JST Top > Science and Technology Research Partnership for Sustainable Development > Projects >

Project for Evaluation and Mitigation of Seismic Risk for Composite Masonry Buildings in Bhutan

Disaster Prevention and Mitigation

Kingdom of Bhutan


Project for Evaluation and Mitigation of Seismic Risk for Composite Masonry Buildings in Bhutan

Protection of traditional Bhutanese architecture made with rammed earth and stone masonry techniques from earthquake damage

  • SDGs11
  • SDGs09

Principal Investigator

    • Prof.
      AOKI Takayoshi

      Graduate School of Design and Architecture, Nagoya City University
    • researchmap
    • Director
      Nagtsho Dorji

      Department of Culture (DOC), Ministry of Home and Cultural Affairs

ODA Recipient Country

Kingdom of Bhutan

Research Institutions in Japan

Nagoya City University / Kyoto University / Kagawa University / Tohoku University / Nihon University

Research Institutions in Counterpart Country

Department of Culture (DOC), Department of Disaster Management (DDM), Ministry of Home and Cultural Affairs / Department of Engineering Services (DES), Ministry of Works and Human Settlement / Department of Geology and Mines (DGM), Ministry of Economic Affairs

Adoption fiscal year

FY 2016

Research Period

5 Years

Overview of the Research Project

Preparing for future earthquakes by developing and spreading earthquake risk evaluation and aseismic protection techniques
In Bhutan, most residential and public facilities are made of rammed earth* and stone masonry except for some reinforced concrete buildings up to five stories high and brick buildings up to two stories seen in the capital and other larger cities. The project aims to support the development of a quake-resistant community through the development of an aseismic protection policy obtained by a seismological research in Bhutan to make traditional Bhutanese masonry buildings earthquake resistant. This scope will be realized by producing a manual for disaster mitigation education taking into consideration the results of earthquake hazard evaluation, and by holding seminars for engineers and construction builders as well as local residents.
* Rammed earth is a technique for constructing walls by filling earth material into a supported wooden frame and then ramming and compressing until it hardens.

Contribute to building safe and secure communities through the development of technologies for disaster mitigation in Bhutan.
Contribute to raising people’s awareness of disaster prevention by proposing the development and implementation of an aseismic protection policy based on full-scale experiments and a disaster mitigation education manual for Bhutan’s government agencies responsible for disaster management. The technologies to be developed through this project may be applied in other countries as a model for overcoming the risks of disasters due to seismic vulnerability of traditional buildings made of earth and stones.

Photo gallery


Kick-off meeting


Open experiment on how walls are destroyed (toppling test)


Example of earthquake damage to a rammed earth architecture

Research Project Web site

Press Release


Page Top