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a collection of useful information

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Seismic risk reduction

More than 50% of the world's population lives in urban areas. Many of these big cities are located in earthquake zones. The construction of their high-rise city centres is supervised by qualified engineers while the huge residential peripheries with low-rise buildings are usually built by small-scale contractors without involving engineers and without the necessary seismic engineering know-how.

In order to achieve an effective Seismic Risk Reduction, training in earthquake-resistant construction techniques must also target small-scale contractors, masons and self-builders. Training of these people requires specific methods, messages and skills.

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Training of workers

Over the last 15 years we have been developing training material and running trainings for masons and self-builders, as well as information material for the general public. Training and information activities must go hand in hand: if people are unaware of safer construction methods, they will not hire the newly trained masons.

A first part of our work consists of translating technical information into visual messages that people with little formal education can understand. A second part consists of developing trainings schemes based on  practical work, ideally on real construction sites. Our credo: learning-by-doing is the most effective way to learn.

Finding relevant information quickly

Post-disaster reconstruction is a hectic business. Particularly at the start everybody wants answers, even before asking the right questions! Good information allowing for informed decisions can be difficult to come by. Yet, authorities need to see facts and success stories, aid organisations look for experts, architects search for the most appropriate responses and civil engineers want scientific references to approve unfamiliar techniques.

This site wants to be a depository of useful technical information, with our own products as well as training material prepared by other authors and institutions, including a small collection of all-important background papers.

Creating the training material
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Sharing with all

Our work and our material has been paid for by taxpayers' money. By sharing it widely we want to make best use of this investment. Our products are covered by a Creative Commons license.

Our training material has been prepared in various languages depending on where we have been working. Even without understanding a specific language one may still draw inspiration from the graphical parts of the documents.

We are happy to assist you with developing specific training material and trainings programmes. Feel free to contact us.

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