Innovation on Rural Houses Towards Resilient Nepal

                  We have loads of discussion and seminars regarding housing design for urban houses. Lots of new proposed design are on pipeline and many have been implemented. But we are not being able to come up with concrete plan for rural regions of Nepal. Obviously remote village, town, semi-urban area comprises most part of our country. The challenges are not limited for earthquake resistive house only but innovation to integrate Nepali style of housing along construction. We definitely do not need so much concrete research and development for integrating such feature. We can incorporate frugal or people innovation. Already we have limited economic as well as physical resources which hinders every plan we try to achieve. The difficult terrain, monsoon, road access (transportation), skilled manpower will deter building houses. The use of Galvanizing Iron (G.I) sheets is mostly providing shelter in almost all remote areas. But people cannot sustain all life in shades of iron sheets. So there has to be innovation from people(us) in frugal and scientific way.

During earthquake, it generates three kinds of forces which acts upon any structure. The main target is to reduce such forces to make houses safe and resilient.


♦ Compressive Force

The force acting along weight of house perpendicularly which tries to compress construction. Compression pushes or presses an object so as to make it shorter and thicker.

♦ Tensile Force

This force occurs when two forces pull on an object in opposite directions so to stretch it and make it longer.

♦ Shear Force

Shear force is two forces acting parallel to each other but in opposite directions so that one part of object is moved or displaced relative to another part. To visualize shear is to think of how scissors works.

                  Most recommended building house material is use of steel reinforced cement mortar along with stone or bricks in rural areas. Although use of such material may be in reach within people living in remotest part of country. So we are going to discuss some of best frugal, locally available resources as well as earthquake resistive in construction. So everyone is free to disseminate this technique to people who will come handy during construction work in rural areas.

 ♦ Foundation

The foundation holes should be filled tightly with rocks and stone.


♦ Flexibility of house

The corners are provided with reinforce of steel with concrete to increase strength against quake.


♦ Walls

The through bricks or stones are to be used. Even walls can be reinforced with stones, woods, steels which grasps and helps to bind together. There should not be any gaps in walls simply we should avoid layer formation in-between walls which are prone to quakes.


♦ Corners

The most shock and forces are applied on corners so we should use rods, frames of steel, through stone or bricks, frame of wood, wire mesh, weld mesh or expanded metal (Diamond Mesh) for reinforcement.


♦ Windows, Doors and Other Open Space

There must be as minimum as possible windows, doors and open spaces. These should be far from corner of house. Lesser the open space stronger will be the house.


♦ Materials used for construction of Walls

The material used for construction of wall should be smooth like bricks, stones, cement bricks. The use and priority should be given to use of concrete rather over mud.


♦ Rooms

The room should not be of great height as well as too long. The width and length should be nearly equal.The thickness of room wall should be according to height and length of room.


♦ Belt across walls

The belts are used to tighten grip around the wall and prevents it from falling. Wood, concrete or steel can be used for making belt across walls.


♦ Roof

The roof should be strong from all sides. The roof should be properly tied with walls. The cross bars are used for proving extra reinforcement. The bundle of woods or dried grass are used for supporting and insulating from heat or cold. The iron sheets should be properly tied up with frames.


• Beautiful and Strong House

The following points are considered for beautiful and strong house:

→ Iron sheets with J bolt

→ Cross Bars at roof

→ Wall belts

→ Small Openings

→ Use of through Stone, Bricks, Woods

→ Openings far from Corners

→ Supports for Tall Walls

→ Roof Tie


            The information and details mentioned here are from my personal knowledge and interpretation which I learnt during seminar conducted by Association of Youth Organisation Nepal (AYON). The presenter were from People ‘s Science Institute Dehra Doon, India. For more info Visit: There is no issue of copyright and plagiarism so maximum share will help to reach to needy people. Plus images are in Nepali so hope it will help to reach in rural Nepal.



4 thoughts on “Innovation on Rural Houses Towards Resilient Nepal

  1. But what about animal shelters like cow or buffalo shelters? They must be more open to secure ventilation. Do you know a definite structure for those too. I know people are more important but animal housing must also be restructured because animals give food and milk. They should be protected too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The animal shelter will generally be of only one storey and if multiple it upper will have just storage for dried grass and hays. So there is no much loads and stresses on lower floor. So there not so much design changes we can incorporate some changes in design mentioned above. Obviously shelters for animal also matters. Cause animal husbandry is one of major income source of people in hill and himalayas.I will post regrading animal shelter in future.


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