Support the SMARTnet project!

 

The aim of SMARTnet

Imagine that we can prove how to significantly improve the safety, as well as the affordability of schools and houses in developing countries, with just a few simple adjustments. Are you supporting us in achieving this beautiful goal?

Between 2007 and 2012 we have built fifteen earthquake resistant mountain schools and a hostel for blind students in Nepal. The good news is that all our buildings survived the 2015 earthquakes without any significant damage. Unfortunately this was not the case for more than 1 million schools and houses, which have been damaged or collapsed fully. We want to know WHY and how we can prevent this is the future.

SMARTnet does innovative and groundbreaking research on how to improve traditional and non-engineered techniques, with special focus on seismic areas in developing countries. We really need to know more about the behavior of such techniques in an earthquake, so that we can make buildings more safe, more efficient and cheaper as well.

Ongoing, SMARTnet will spread and advertise this knowledge all over the world, in order to make it available everywhere and for everyone; especially where it is needed the most. The information must be translated and offered in such simplified way, that even a mason in Nepal, or carpenter in Peru, can make use of it.

In summary SMARTnet aims for the following important goals:
Knowledge must be reliable
Knowledge must be understandable
Knowledge must be available

But… does this not exist already?

No, unfortunately that is not the case. Nowadays we can find lots of information online, but it is our own experience that most of it is not very clear. The basic knowledge is not complete, often contradicting, and important parts are missing altogether. A striking example can be seen in the current Nepali building codes (see picture gallery below). Solutions of key details that are offered in this important document, are totally contradicting themselves. While it is already difficult enough for experienced engineers to distinguish between fact and fiction, such information is totally confusing for the average aid worker, the home owner or the local mason.

Several reasons are given, as for why the seismic knowledge level of so-called non-engineered techniques is below par. So far only limited research has been undertaken in the world, due to lack of reliable local data. For instance local parameters and material properties, which are vital for calculations and computer simulation, are quite difficult to determine.

Another important reason is that no one wants to make huge investments for large-scale testing of techniques that are meant for the developing context, as such investments are usually not returned. For these reasons, the current knowledge level is generally known as ‘best practice’. It is mostly based on assumptions and opinions, but seldom on tested fact. The result is that we are still using knowledge on a global scale, which is underdeveloped and sometimes even unreliable.

 

The innovative approach of SMARTnet

SMARTnet goes back to the basics. To do so we have started several collaborations with universities, institutions and experts all over the world, who have knowledge about specific parts of the research. Some have expertise in material properties, others are experienced in developing seismic models, and so on. It is our main task to bring these people together and make sure everyone is committed, in order to develop useful solutions. Our main partners are from Japan, The USA, Ireland, Italy and New-Zealand.

Firstly, we will develop an overall methodology and determine everything that is needed to completely analyze the techniques. Our approach is unique and innovative, as we will include variables on which only limited research has been done. Such as local ground conditions, local material properties, and the influence of local workmanship on the building quality. Such methodology does not exist anywhere in the world today!

And when we have completely figured out whatever we need to know for mountain stone, then we move on to the next technique. And the next…

 

Exchange of Knowledge

While working on the technical challenges, we will at the same time develop and launch an online research platform, where all communication, information and knowledge come together. Here we make connections between the experts, and make sure they have direct access to all scientific research data and results.

For the end users such as the humanitarian aid industry, architects and builders on site, it is our job to translate and simplify all scientific data. We will do it in such a way, that the knowledge becomes understandable, practical and useful, so that more people in the world can make use of it.

We will only publish information on our platform, which is fully tested, validated and approved. For this we are developing tools, including a GPS-based seismic map that we link to a matrix of suitable building techniques for certain seismic areas. It is our aim to develop and publish just one manual per technique, which must be complete, easy to understand and use, and reliable. We need to distribute the manuals through existing networks, including the aid industry and local governments.

 

How YOU can help

Imagine the worldwide impact if we can prove that, instead of 5 horizontal bands (an important seismic element), we only need 4, or perhaps even 3… With a modest budget of just 15.000 Euro per year, SMARTnet can develop improved solutions that increase the overall safety, while lowering the building costs at the same time. Your contribution is important and together we can really make a difference!

Instead of building solo projects, do you see the benefit of supporting sustainable and long-term solutions? Do you prefer durable interventions that increase the overall building quality and safety in seismically prone developing countries? Please make a donation via the details below.

We prefer bank transfers, as in most cases, and mostly within Europe, the bank transfer is free of costs. But if you wish to arrange your donation by credit card or online by credit card, you can use the free and secure payment method of PayPal. Simply press the button below and fill in the requested information. In this case a minor percentage of your donation goes to Paypal (but fortunately we are in the lowest percentage category).

If preferred, you can let us know for which project your donation is meant. If you send us your email ID, we shall keep you informed about the progress of ‘your’ project. And of course you can follow the progress on Facebook and Twitter. We thank you in advance for your generous support!

Account Name: Stichting Smart Shelter
Account Number: 43.60.25.469
Bank Name: ABN AMRO Bank NV
Bank Address: Stadhuisplein 12
Bank Area / Postal Code: 2405 SH
City and Country: Alphen aan den Rijn, The Netherlands
IBAN number: NL80 ABNA 0436025469
BIC / Swift code: ABNANL2A
Recipient Address: Distelstraat 5, 2402VT
City and Country: Alphen aan den Rijn, The Netherlands
Link to PayPal:

 

Project Data

Start Phase 1: March 2017
End Phase 1: April 2018
Development SMARTnet platform: 2.500 Euro
Development methodologies: 5.000 Euro
Research material properties: 3.000 Euro
Testing case study SSF schools: 4.500 Euro
Total project costs Phase 1: 15.000 Euro