First ever retrofit technology from Japan for earthquake resistant fire station

Systematic retrofitting construction work by PWD started at Tejgaon Fire Station building for the first time in the country.

Local engineers, with the support of Japanese experts have started working to retrofit the fire station to turn the important public building into an earthquake resistant structure within few months.

The initiative was taken under “The project for Capacity Development on Natural Disaster Resistant Techniques of Construction and Retrofitting for Public Buildings (CNCRP)”, implemented by Public Works Department (PWD) with the technical support of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). PWD Dhaka Division-3 is executing the retrofit construction work.

 “Japan, one of the most tremor prone countries, is the master of retrofitting technology and considering vulnerability of Bangladesh towards earthquake, retrofitting technology is being transferred from Japan to Bangladesh under CNCRP project,” Additional Chief Engineer, PWD and Project Director of CNCRP Mr.Abdul Malek Sikder said.

In the context of Dhaka where many of the buildings are vulnerable to earthquake, Mr Sikder said the retrofitting technology is the way to make the capital earthquake resistant. The fire stations and hospitals are extremely important in any kinds of disaster management, and must be functional for conducting post disaster rescues, he added.

“Retrofitting is a technology that could be used to make a vulnerable building earthquake resistant without demolishing it and usually it costs 30 to 40 percent of the new construction cost of the targeted building” he stated.

During the four-year CNCRP project (from 2011 to 2015), in last three years, the local engineers have been imparted training on different techniques of retrofitting technology from a team of JICA experts. As the project is in its last year, the Japanese experts and PWD engineers has decided to retrofit the Tejgaon fire station to make an example.

The project has chosen a vulnerable fire station to be retrofitted as pilot basis. After the project, the PWD is planning to take a project to retrofit more of such vulnerable public buildings in Dhaka, Chittagong and Sylhet phase by phase. Emergency responding buildings  like fire stations, hospitals and important government administrative buildings will be retrofitted on priority basis.

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