Earthquakes pose a serious threat to the civil infrastructure in Bangladesh. According to a recent extensive study, first of its kind, conducted by the Comprehensive Disaster Management Program under the auspices of Ministry of Food and Disaster Management, a major earthquake of 7.5 on the Richter scale might kill about 88,000 people and demolish 72,000 buildings and damage 86,000 others in the capital Dhaka. Such devastation in the port city of Chittagong could be more fatal claiming the lives of nearly 95,000 people and razing 1,42,000 buildings to the ground. Some 24,000 out of 52,000 buildings in Sylhet were detected as risky. Thus it is extremely important to retrofit or strengthen existing civil infrastructure to mitigate risk due to earthquake.
There has been a recent initiative by the Public Works Department to retrofit a limited number of buildings with Japanese technology with the help of JICA. However, the Japanese experts have opined that the Japanese technology will not be directly applicable to Bangladeshi structures due to difference in design, construction methods and materials. Thus, local research is essential to develop appropriate retrofitting technology for Bangladeshi structures.
Department of Civil Engineering, BUET have faculties who have theoretical knowledge in the field of structural dynamics and earthquake engineering. However, presently there are no experimental facilities to conduct research in this field. Establishment of a laboratory for such research will enhance not only the research capability of the department, at the same time it will improve the quality of higher education of the Department of Civil Engineering at BUET.
With this view the following activities will be carried out in this project.
• In this project a laboratory will be set up where experiments can be conducted to examine different retrofitting techniques.
• Seismic risk of buildings and bridges in Bangladesh will be assessed through a combination of deterministic and probabilistic methods.
• Seismic performance of buildings and bridges will be monitored.
• Innovative and cost-effective structural rehabilitation schemes will be developed using locally made advanced materials, which will play a significant role in developing a safe and sustainable solution to civil infrastructure in Bangladesh.
• Acquired knowledge will be retained and disseminated through training, workshop etc.