Nestled amidst the Himalayas, Nepal boasts breathtaking landscapes and a rich cultural heritage. This unique topography can be divided into three different regions; The Mountain region, the Hilly region, and the Terai or Tarai region. These regions are different from each other in many aspects including how humans have settled in these regions.
If you envision settling in the mountains, building a house in the mountainous regions of Nepal can offer a unique and fulfilling experience. However, constructing a house in this challenging terrain requires thorough planning and consideration of various factors to ensure safety, sustainability, and harmony with nature. In this blog, we will explore the necessary steps and considerations involved in building a house in the mountain region of Nepal.
Understanding the Mountain Region of Nepal
Nepal’s mountain region is distinguished by its distinct climate, wide land area, and varied terrain structure. The region is separated into two halves since it covers a large chunk of the country’s overall land area. The Upper Himalayas stretches from 4,000 meters above sea level to the highest peak in the world, Mount Everest, which stands at 8,848.86 meters. This region takes up 15% of the country and is home to eight of the world’s tallest peaks, including Kanchenjunga, Lhotse, Makalu, Cho Oyu, Dhaulagiri, Manaslu, and Annapurna. The upper Himalayas is known for its harsh climate, with extreme cold and strong winds making it inhospitable. The area immediately below the upper Himalayas is inhabited, but the land is not as fertile as the lower regions, leading to minimal cultivation. Despite this, the upper Himalayas remains a popular destination for tourists seeking trekking and mountaineering experiences.
The middle hills and Lower Himalayas make up the majority of the country, covering 68% of the land and containing the largest population. The climate here is temperate and the land is far more fertile than the upper Mountain region.
Getting Started on Construction
- Site Selection & Figuring out the Designs
When building a house in the mountainous region of Nepal, it’s essential to carefully research and select a suitable location. Take into account factors such as access to roads, availability of utilities, proximity to amenities, and potential risks like landslides and avalanches. Consult with local authorities, geologists, and experienced builders to gain insights into the suitability of a particular site.
Hiring professionals such as architects, structural engineers, and local contractors who have experience in building in mountainous terrains can significantly streamline the construction process. Professionals can help design a house that is structurally sound, aesthetically pleasing, and tailored to the local environment.
- Design & Materials
Designing a house that harmonizes with the mountain environment is essential. Consider incorporating features such as sloping roofs, sturdy foundations, and reinforced structures that can withstand seismic activity. Additionally, optimizing natural light, ventilation, and insulation can help reduce energy consumption. It is also important to use materials from trusted manufacturers as it guarantees quality and assurance. Roofing sheets like Jagdamba Super Shine are one the best option for construction in the mountain region of Nepal. Jagdamba Super Shine, Al – Zinc color Coated Sheet, is a steel sheet with a coating consisting of 55% aluminum, 43.5% zinc, and 1.5% silicon over the base metal to protect it from the elements. This coating has superior corrosion resistance which gives it two to four times the life span of traditional galvanized metal. Jagdamba Super Shine is a new benchmark/ quality standard in the advanced roofing industry in Nepal created to protect metal (primarily steel) from oxidation using Al-Zn Coating. Therefore, aluminum is what differentiates Jagdamba Super Shine from normal Galvanized steel available in the Nepali market. These sheets are available in different colors like Brick Red, Tomato Red, Military Green, Blue, and Ivory White to make your house outstanding among the mountains.
Prioritize locally available building materials that are suitable for mountainous regions. Materials like stone, timber, and locally sourced bricks can be both cost-effective and environmentally friendly. Additionally, using materials that are resistant to moisture, temperature fluctuations, and seismic activity will ensure durability and longevity.
Considering Seismic Factor
Nowadays concrete walls with reinforced TMT rebars are in high demand in the construction space around the mountain region of Nepal. TMT rebars like Rhino 500D from Jagdamba Steels have changed the trend of construction in Nepal for good. Rhino 500D from Jagdamba Steels is the new generation TMT rebar in Nepal with superior ductility and elongation. It is superior to other normal rebars in its method of manufacturing and combination of both mechanical and chemical properties. Also, incorporating walls and structure with Rhino 500D TMT rebars makes the structure highly earthquake resistant and these bars are highly ductile. These components improve the building’s structural integrity and reduce damage during seismic occurrences.
Considering the Environment and other factors
To ensure structural stability, design and construct a house with proper structural reinforcements such as reinforced concrete frames, retaining walls, and adequate drainage systems. Consulting with structural engineers will ensure that your house is built to withstand natural disasters.
Building sustainably in the mountain region of Nepal is essential for environmental conservation. Consider incorporating renewable energy sources like solar panels, rainwater harvesting systems, and wastewater treatment plants. Additionally, implementing eco-friendly practices like using low-emission construction materials and designing with natural heating and cooling techniques will reduce the ecological impact of your house.