Nepalhilfe Beilngries e.V.

31 Jahre Nepalhilfe Beilngries e.V.
deutschenglisch

A lot has happened at the Chharka passive solar house in the past year

If you look at the pictures from December 2021 and January this year, even outsiders can quickly see that a lot has happened in the mountain village of Chharka in the past months. This is confirmed by the review sent by the local coordinator,Tsering Samdup Gurung at the beginning of January, where he not only looks back but also looks forward to the coming months. 

Review

After the high passes were passable again, porters brought the remaining necessary wooden beams from the villages of Shri and Barrong to Chharka in May 2022. In Kathmandu, the additional building materials like rock wool, polycarbonate sheets and plywood were purchased to be transported to the destination by truck during the summer months and later loaded onto mule caravans. 

On site, it was time to install the roofing of the entire building with wooden trusses, metal panels and PVC fibre panels for the skylights. 

The next tricky part was the construction of the wooden support structure of the vestibule, which extended over the entire length of the building and was to be clad with the transparent polycarbonate panels. Furthermore, the holistic insulation of the four rooms. For thermal insulation, the 10 cm thick mats of rock wool were installed for this purpose.

According to Tsering Samdup, Sangay Sherpa, a carpenter from the Solu Khumbu region, was an experienced craftsman who worked in Chharka from May to the end of September. Using saws, drills and routers powered by a diesel generator, Sangay made the wooden roof structure for the roof and corridor as well as the ceilings of the building. Unfortunately, he had to return to his remote home at the end of September.

To make use of the remaining time, they tried to find other skilled workers, which ultimately failed. All of them were not able to fulfil the technical requirements. In November, they tried to find local labourers to finish the insulation work before the approaching winter. This also failed, leaving only one of the rooms fully insulated.  At least these workers were able to lay the wooden floors in all the rooms. 

Outlook

Sangay Sherpa wants to come back to Chharka in April, together with the teachers to finish the remaining tasks. They want to wait for that because of the quality of work. Although still unfinished, the building has already survived the first cold test from October to the end of December. In contrast to other houses, the thermally insulated passive house was much warmer than expected, as Samdup Tsering happily reported. Thus, the children of the Chharka Bhot Basic School have a warm room to study in, even if the outside temperature in winter in Dolpo is far below zero degrees.

The installation of a heating system for the school is still a plan for the future. The unanimous opinion is that this should be environmentally friendly, uncomplicated and sustainable. The intention is to have the population imitate the system. Initial contacts have already been made. Their origins even reach as far as the city of Landshut/Germany.