Completing the first houses

Structural engineers Margarita Murillo Benitez and Valerija Graville are the final Ramboll volunteers to arrive in Lombok as the template houses near completion.

We have arrived to see two almost complete houses. We meet the construction teams and Els and get started straight away.

Ramboll team and local builders

Over the week the team in Salut constructed the annex that will house the kitchen and installed the roof to provide shade, while they installed the first floor and stair. In Sajang where there is a slightly larger construction team, they have been working on the finishing touches; putting in the internal walls and sliding doors. Continue reading “Completing the first houses”

Spreading the word

Lena hosting the workshop

The second team Lene Marie Rognan, a Graduate Electrical Engineer and Senior Structural Engineer Tom Harley-Tuffs take the reins in Lombok and share with us their time in Lombok

With work well underway on the Bamboo houses, we quickly got acquainted with the building teams in Sajang and Salut. It was impressive to see their craftmanship in working with bamboo and seeing their attention to detail . A crucial element of this project is knowledge sharing, so the teams from the two villages visited each other’s site to see first-hand their approach. Continue reading “Spreading the word”

Early days on site

The first of the three teams arrive in Lombok. Shaun Laksana, a graduate Bridge Engineer, and Design Engineer Orestis Angelidis tell their story

We arrived in Lombok just over a week ago. It is so exciting to be here and get to build what we have been designing, discussing and stressing over during the past year.

On our first day we got to see an existing bamboo house owned by Els Houttave, founder of the local charity we are working with, it was incredible and created even more motivation to get started on construction of the two template houses.

After a 3-hour ride to the first site, we were welcomed by the local building team and community, who were full of energy for the project, it was great to meet them. Continue reading “Early days on site”

September 1 – Arrival

Reviewing designs with Koert

Our first day in Lombok found us stunned by the existing bamboo house on which Tente Els (head of NGO, Grenzeloos Milieu) stays, trying to get over the jet lag and unable to contain our excitement for actually being the field, in Lombok. What we had been designing, discussing and stressing about over the past year is about to be built!

We spent much of the day discussing the issues with the existing bamboo house ranging from the role of lacing to the effect of insects on the primary bamboo columns and the bounciness of the first floor. We also had the chance to discuss our design and the key concepts that should be covered by the workshops with Koert, a retired structural engineer with experience on sustainable development engineering projects in Nepal and Lagos. Continue reading “September 1 – Arrival”

Important milestone for Lombok sustainable bamboo housing

The creation of sustainable housing for Lombok moves up a gear as the design workshop is visited by Indonesian NGO leader Els Houttave.

With outline designs created it was time to check that the project was set to deliver an optimal solution for Lombok, one that could be understood and replicated on the island. And for this we needed local insights.

Joining us for workshops at our London office was Els Houttave, founder of Grenzeloos Milieu, the charity we are collaborating with. She met up with the 17 strong Ramboll team and inspired everyone with the charity’s history, its vision and its work to date. Continue reading “Important milestone for Lombok sustainable bamboo housing”

Designing sustainable bamboo housing in Lombok

Ramboll is teaching safe house design throughout rural Lombok to enable local communities to build their own earthquake resistant houses. ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

An islan​d in crisis

In 2018, the island of Lombok was struck by several earthquakes of up to 7 on the Richter scale. These events had a catastrophic effect on local communities, leaving over 500 dead, 129,000 damaged houses and 445,000 people homeless. I visited Lombok shortly after the disaster at the request of Lombok based NGO Grenzeloos Milieu (which translates to Limitless or Infinite Environment​). What I saw had a profound effect on me.

Villages were flattened with bricks and rubble scattered all around, while in many cases the building foundations were all that remained. Though this was not an unusually powerful earthquake for the region, lack of reinforcement in the buildings meant the damage, and consequential loss of life, was far greater than it should have been. Continue reading “Designing sustainable bamboo housing in Lombok”