The New York-based design firm SHoP Architects recently set out to design 50 earthquake-proof schools in Nepal. Less than one year ago, Nepal was struck by a massive earthquake that devastated the population and the country's fragile infrastructure. Now efforts are being made to rebuild in some of the hardest-hit areas.
The new project is part of a partnership between SHoP Architects, Kids of Kathmandu and the Asia Friendship Network. The goal of the initiative is to build 50 earthquake-proof schools that will not only replace what was lost, but also guard against future disasters. Because the schools are located in remote areas, the architects must rely on materials that are inexpensive and easy to source, such as compressed earthen bricks. These material will be bolstered by concrete foundations and steel truss roofs, that make the schools more resilient to earthquakes. Finally, each building will be equipped with solar power, wireless Internet and a water purification system.
The architects plan to make the designs available to the public so that other disaster-prone regions can benefit from the innovative construction techniques.