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Appears in:
Pages: 2808-2818
Publication year: 2009
ISBN: 978-84-612-7578-6
ISSN: 2340-1079

Conference name: 3rd International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 9-11 March, 2009
Location: Valencia, Spain

LOW COST SEISMIC CONSTRUCTIONS: DESIGN AND DISSEMINATION IN DEVELOPING SOCIO-ECONOMIC AREAS

D. Romagno1, M. Sassu2

1Department of Linguistics, University of Pisa (ITALY)
2Department of Civil Engineering, University of Pisa (ITALY)
Substantial seismic risk to public buildings, such as schools and medical centres, affects a wide segment of the world’s population: from the developing countries and those with considerable socio-economic diversity (Africa, Latin America), to those currently undergoing economic transformation and rapid demographic expansion (China, India, Southeast Asian). The direct exportation of modern technologies or know-how through simple economic aid programmes cannot alone solve the problem: local populations are often unable to handle the maintenance and management of modern buildings, whether it be for economic reasons, a lack of organizational support or simply a poor understanding of the materials, systems and construction techniques supplied them. The use of low-cost, easily available materials is a necessary, though insufficient, condition for balanced development in the field of earthquake-resistant structures. The goal, in this respect, is to improve existing local technologies by enhancing the peoples’ understanding of the seismic behaviour of buildings, and by applying modern techniques to enhance traditional local materials and technologies. In doing so, all aspects relevant to structural stability (statics, energetics, systems, and sanitation) must be addressed. Another essential undertaking is to promulgate scientific knowledge: this involves understanding the linguistic and popular customs of local populations, their organizational structures and to implement means of language communication aimed at segments of the population or social structures able to receive such knowledge and render it operative.
In this regard, the case of the Republic of Malawi – the object of the present project – is emblematic. The project involves designing and constructing a simple school building with materials and techniques found in the area, by adopting some strategies to increase the structure’s capacity to withstand seismic actions. The basic structural material to be used is bamboo, reinforced with timber, straw and mud, and masonry blocks. The seismic-resistant structure elements are fashioned of plywood and stainless-steel screws, easily assembled given suitable instructions. The construction methods are simple and can followed by locals with proper dissemination of the techniques throughout the community and organization of the building site. Three levels of communication are proposed:
a) technical dissemination through local institutions (local technical offices, Universities);
b) training work-site foremen in the local community;
c) support to and verification of the work progress.
Each of the three levels calls for specific communication methods for disseminating know-how, through documents, sketches, information boards and verbal explanations. In the first, typical western-culture technical and economic documents are used; in the second, a dissemination manual with simplified language, sketches and illustrations for assembly are adopted, using the communication techniques of “picture books” or “comic strips” typical of the educational brochures used in primary and secondary schools; lastly, in the third, descriptive charts will be drawn up to illustrate, through simple pictures and sketches, the various construction stages – a technique similar to the classical “story-board”, which serves to bring to life the time sequence of the various stages and make them more easily understandable.
@InProceedings{ROMAGNO2009LOW,
author = {Romagno, D. and Sassu, M.},
title = {LOW COST SEISMIC CONSTRUCTIONS: DESIGN AND DISSEMINATION IN DEVELOPING SOCIO-ECONOMIC AREAS },
series = {3rd International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2009 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-612-7578-6},
issn = {2340-1079},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Valencia, Spain},
month = {9-11 March, 2009},
year = {2009},
pages = {2808-2818}}
TY - CONF
AU - D. Romagno AU - M. Sassu
TI - LOW COST SEISMIC CONSTRUCTIONS: DESIGN AND DISSEMINATION IN DEVELOPING SOCIO-ECONOMIC AREAS
SN - 978-84-612-7578-6/2340-1079
PY - 2009
Y1 - 9-11 March, 2009
CI - Valencia, Spain
JO - 3rd International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2009 Proceedings
SP - 2808
EP - 2818
ER -
D. Romagno, M. Sassu (2009) LOW COST SEISMIC CONSTRUCTIONS: DESIGN AND DISSEMINATION IN DEVELOPING SOCIO-ECONOMIC AREAS , INTED2009 Proceedings, pp. 2808-2818.
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