Nepal Geological Society extends its sincere thanks to Dr. Iftekhar Ahmed, Associate Professor –the University of Newcastle, Australia for the wonderful presentation on the topic “Disaster and the Built Environment: Building Codes for Disaster Resilience and Post-Disaster Housing Reconstruction and the Linkages Thereof”. In this webinar, more than 40 participants actively participated through Zoom and Facebook live and interact lively. NGS is thankful to all the collaborating partners and expresses sincere gratitude to all the participants. We will meet again on 16th July for the 11th Presentation of the series.
Dr Iftekhar Ahmed
Associate Professor – Construction Management/Disaster Resilience
School of Architecture and Built Environment
University of Newcastle, Australia
Tel: +612 4921 6011
Web profile: https://www.newcastle.edu.au/profile/ifte-ahmed
Dr Iftekhar Ahmed is an Associate Professor and previous Program Convenor of the Master of Disaster Resilience and Sustainable Development, University of Newcastle, Australia. He teaches policy and social aspects of disaster risk reduction, resilience of the built environment and sustainable development. His research interests include post-disaster housing, disaster risk reduction, climate change adaptation and urbanisation in the Asia-Pacific. He has written several books and many peer-reviewed publications and engages in various research and evaluation projects relating to disaster resilience. He is the lead author of the recent book “Disaster Resilience in South Asia: Tackling the Odds in the Sub-Continental Fringes” (Routledge, UK, 2020).
A significant cause of disasters in the built environment of South Asian countries such as Bangladesh and Nepal is non-compliance to building codes. Codes do exist, but compliance and implementation are generally absent or limited, especially in the widespread informal building sector, which has restricted access to codes, combined with little financial capacity. Thus, a research project was formulated with the aim of identifying pathways for facilitating voluntary compliance to safe building codes for disaster resilience in Bangladesh and Nepal. The findings of the project were then analysed to understand how building codes might be more widely adopted to enable disaster resilience. A key output from the research consists of a training handbook on safe construction relevant particularly to the informal sector, produced in local languages of the two case study countries.
Post-disaster housing reconstruction presents an opportunity of ‘building back better’ and incorporating safe building codes, evident from research and engagement across the world on post-in this field, documented in a number of publications. Typically, humanitarian agencies follow a three-stage approach to support shelter reconstruction – temporary, transitional and permanent. There is a wide range of strategies for provision of temporary and transitional shelter, as case studies from Indonesia and Australia illustrate. For permanent shelter, there are three main approaches – owner-driven, community-driven and agency-driven – with corresponding advantages and disadvantages. Case studies of these different approaches provide a set of lessons that point towards an integrated approach highlighting the key elements of effective reconstruction.
• Shared understanding on evidence-based knowledge as a critical component in the commitment to local action.
• Institutional and community awareness of the importance of compliance with and barriers to enforcement of codes.
• Fostering communities of collaborative practice.
• Development of local and international dissemination networks.
• Advantages and disadvantages of different reconstruction strategies.
• Developed vs developing country challenges.
• Professional competency in the built environment.