Chartered Builders honour Sichuan reconstruction

Published:  11 November, 2009

ASCOT: At 2.28pm on May 12 2008 Sichuan Province in Western China was hit by a devastating 7.9 magnitude earthquake. The epicentre struck Wenchuan County but the tremors were felt as far away as Vietnam, Thailand and even Pakistan.

Over 70 000 people were killed.

30 000 people were missing and more than 374 000 people were injured. Three months later in August 2008 a smaller aftershock hit the region killing a further 32 people and damaging more that 250 000 homes.

Thousands of the initial quake victims were children crushed in poorly built schools.

A Special Award from the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) has been awarded to Yu Yong FCIOB for his extraordinary role in the reconstruction of Sichuan. Mr. Yu was appointed as general manager of SRIBS Dujiangyan Reconstruction Project Management following the earthquake.

In just twelve months he has overseen the completion of 22 schools covering 370 000 square metres and providing 768 classes for 30 000 students.

Professor Li Shirong President of the CIOB said, “The sheer volume of construction is clearly quite incredible. But what makes this project so special are the design and building techniques that have taken place to make these schools as safe, and resistant, as possible should further earthquakes hit the area again.

“It is an honour and a privilege to present Mr. Yu with a Special Award that recognises his achievements. It shows just how fundamental the management of construction is for helping, in this case, to repair societies and mend broken lives. Indeed his is not the only Special Award to have been given for the reconstruction efforts in Sichuan. In total, there are seven recipients who are working on projects that have also received an Award. I am proud to say that they are all Members of the Chartered Institute of Building and I am humbled to belong to such a community.”

At a cost of 1 Billion RMB this first phase of reconstruction was a huge undertaking. Building the schools was one thing but making them safe for future generations was just as an important. To make sure the buildings were designed and constructed to the highest standards of earthquake prevention, Mr. Yu issued over 20 regulation and guidance documents, giving lectures and hosting training courses to overcome any issues that arose. This high spec reconstruction was measured by more than 2000 site supervisors who carried out daily and randomised inspections.

Other phases of the project currently under construction include the redevelopment of the transport infrastructure, social and welfare housing, hospital and medical facilities and a waste water treatment plant.

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