Factors Contributing Building Reconstruction and Renovation Challenges: A Case Study After April 2015 Gorkha Earthquake

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Conference Proceeding

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The earthquake on April 25, 2015, in Nepal damaged thousands of houses; thereby leaving millions of people homeless. Most of the damaged buildings were mud and brick or stone bonded load-bearing structure. After the earthquake, there has been a lot of building reconstruction and renovation works going on in Nepal. During this phase, homeowners have faced many challenges such as inaccessibility to the construction site, scarcity of materials and equipment, and workforce shortage. Although few studies have explored the challenges during reconstruction in general, a thorough understanding of factors contributing to the obstacles is lacking. The objective of this paper is to present a detailed analysis of the factors contributing to building reconstruction and renovation challenges. A thorough literature review and interviews were conducted which helped to identify critical factors contributing to building reconstruction and renovation challenges. This study identified the top significant factors among reconstruction challenges in Nepal after the Gorkha earthquake. The top five significant factors are: a) dispute among family members on property, b) vested interest and corruption, c) lack of skilled laborer, d) lack of adopting and updating building codes, and e) lack of proper training on how to use new tools and techniques. The study also ranked the building materials and typology that suffered most damage during the Gorkha earthquake. Unreinforced mud or adobe building, unreinforced brick masonry building with mud mortar and timber floor, and stone masonry building with mud mortar were critical in each case. The findings can be used by construction professionals to improve their management strategies during pre-construction and be aware of top contributing factors during reconstruction and renovation process. The results will also help project managers, field engineers, and contractors in the understanding of building materials and typology that are vulnerable to earthquake.