Following the 2007 earthquake and tsunami in the Solomon Islands Brett Cowling, Simon Alepio (Ranongga), Simon Hong (Simbo), Frank Sito (Vella Vella) and David Kaunitz developed and implemented a ‘build back better’ program. This program was funded by World Vision Australia and implemented through World Vision Solomon Islands. The program targeted the islands of Ranongga and Simbo.
The program was a result if the post disaster analysis carried out by the team that although local carpenters were very skilled there were some building techniques and details that could be added to drastically improve the resilience and strength of local shelters. The following standard details were developed by David Kaunitz in conjunction with Engineers from Partner Housing Australasia including Davina Ronney.
The program was conducted in 4 central villages from where 3 carpenters from each of the surrounding communities attended. The carpenters were nominated by their communities to lead the reconstruction upon their return. 100 carpenters were trained across Ranongga and Simbo Islands in workshops in the villages of Megge, Lale, Obobolu and Koriovuku.
The workshops were made up of the following components:
- Scientific information on why the disaster occurred.
- Theory of the above standard details including models showing the effectiveness of cross bracing.
- Practical demonstrations of setting out a building and ensuring its square.
- Practical demonstrations of the foundation detail.
- Practical demonstrations of cross bracing an existing house.
- Practical demonstrations of pulling a leaning house straight.
- Practical demonstrations of levelling a leaning house.
Simon Hong discussing standard detail theory
Brett Cowling initiating the first workshop
Frank Sito conducting a practical demonstration of setting out a building.
Local woman participating in foundation detail demonstration.
Simon Alepio demonstrating levelling a house.