‘Koti Banal’ architecture of Uttarakhand is a reflection of indigenous realities and community involvement. It demonstrates a profound. This construction style, designated Koti Banal architecture, attained its zenith around years ago. This architectural style exhibits the existence of elaborate . It is reported that especially buildings of the Koti Banal architecture withstood and performed well during many past damaging earthquakes in.

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Each housing report is a detailed description of a housing type in a particular country.

Koti Banal

The description is prepared from a number of standard closed-ended questions and some narrative that have been provided by report authors. All of the housing reports in this database have been contributed by volunteers.

The World Housing Encyclopedia WHE is a collection of resources related to architectute construction practices in the seismically active areas of the world. The mission is to share experiences with different construction types and encourage the use of earthquake-resistant technologies worldwide.

The technical activities of the WHE are steered by an international team of 22 professionals specializing in different aspects of seismic safety of buildings and structures. They bring relevant experience from 16 seismically active countries across the world. For more information about the World Housing Encyclopedia, visit http: Despite being located in a high seismic risk area, a region in the Himalayan states of Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh Northern India exhibits an elaborate tradition of constructing multistoried houses.

In the Rajgarhi area of Uttarkashi district Rachitecture a large number of intact buildings of the distinct construction type known as Koti Banal can be found.

Koti Banal architecture: How ingenuity of our ancestors conquered earthquakes

Koti Banal is the name of a village in the Yamuna Valley which represents the traditional knowledge and understanding of earthquake effects on buildings and their earthquake resistant design.

Investigations suggest that the region had evolved this elaborate and magnificent earthquake-safe construction style as early as 1, years before present. This architectural style further demonstrates the existence of elaborate construction procedures based on principles somewhat akin to arfhitecture of blockhouse construction.

Architeture features of these buildings are considered as the basics of modern earthquake-resistant design. Generally, ornate multistoried houses with abundant use of wooden beams are characteristic of Rajgarhi area. For buildings of the Koti Banal architecture, locally available building materials such as long thick wooden logs, stones and slates were judiciously used.

The height adchitecture these structures varies between 7 and 12 m above the base platform which consists of dry stones. These structures are observed to have four Chaukhat to five Panchapura stories.

It is reported that especially buildings of the Koti Banal architecture withstood and performed well during many past damaging earthquakes in the region. In a report on the effects of the Kangra earthquake M 7. The performance of these structures has also been corroborated by eye-witness accounts during the Uttarkashi earthquake which had. For information about how seismic vulnerability ratings were selected see the Seismic Vulnerability Guidelines.

Himalayan Seismic Hazard R. Molnar Science Great Himalayan earthquakes and the Tibetan plateau N. Bilham Nature 9: IS – Part 1 Code of practice for design loads for buildings and structures Bureau of Indian Standards. Criteria for earthquake resistant design of structures Bureau of Indian Standards.

Indian standard code of practice for earthquake resistant design and construction of buildings, Bureau of Indian Standards.

Seismic performance of wooden buildings in Japan M. The seismic design handbook R. Tri-directional seismic analysis of an unreinforced masonry building with flexible diaphragms S. Seismotectonics and earthquake geology aspects of Northwestern Himalaya V. Earthquakes in India and the Himalaya: Bilham Annals of Geophysics 47 2: Some engineering aspects of Chamoli earthquake K.


Magnitude calibration of North Indian earthquakes N.

Joshi Current Science 95 4 Preliminary account of the Kangra earthquake of archotecture April Middlemiss, C. The Kangra earthquake of 4 April Middlemiss, C.

About The World Housing Encyclopedia WHE is a collection of resources related to housing construction practices in the seismically active areas of the world. Building Materials and Construction Process.

Almora, km distance to Uttarkashi Chamoli earthquake Gharwal region. However, no strengthening or retrofitting measures could be observed. The reason for this may lie in the fact that this construction typology evolved over centuries accounting for the experienced performance during earthquake action and thus had been optimized.

All modifications observed at the buildings rather reduced their seismic behavior than can be seen as a strengthening or retrofitting measure. Has seismic strengthening described in the above table been performed? Was the work done as a mitigation effort on an undamaged building or as a repair following earthquake damages?

Was the construction inspected in the same manner as new construction? Who performed the construction: Was an architect or engineer involved? What has been the performance of retrofitted buildings of this type in subsequent earthquakes?

Additional comments section 6. References Himalayan Seismic Hazard R. Indian standard code of practice for earthquake resistant design and construction of buildings, Bureau of Indian Standards Seismic performance of wooden buildings in Japan M.

Buildings of this construction type can be found in in the northern part of the state Uttarakhand and the southern part of the state Himachal Pradesh in Northern India. The most magnificent examples of the Koti Banal architecture are observed in the valley of the river Yamuna in Rajgarhi area where many villages have a fair number of these houses. Similar structures are however also present in the valleys of the rivers Sutlej and Tons Figure 2.

However, buildings of comparable type denoted as ‘cribbage’ or ‘timber reinforced stone masonry’ are known over the whole northern part of the Indian subcontinent including Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, and perhaps Nepal and Bhutan. This type of housing construction is commonly found in rural areas. Though this kind of construction is presently observed only in rural areas there might have been similar structures located also in urban areas which might have been replaced by more modern structures due to the compulsions of growing economy and business.

Evidentially, lack of maintenance has led to the deterioration and the complete destruction of many of these structures.

Despite being located in a high seismic risk area, a Investigations suggest that the region had evolved this distinct construction style as early as 1, years before present. Koti Banal buildings are characterized by very simple rectangular plan configurations while the lengths and widths are varying between 4 and 8 meters. The ratio between both architecfure varies between 1. Figures 4 and 5 illustrate typical plan shapes of a single- and a two-unit construction, respectively.

Gravity loads from the floor construction dead loads or banla live loads on the roof e. In the lower parts of the walls the timber logs are interconnected establishing a very solid cribbage while the timber elements on the upper parts are mainly of a reinforcing purpose.

The walls further transfer the loads to a stone-filled base platform which is the continuation of the baanal foundation. This especially in the lower parts of the walls where the wooden frame is continuous in three dimensions and the stones do not carry any loads. The stones between the logs are mostly assembled without babal grout or mortar thus enabling a certain level of flexibility and allowing lateral deflections of the building without damage effects.


The bottommost ganal logs are embedded within the base platform. Outer walls parallel to the floor beams are supported in out-of plane action by vertical shear keys over several storeys Figure Koti Banal structures in general have a single small entry and relatively small openings which are surrounded by strong wooden elements to compensate for the loss of strength Figure In general, no windows are provided at ground floor level. Is it typical for buildings of this type to have common walls with adjacent buildings?

It is assumed that buildings of the Koti Banal architecture were designed and constructed under the influence of one particular architectural school that put less priority on the comfort of inhabitants.

In some cases larger doors and windows have been provided for better ventilation and comfort. Externally arranged verandas made of timber and srchitecture on massive columns have also been added in order to gain abnal living space Figure A modified type of Koti Banal architecture can be found in Gona village where the principles of Koti banal architecture were not strictly followed.

The roofs of these structures are observed to be comfortably high while the internal wall layouts vary on every floor. Detailed observations reveal that the basic elements of seismic safety have been compromised within these buildings. The Gona type may well represent earlier stages of the evolution of the Koti Banal architecture. The koyi of horizontal wooden logs in the vertical walls is similar to the concept of seismic bends ring beams in modern masonry buildings.

Somehow, the practice of the Koti Banaal constructions was slowly abandoned such that modifications of the original construction principle can be observed in the region. The major reason for this appears to be the architectue and scarcity of timber.

Koti Banal architecture: How ingenuity of our ancestors conquered earthquakes

A gradual shift from the closely spaced timber logs to increasing heights between them filled with stones is visible in the local construction Figure For contemporary constructions in the region, no such logs ring beams are used anymore.

Recently, many Koti Banal structures face serious adverse effects being caused by the surrounding building development. Unplanned construction directly taking place next to Koti Banal buildings and encroaching upon these old structures as well as the partly demolition in order to use the disassembled building materials for new buildings seriously affect the dynamic behavior of these traditional structures during earthquake shaking.

In addition, these negative effects are accelerated by the structural deterioration due to the lack of maintenance and preservation. Foundation trench filled with rubble and field stones.

In case of outcropping rock at the surface, the platform out of dry stone masonry architevture directly erected onto ground without any embedded foundation Figure 7. Wood planks resting on wooden joists supported by beams or walls: The floors consist of wooden kkoti and planks Figure The floor beams are shear pinned with the wall logs and thus provide support to the walls orthogonal to the beams, in out-of-plane action.

Wood planks or beams that support slate tiles: