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Nepal could benefit from earthquake-proof houses developed by a kibbutz in Israel

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May 27, 2015

Nepalese villagers now faced with massive rebuilding projects following the April 25 earthquake could benefit from the lessons learned by eco-minded builders in Israel’s Arava desert. In preparation for future anticipated tremors, the Israelis are taking a unique approach to safe and environmentally sound construction rather than the more common, but expensive and less effective, reinforced concrete method often relied on to withstand earthquakes.Sitting atop the seismically active Great Syria-African Rift, these southern Israeli builders have developed an earthquake-proof housing system that can be manufactured and constructed quickly by people without building experience. When Alex Cicelsky and his building partner Mike Kaplin designed the student housing for the campus of the Center for Creative Ecology (CfCE), they recognized they had two potentially contradictory design criteria — to be earthquake-proof and to have an extremely low environmental footprint. Cicelsky and Kaplin found their solution in combining ancient Hebrew-Egyptian mud-and-straw construction with carbon-sequestering straw-bale construction and geodesic domes made famous by 20th century American architect Buckminster Fuller. Straw bales — a waste product of wheat production — are a locally available renewable resource and superb insulator. The mud-straw coating holds the bales together and makes them fireproof, astounding even the Standards Institute of Israel, which performed fire-code testing. (via Israel21c)

Click here for original Israel21c article & photos

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  • Published: 6 years ago on May 28, 2015
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  • Last Modified: May 28, 2015 @ 11:46 am
  • Filed Under: International, Israel

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