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Millennium Post

Building lives not homes

On the occassion of its Silver Jubilee year Sushant School of Art and Architecture, Ansal University, commenced various activities by partnering with a non-profit organization of architects, ARCHADE (Architecture Research Conservation Habitat and Design Education). They brought together town planners and architecture students to create an immediate, easy to construct and affordable shelter prototype for victims of the recent natural disasters in Uttarakhand and Odisha.

The single room prototype is the result of a series of architectural design workshops and competitions attended by over 200 professional architects and architectural firms alongwith over 500 architecture students from 7-10 leading institutions in and around Delhi.  

The sustainable model with its simplicity of design and construction details allows local users to build such structures by themselves with a minimal dependence on external technical support. The prototype is being shared with NGOs and government bodies like BMTPC and individuals working in shelter creation on site in the affected regions.

‘The recent natural disasters in Uttarakhand and Odisha have rendered millions homeless and created an urgent requirement for shelters for a large population in the shortest possible time.  Ansal University is proud to be at the helm of such a laudable initiative reaching out to the Architecture fraternity for providing socially relevant and viable solutions for disaster relief management,’ said CS Nagpal, Vice- Chancellor, Ansal University

The affected districts in Uttarakhand come under extreme cold winter region vulnerable to earthquakes , landslides, heavy winds, snowfall and flash floods during the months of monsoon. In Odisha, however, due to completely different climatic and geographical condition there are different set of constraints that need to be addressed while designing an intermediate shelter.

Keeping in mind these differences the Uttarakhand shelter is constructed of stone for foundation, earth bags in walls tied with coir ropes or reinforced with barbed wires, timber poles or bamboo to provide vertical, horizontal and diagonal support as well as for rafters and purlins for roofing. The optimum size of the prototype shelter is 15 x 12 covered area.

‘It is our 25th year of existence as a premier architectural institution and through the shelter prototype creation we’ve aspired to use our knowledge and skills to create a memorable social initiative aiming at the rehabilitation of people in adverse climatic circumstances,’ said Rupinder Singh, Dean, Sushant School of Art and Architecture

An illustration manual and video CD demonstrating the entire process of building the shelter alongwith design and construction details in Hindi, English and local languages will  be shared with victims and organisations interested in building such shelters in the affected regions
Mohit Verma, founder of ARCHADE said, ‘ARCHADE came into being through the collective social consciousness of members of the architecture fraternity following the recent Uttarakhand disaster and we hope to contribute meaningfully towards developing viable architecturally sound solutions for victims of natural disasters.’

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