Safer Communities with Hydro - Meteorological Disaster Resilient Houses

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Damages to human lives and habitats due to torrential rains and floods have intensified in the recent past in Sri Lanka. Identifying the importance of this area, NSF facilitated the research project on “Safer Communities with Hydro-Meteorological Disaster Resilient Houses” conducted by Prof. Chintha Jayasinghe, Professor in Civil Engineering, University of Moratuwa in collaboration with Bath University, United Kingdom.

This research project was successfully completed and the NSF organized a Knowledge Sharing Programme on 30th January 2019 to disseminate the findings of this research project which was held with the participation of senior academics of universities and senior officials from several government institutions. The resource persons were Prof. Chintha Jayasinghe and Prof. M T R Jayasinghe, University of Moratuwa.

During the study, nature and magnitude of the problem related to flood damage including socio-economic impact was investigated for selected areas in Matara, Kalutara and Galle Districts, the areas highly affected due to floods in 2016 and 2017. Experimental models for minimizing the damages to structures were studied at Bath University, UK. The study was concluded with the findings to improve the flexural strength of masonry walls using steel reinforced mesh, constructing a cost-effective refuge space which can be used as part of the house or building and having upper floors to escape in case of flash floods. Implementing these findings at field level will enable to minimize structural damages to buildings and negative socioeconomic impacts due to floods in future. Further, improvement of cost-effective construction of the refuge space by incorporating innovative building materials (e.g. waste-based building materials) are being researched at the laboratory level.

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