Monday, December 29, 2008

Post-Flood Rehabilitation and Wonder Grass

Kosi region in the Northern-Bihar faced a severe flood disaster in 2007. As many as 1 million families were displaced, divastation followed.

Massive relief operation carried out by the Govt. of Bihar in partnership with various government and non-government agencies is considered a milestone in handling relief operations on such a huge scale.

The relief is followed by Rehabilitation. The rehabilitation process in the aftermath of a disaster is long-drawn and painstaking process.

In the Floods, it is estimated that as many as 0.35 million housing units are damaged and need reconstruction. Building these many houses in the span of next 2-3 years is a staggering challenge for the state-government, for institutions involved and more so for the people for whom the houses are to be built.

A workshop 'Owner-driven Rehabilitation' was organized by Government of Bihar in partnership with ODR Collective, a group of individuals and institutions who work extensively for Disaster-rehabilitation. The focus of the workshop was to explore systems, strategies and mechanisms that would eventually ensure a rehabilitation process that would provide for shelter and livelihood opportunity to a large section of society.

Wonder Grass initiative was invited to participate in the workshop and provide inputs and suggestions on the subject.

Mr. Nitish Kumar, Chief Minister for Bihar, who has shown some considerable leadership in executing efficient relief operation, is now taking a next logical step for initiating a Rehabilitation program on the massive scale.

His presence and direct interest in the proceedings of the workshop was crucial in setting the pace and focus of the workshop.

DUring his inaugral address he touched upon a very important factor of rehabilitation, that is of the Building-material resource, and Bamboo as one of the key-building material resource when it comes to Kosi region.

Bamboo is naturally available in the region, and there is a long tradition of building bamboo houses in the region. The skills are available aplenty and Material is available in abundance. What probably needed is a political will combined with sustained institutional effort to implement bamboo based housing systems on large scale.

Wonder Grass initiative was represented by Vaibhav Kaley.

As one of the few action points, it is discussed that we need to build some technology demonstration structures using bamboo as primary building system, and then take this technology to the people at large.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Terrace-Top Structure for Mango Technologies, Bangalore

Terrace-top structure:
The structure is 16'-0" X 35'-0",
it is a semi-open structure designed as an informal and relaxation space for corporate office of Mango Technologies, Bangalore.

The structural system is based on a modular standardized format that we have developed at Wonder Grass. All the basic building components like Columns, Trusses, beams and Purlions were brought to the site prefabricated and in knocked-down form.

The truss assembled on site and erected as per the structural-grid requirement of site.