In parallel with the new construction prototypes, two retrofitting prototypes were also made. The first one was a Rana Palace located in Balmandir compound (a children’s home), in which the roof structure was retrofitted by adding some diagonals that had been previously removed due to lack of knowledge. The second one was done by providing technical support to a family willing to repair and retrofit their stone and mud house. In both cases one of the most important actions was the addition of diagonal braces.
Retrofitting is an intervention strategy that was not included in the government’s subsidy program; this is why Awasuka decided to focus on it. Retrofitting existing homes is a great option because it is much more cost-effective: with the same funds needed to build a two-room house, an entire house five to six times larger can be retrofitted.
Awasuka’s retrofitting system is unique, based on experience in local construction techniques, on various reinforcement manuals from different countries and on Awasuka coordinators’ knowledge, especially from PhD. Pedro Lorenzo, who had the expertise on selecting suitable systems to make it simple and low-cost.
Balmandir Rana Palace, Bhimphedi’s first retrofitted building, Fall 2015
Bhimphedi second retrofitted house: diagonal braces between pillars stiffening inner structure
Supping houses, retrofitted both internally and externally, by horizontal and vertical bands