After the devastating 2015 earthquakes (measuring 7.8 on the Richter scale) in my country, Nepal, I decided to build an Earthquake-Resistant Home Office Building in my garden space.
To construct the Earthquake-Resistant Home Office Building, we first dug 3 feet deep holes into the ground (four each on two sides and six each on the other two) to fix the 4/4 inches square pipes. We further reinforced these with concrete. Then, we built two feet brick and cement walls from the ground-up surrounding the steel pipes, further strengthening the structure.
After that, we went about welding these vertical pipes horizontally with other support pipes to build a sturdy frame. Finally, we proceeded to weld the truss structure for the roof. After completing the steel frame structure, we put up the UPVC fibre-mess roofing.
Lastly, we screwed in the inner and outer MGO flex boards for the walls. For the floor of this Earthquake-Resistant Home Office building, we have used PCC-concrete plaster to prevent the moisture from seeping into the room once it’s complete.
Construction Materials Used
For the Earthquake-Resistant Home Office Building project, I have chosen lightweight, yet sturdy and weatherproof materials such as UPVC roofing & waterproof/fire resistant MGO flex-boards for the outer & inner walls with the heat insulation in between. I have further used 4/4 inches square steel pipes for the skeletal structure of this 14ft×12ft room for strength & rigidity.
This Earthquake-Resistant Home Office Building is powered by two 200 Watt Solar panels (400 Watts total) that are charging two 150 Amps batteries (300 Amps total). These batteries connect to a 1000 Watt Su-Kam Solar Hybrid UPS System. The power generated is sufficient for a couple of desktops, few laptops, all the LEDs in the room as well as a 100 Watt Air Cooler & a wall-mounted fan.
The system can operate Off-grid during the day as well as at night, thanks to Solar panels and batteries.
I’ve chosen natural textured Austrian Laminated wood panels for the flooring of this Earthquake-Resistant Home Office. It helps to further insulate the room from cold from underneath. It is also easy to maintain, unlike a wall-to wall-carpet. The wood panels could be wiped clean with a wet-dried cloth from time to time to maintain cleanliness. It also gives the room a pleasantly classic feel.
The flooring is already a PCC-concrete plaster that prevents moisture from seeping into the room. The laminated wood panels on top of the concrete PCC flooring helps keep the room warm during the winter months. Additionally, I’ve used two inches thick thermal insulators above the false ceiling. It helps to trap the heat inside the room during winter. It also adds an extra layer to insulate the room from the heat emanating from UPVC roofing during summer.
Furthermore, I have only used essential furniture that is easily removable, making this Earthquake-Resistant Home Office easily convertible into an Earthquake shelter. E.g., I’ve used a Sofa bed instead of a regular sofa since it is the heaviest furniture piece in the room, and we don’t want to shift it out in an emergency.
Two mid-sized work tables are placed in the corners so that those don’t obstruct the Centre portion of the room if our family need to camp there. Other furniture items are lightweight and easily removable if required. It also helps to give this Earthquake-Resistant Home Office a minimalist yet elegant look.
I’m confident that this project can serve as an ideal model for much larger future projects.
Project Cost: $ 7,000 – $ 8,000
Author: Anup Narsingh Amatya