Blog Post Nr. 6
Construction During Monsoon Season 2018
In July and August the yearly monsoon season happens in Nepal, and that means some extra challenges when it comes to doing construction work at 3800 meters above sea level.
We are dependent on getting building materials flown up to our site by only one large cargo helicopter that can bring 3000 kg of cargo each time.
Firstly, this helicopter broke its nose landing gear on May 9that Syangboche Airstrip and it took six weeks to have it repaired as spare parts had to be brought from Russia where the helicopter comes from.
Once it was repaired in the end of June it was relocated to the western part of Nepal for cargo flights and personal transports of Indian pilgrims going to and from Mount Kailash in Tibet.
Once the helicopter returned to Phaplu just about a week ago it started its operations again and the flight from Phaplu Airport to Syangboche Airstrip takes about 15 minutes normally.
But that requires clear weather as they have to navigate thru a narrow valley with high mountain peaks on all sides as well as pass over two high passes over 3000 meters high which easily can be blocked by fog or low flying clouds.
And during the monsoon period that unfortunately happens quite frequently and it hasn´t been any different this season.
So we have been waiting a long time to receive much of the needed salwood(for tie beams/reinforcements in walls) as well as window and door frames(also made out of salwood) and therefore our initial time plan has been delayed a couple of months.
At the same time we accept the fact that we are building a facility in a very remote and high altitude area so a couple of months delay is really nothing to worry about.
We are still planning to open the Sagarmatha Next Center in 2019 but I may have to be postponed until September instead of as first was intended in April/May.
We will know more about that and make the necessary decisions sometime in October/November once we see how things have worked out during this autumn.
Despite these challenges the work has been ongoing anyway, doing the first wall sections up to first tie bands on all buildingds, excavations and leveling of the grounds has been done as well as soak pits and septic tank for waste water and the toilets so the progress is still quite good and now since a couple of days back we have received most of our salwood and tomorrow windows and doors are hopefully coming to site, if weather permits the helicopter to fly!
Apart from these blog updates on the progress of the construction we will also start presenting stories that tells a bit more behind the scenes facts about the work and the construction as we feel it is very different from more normal constructions in urban areas.
The first story which we post today is about the main basic material we use namely stones and specifically about the people providing us with that material, they are true heroes doing such a hard work to ensure the availability of the necessary stones.
The following stories that will be posted every two to three weeks will be covering areas such as: Mud Mortar an alternative to cement/concrete, Passive Solar Heating & Air Circulation, Traditional Building Technique & Modern Architecture Combined, Transportations in a Remote & High Altitude Area and more.
We hope you will enjoy reading about these various issues as well as our continued Blog Updates.
Next Blog Post Nr. 7 Communications & PR in High Season will be posted in end of October