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Reconstruction efforts after Chiang Rai earthquake

FOUR PROFESSIONAL organisations have joined forces to help rehabilitate quake-devastated Chiang Rai by initially rebuilding nine schools, nine homes and two temples.

Construction of the nine school buildings - each costing Bt1.5 million to Bt2 million - is expected to be completed in two to three months, Bandit Pradapsuk, vice chairman of the Association of Siamese Architects under Royal Patronage, said yesterday. The "Design for Disasters" architect group helped design buildings for Muang Phan Tambon Administration Organisation School, Ban Tha Hor School, Thanthong Wittaya School, Ban Nong Bua School, Ban Thung Fapha School, Chumchon Ban Pa Kor Dam School, Pong Phrae Wittaya School, Ban Doi Chang School and Ban Huai San Yao School.

The Lanna Architects will rebuild Dong Mafuang and Mae Lao Vanaram temples.

Other schools could ask for the building design free of charge.

The project, expected to cost altogether Bt18 million, has received Bt2 million in donations.

A major construction company, Ch Karnchang, has agreed to help build two schools.

Pichai Wongwaisayawan, chairman of the association, said the construction project welcomed volunteers as well as financial contributions to account No 140-2-63196-6 at Siam Commercial Bank.It all started when architect Vipavee

Kunavichayanont and two fellow "Design for Disasters" members, whose group was formed via social networks, visited Phan district a few days after the May 5 earthquake and saw many locals left homeless and students forced to study in tents.

As the nine school designs are now ready and Viva Board, a manufacturer of cement-bonded particle boards, offered to supply materials worth Bt100,000 to each school, three school buildings are expected to be built shortly.

ML Varudh Varavarn, who designed a building for Ban Huai San Yao School in Mae Lao district, said the key was to minimise materials while still effectively achieving the desired value and space utility.

The design also took into consideration the school's needs, the building's blending into the rural environs and its ability to resist an earthquake, he said.

Suriya Umpansiriratana, who designed a building for Muang Phan Tambon Administration Organisation School in Phan district, said his blueprint featured a metal structure that was durable, quake-resistant, low-cost and easy to build, so that it could be used in the next school term.


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