Indonesia Anonymus

We are a group of Indonesians, ranting about our beloved country. This blog is a result of many people grumbling about many things in many ways.
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Anonymus is the Latin word for anonymous, the correct English spelling. The Latin spelling, however, is traditionally used by scholars in the humanities to refer to an ancient writer whose name is not known, or to a manuscript of their work. Read more at Wikipedia.

Our blog in Bahasa Indonesia (but rarely updated) can be found here.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Don't know much about building a house either

We are back from Yogya for the moment. Yes, we are sure you have heard it all, the earthquake, the number of people killed, the sufferings. No need to re-tell.
Despite all that, however, there are people who although their houses were destroyed, still have their jobs, have some money set aside for rainy days (such as this), and are ready to rebuild.
The sooner they can rebuild their houses, they say, the sooner they can have their normal life back. So they are eager.

But there is one fear: What if the earthquake strikes again?

One suggested to build an earthquake-proof house. Great. But how? They looked at each other, looked at us, and interestingly enough, nobody knows how.
Not even one local builder that we talked to.
Sure, they can always suggest to use stronger concrete, stronger cement, bla bla bla. But is that a proven method? Nobody knows. It is also expensive and so our question remained unanswered:

how do you build a low-cost earthquake-proof house?

With that question unanswered, some suggested to simply build a temporary house. Just to have a roof over their heads, as cheap as possible, so they will have some money left for (God forbid) another disaster.
We don't like this solution. Why? Because based on experience, what they call 'temporary' will eventually become 'permanently temporary'. People will soon forget that the structure was not meant to be permanent, and they will extend it, or build upon it as the need arises. That is not very safe. What if you have another earthquake then?

So we are back to our question:
how do you build a low-cost earthquake-proof house?

Surely we have the technology. Surely we have the experts. Surely we have the skills to build it.
So if there is anything missing, we think this is it: Our ability to pass this information, this know-how, to the folks who need it.

Call us stupid or ignorant, but we don't see what's so difficult about passing such information. All we need is some good samaritans - preferably civil engineers - who can come up with the cheapest way to build an earthquake-proof house, write it up in a document, make it as applicable as possible and as simple as possible so that local builders with STM diploma (technical school degree, equal to high school diploma) can understand, and then post the document on the internet.

After that, just leave it to Yogya bloggers to spread it around.

In the field of IT we all enjoy open-source software, where software is given away for free. Why can't we do the same for this?
Yes, of course people will have their own requirements on building their houses, hence different designs are required. But just like open-source software, we can always give the main information and the users can then tweak the design to suit their needs.

Imagine how many lives we can save.


Blogger Unknown said...

ppl in Japan have been building them houses for as long as their history, i'm sure there're lots. no cements tho, it's wood. should actually be cheaper than normal house.

then you add up the administrative expenses and the cost to do comparative studies and all, may be it'll be more or less the same.

9:13 PM  
Blogger a0z0ra said...

Perhaps this person can help. I heard that he's a VERY SMART person currently studying structural engineering.

12:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

got it from ITB mailing list:
- rumah instan tahan gempa
- sepuluh rumah tahan gempa mulai dibangun di bantul
- 1.000 Unit Rumah Instan Tahan Gempa Disumbangkan kepada Korban Bencana

1:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's not a bad idea. You make a good point, it should be built correctly the first time.

8:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

An information related to the earthquake-proof constructions by the Gajah Mada University as a reaction to the recent event can be found here:

The two papers they released contain information on the importance of vertical strengthening and bamboo-based earthquake-proof construction. They are available in PDF format.

Hope that helps.. God bless

5:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for the info, folks.

5:39 PM  
Blogger Moon said...

I have a friend living in Yogya, so I have been worried by all the earthquake reports in the past couple of years. I had an idea myself for an earthquake-proof house, but I am no engineer, so I decided to look around on google.

This might be a little late, but hopefully still relevant...

Two innovative, low-cost houses designed by Dr. Alan Early of the Indonesia Aid Foundation have been successfully tested on a seismic shake table at Colorado State University...

10:40 PM  

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