Schools and Storm Shelters for Myanmar
Under request from Swiss Development Cooperation – Humanitarian Aid, Skat developed construction guidelines and five design options for child-friendly and storm-safe schools in Myanmar.
The Cyclone Nargis struck Myanmar in May 2008, making landfall in the Ayeyarwady Division, approximately 250 km southwest of Yangon, and affecting more than 50 townships. With wind speeds of up to 200 km/h accompanied by heavy rain, the damage was most severe in the Delta region, where the effects of the extreme winds were compounded by an up to 3.6-metre storm surge.
Swiss Development Cooperation – Humanitarian Aid (SDC-HA) decided to establish a project to reconstruct schools built to use as storm shelters in the Bogale/Pyapon Townships area of the Ayeyarwady Delta. The project contemplates the construction of about 10 to 15 buildings within the coming two years. The design integrates local knowledge, internationally recognised structural engineering and quality standards. Integration of local communities and their needs was regarded as an essential aspect and formed part of an all inclusive approach.
The aims of the project are twofold: a) to build child-friendly schools; and b) to provide storm shelters for the community. This duplex task is challenging for the local project management since the sites are located in very remote places. The prevailing site conditions (weak soil-bearing capacity, high water table, land filling, need for constructive wood preservation and windproof roof structure, etc.) require the application of carefully selected construction materials and techniques.
Skat was mandated by SDC-HA to assess and provide child-friendly and storm safe shelter and school designs, and the main objectives of this assignment were: