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All types of buildings can be made safe and earthquake-resilient

Kathmandu, August 7: The National Building Code has been updated with criteria, including structural designs, necessary to ensure all types of buildings are constructed safe and earthquake-resilient.

The Council of Ministers has approved the “Updated National Building Code 105:2020” to replace the existing “National Building Code 105:1994”.

The Ministry of Urban Development (MoUD) has informed that the building code has been updated keeping in view the April 2015 earthquake, earthquakes that occurred in various parts of the world in the last 25 years, building codes practiced in various countries and after studying new research studies, technology and knowledge being developed.

After the approval of the Updated National Building Code, Nepal will no longer have to depend on the Indian code. Joint Secretary Nabaraj Pyakurel, Head of the Department of Urban Development and Building Construction in the MoUD, has said the newly-updated building code will construction of all types of buildings easier.

“The building code’s main objective is to provide criteria and necessary procedural guidance for various engineering designs and various construction material for constructing small houses to towering building structures earthquake-resilient,” it is stated in the building code. “This will help provide guidance on designing techniques and analyzing earthquake-resilient buildings as per the established engineering norms and principles.”

According to Bipin Kumar Gautam, structural engineer of the Central Level Project Implementation Unit (CLPIU-Building) of the National Reconstruction Authority (NRA), in the updated building code, different standards have been categorized on the basis of the earthquake risk zoning maps prepared after a thorough analysis of the earthquake risk areas. On the basis of this code, any structures can be made earthquake-resilient using any technology and construction material.

Different standards of safety have been set on the basis of use and importance of the building structures. This has also paved the way to adopt new technology and method of construction. It has included detailed information on making steel and concrete structures earthquake-resilient.

Experts have said that the updated building code has made it possible to design any structures earthquake-resilient.

Structural engineer Professor Dr. Premnath Maskey said that the updated building code has now included all the aspects of construction which were missing in the previous code.

Chief Executive Officer of the NRA Sushil Gyewali expressed belief that the updated building code would help in constructing earthquake-resilient structures and would be an important help in materializing the campaign to build safe Nepal.

The NRA was given the responsibility to revise the National Building Code 105 by analyzing the earthquake risks after the devastating earthquake in 2015 earthquake damaged thousands of structures.

The CLPIU-Building of the NRA has worked to revise the old code. A seven-member committee was established under the leadership of Deputy Director General of the Department of Urban Development and Building Construction. Similarly, a 13-member advisory committee was also formed at the MoUD.

It had also set up various sub-committees of structural engineer, geologist, geo-technical engineer, seismologist etc.

The committee held wide range of discussions with the representatives of the structural engineers’ association and engineering college and other designers.

The meeting of the building construction management consolidation committee chaired by the Secretary of the MoUD had passed the updated code and the Council Ministers approved it on August 3.

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