Thame Sherpa Heritage Fund has signed an MOU with the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zurich) to investigate earthquake-safe, culturally and environmentally sensitive rebuilding in the Thame Valley. Depending on the securing of funding, the project’s technical design process will be led by ETH Zurich’s Chair of the Department of Architecture (U-TT), which focuses on combining the skills of expert architects and civil engineers with the interests of local stakeholders and livelihood systems in developing nations. TSHF also benefits from a diverse and dedicated Advisory Council, including top specialists in earthquake engineering, national park management, and Sherpa culture.

The project focuses on key reconstruction projects that combine existing local technique, knowledge, and aesthetics with some of the world’s best design and engineering expertise. These structures will provide examples of replicable adjustments that can make building practices safer in the Thame Valley. The project will also add to international academic knowledge of stone masonry and high-altitude environment construction, and provide practical strategies for other Himalayan communities in similar building conditions.

The partnership has been launched with a joint assessment in the Thame Valley by a team from TSHF and ETH Zurich that took place 9 - 27 August 2015, to learn about current building practices, select long-term construction projects, and initiate the design process. The trip involved extensive consultations with community individuals and groups to identify local priorities, and the TSHF team hosted co-learning workshops to share ideas and knowledge between Thamecho community members and the visiting experts. The workshops included practical demonstrations of earthquake and engineering concepts that can help individuals to strengthen their homes as they rebuild.

Please support us! To donate to Thame Sherpa Heritage Fund’s rebuilding projects, please visit our website www.ThameSherpaFund.org.

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