, legal and ethical as they are of great importance besides the technical aspect.

We have been keeping great contact with Build Up Nepal, Habitat for Humanity and Support4Nepal, NGOs in Kathmandu. Our cooperation have been immensely helpful for all. We have discussed possibilities regarding the CSEB bricks with Build Up Nepal, to create a better understanding of the properties of the model house, to increase the production in Ratankot and to help them qualitatively improve their production.

We’ve been helping Habitat for Humanity with further understanding of their material properties and ours, by doing laboratory tests and site visits. We have had the opportunity to attend the Inspection SOP session of HRRP at the DUDBC Conference Hall, mainly regarding the legislation of building earthquake resilient. In addition, we had several useful meetings with stakeholders of which we are very grateful for. Andreas Kölling and Bjorn of Build Up Nepal, Cheryl Groff of Habitat for Humanity, Siobhan Kennedy of HRRP, Dr. Kamal Bahadur Thapa, Head of Civil Engineering of Tribhuvan University and Salena Sangachhe of Architecture sans frontieres explained us all about their vision and strategy. These meetings have been beneficial for the progress of the analysis of the context. Furthermore, we hope to keep on exchanging knowledge and maintain our mutually helpful cooperation

The village of Ratankot has been very hospitable and helpful to us. We will be going there once again to do further studies on the model house, discuss and introduce the bamboo treatment and to thoroughly research the optimization possibilities.

Many challenges have been faced and surely many more will cross our path. Still this will keep us sharp, focused and eager to move on. Besides challenges, a lot of progression has been made and we are determined to keep on doing so. It has been great so far and we hope it will remain so!

Namaste and pheri bhe taulaa!

– Shock Safe Nepal Team 5