The devastating 2005 Kashmir earthquake intensified an already urgent need to provide resilient homes in the highly seismic region.
Construction methods that result in safe, affordable housing that is culturally acceptable, and can be built, maintained and adapted by local people are clearly preferred.
To that end, Arup's International Development team initiated a research project into the use and repair of vernacular building styles such as dhajji dewari – a timber frame with stone and mud mortar infill. The resulting report, intended for use primarily by practitioners in international development and humanitarian reconstruction, demonstrates the inherent appropriateness of this type of construction for highly seismic areas – providing safety as well as sustainability and affordability, when built well.
Download Dhajji Dewari: Affordable seismically resistant and sustainable housing (PDF, 11MB)
The project, which was jointly funded by Arup and Kashmir Earthquake Relief, provides detailed analysis of the structural behaviour of dhajji dewari buildings to seismic loads, as well as identifying aspects of the construction method which are critical to the reliable performance of the building system.
As well as providing expert structural and seismic analysis, Arup acted as lead advisor on the research. Other collaborators on the project included UN-Habitat, Conservationtech, Kasmir Earthquake Relief, University of Engineering and Technology, Peshawar.
It is estimated that over 100,00 homes in the area affected by the 2005 earthquake have since been reconstructed using this indigenous construction method.