NEW YORK CITY (Oct. 2, 2018)—The Engineering News-Record has announced the repair, restoration and strengthening of the earthquake-damaged Gaddi Baithak in Nepal as its 2019 “Global Best Project of the Year.” The 111-year-old palace was one of three finalists vying for the overall award, winning over Europe’s largest hospital (in Turkey) and a massive, $3 billion public works project in Doha, Qatar.
Badly damaged in the 2015 earthquake, the UNESCO World Heritage-site palace on historic Kathmandu historic Durbar Square was repaired and seismically strengthened by a team of experts from three countries, Nepal, Italy and United States, a global collaboration that impressed the judges.
With assurances from Dr. Kit Miyamoto, a structural engineer, that the iconic structure was repairable, international collaborators including the U.S. Embassy in Nepal set out to repair and restore the palace rather than leaving it for eventual demolition. The project was funded by Department of State’s U.S. Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation. Nonprofit Miyamoto Relief was the implementing partner.
“This was one of the most challenging and critical projects after the 2015 earthquake,” Dr. Miyamoto said, “but we knew that global technology coupled with Nepali heritage knowledge could overcome that.” More than a third of Nepal’s culturally significant heritage buildings were completely destroyed in the earthquake, numbering about 135. Another 444 were severely damaged.
“The success of this project was so critical for our people, post-disaster,” said Jini Agrawal of Miyamoto Relief Nepal. “It really gave people hope for recovery, along with showing that damaged heritage buildings and culture can be preserved. This was part of the history of our country.”
The project set a precedence for engineering practices and methods that now constitute Nepal Department of Archaeology guidelines for retrofitting of this type of historical building. One of the challenges was using only traditional materials and methods while also introducing a handful of performance-enhancing structural interventions to add resiliency in future earthquakes. Local artisans and contractors performed the construction works.
ENR’s Global Best Project Awards honors teams behind outstanding design and construction projects that illustrate the risks, rewards and hurdles teams overcome when designing and building internationally. A record number of entries came in, with 32 projects from 20 countries winning in specific categories. To see the restoration project, please watch the video here: link to be inserted
A comprehensive story on the project is posted here: http://bit.ly/GaddiWin
Miyamoto International, Inc.
Miyamoto Global Disaster Relief