Epicentre News Publication

EPICentre PhD student Rohit Kumar Adhikari has been awarded the 2018 EEFIT Research Grant

30 August 2018

EPICentre PhD student Rohit Kumar Adhikari, studying under the supervision of Prof Dina D’Ayala, has been awarded the 2018 EEFIT Research Grant for the project entitled “Seismic Resilience of Private Housing in Nepal Constructed in the Post-Earthquake Recovery and Reconstruction after the 2015 Nepal Earthquake”. This is one of the grants that EEFIT awards each year to support short-term projects that will benefit earthquake (and related hazards) disaster mitigation and post-disaster reconnaissance efforts. This is the third year in a row that the UCL-EPICentre researchers have won the EEFIT research grant, namely Harriette Stone in 2016, Valentina Putrino in 2017 and Rohit Kumar Adhikari in 2018. In fact, another awardee this year, Viviana Novelli is also an alumnus of the UCL-EPICentre.

The unreinforced masonry building stock in Nepal suffered heavy damage in the 2015 Nepal earthquake. Such a heavy damage sustained by these construction types is attributed to the informal construction process, lack of seismic design concepts and hence seismic enhancement measures, lack of maintenance etc.

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Figure 1. Out-of-plane collapse of an old unreinforced brick in mud mortar masonry building in Kathmandu valley after the 2015 Nepal earthquake.

For the reconstruction after the 2015 Nepal earthquake, the Nepal Reconstruction Authority (NRA) has prescribed specific seismic design and detailing criteria for the unreinforced masonry buildings (Figure 2.). Rohit will study the seismic performance enhancement due to the seismic design measures prescribed by NRA and develop the fragility functions for the typical rural and urban typologies of the newly constructed load bearing masonry buildings. This study will also assess the deviation in the actual construction in terms of design, construction materials and seismic enhancement features compared to the Nepal Reconstruction Authority (NRA) prescribed standards and conduct a sensitivity analysis to understand the effects of these deviations in the seismic behaviour.

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Figure 2. New masonry buildings with seismic design features constructed after the 2015 Nepal earthquake.