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Project Site @ Guangming Village, Longtoushan Town, Ludian County, Zhaotong City, Yunnan Province, China

  • Project Background
  • Work Progress








Ludian County is located between 568 m to 3356 m above sea level in Zhaotong Prefecture, Northeast Yunnan. Its total area is 1519 square kilometers, of which 87.9% is mountains and valleys. Such terrain makes transportation inconvenient and impedes the development of the area. Lidian has a low latitude upland monsoon climate. There is no significant temperature difference between the four seasons. The annual average temperature is 12.1 ℃ and annual average rainfall is 923.5mm. In 2012, there are 435,000 people in Ludian, of which 89,000 people (about 20.5%) are 13 ethnic minority groups including Hui, Yi and Miao.

The 2014 Ludian earthquake struck Ludian County, with Richter scale of 6.5 and a focal depth of 12km on 3 August 2014. The earthquake has claimed 617 lives. A further 112 people were reported missing and at least 3,000 people were injured. Over 80,900 houses collapsed and 129,100 were severely damaged.

Current challenges:

  • bad anti-seismic performance of traditional rammed-earth building
  • the price of construction materials rise seriously
  • how to deal with the earth of damaged building in earthquake
  • poor thermal performance of brick-concrete building
  • lack of local labour

News link: <Disaster victims of Ludian: the price of construction materials rises seriously>

After earthquake, the villagers have lost confidence in traditional rammed-earth buildings. They are eager to have their houses which are anti-seismic, cheap and comfortable. In the collaboration with Professor Bai, Faculty of Architecture and City Planning of Kunming University of Science and Technology, our team has launched a Village Rebuilding Assistance Programme in Guangming Village since Oct. Its aim was to design an anti-seismic village house of rammed earth with traditional features at a low cost, but at the same time, with enhanced and comfortable living environment. In addition to rebuilding, we also wish to provide a demonstration  for the local government to formulate reconstruction strategies.



Copyright © 2017. All Rights Reserved. The Chinese University of Hong Kong.

Jul 2017 - The Project Won International Architectural House Award

The project has recently won the Architectural Review (AR) House Awards 2017 which attracted 250 entries from all around the world.  It has also been shortlisted for the World Architecture Festival 2017 Awards, ‘the Oscars of architecture’.  These two awards will be presented in Berlin in November. Please click here to see award details.


May 2016 - project progress

The 2nd demonstration village house has been completed on 20 May. Despite of structure improvement, new design of the house makes maximum use of natural lighting and improves air circulation in the house. Please click here for more details.




Jun 2015 - project progress

The 1st demonstration village house has been completed in the end of Mar. Please click here to see its project summary.

In the past two months, the team concluded the building techniques and experiences gained from the construction of the 1st village house. And they are planning to launch the 2nd demonstration village house project in mid of Jul for an aged couple whose only shelter was a simple canvas structure after the earthquake.


May 2015 - project progress

To further investigate anti-seismic rammed earth architecture, Kunming University of Science and Technology and the Chinese University of Hong Kong jointly organized a 1-week workshop that involved student participants from both campuses in late May. The workshop's goal is to provide students a hands-on experience on the design and construction of rammed earth structure. Please click here to see the workshop report.

The team completed a manual for anti-seismic rammed-earth house construction (Chinese version only) in May. Please feel free to click here to download for reference.



Feb 2015 - project progress

Main construction work for the 1st demonstration village house has been completed on 10 Feb. The household moved in before Lunar Chinese New Year. The team hopes that it may alleviate pain and suffering inflicted by the earthquake and they can restart their new lives.



Jan 2015 - project progress

In mid Jan, the team conducted an anti-seismic testing for 1:1 abode brick wall and rammed earth wall. The test proves that their structures have good anti-seismic performance.




Dec 2014 - project progress

The construction work for the ground floor was completed in mid Dec. And the construction work for the 1st floor is expected to be completed on 8 Jan next year. Then the commencement work for the roof may start afterward. The final construction work will be completed by the end of Jan. The team believes that the household can move in the new house before Lunar New Year.

Nov 2014 - project progress

Rammed earth construction method is used to build the 1st demonstration village house. Under the team's supervison, the foundation was completed in mid Nov.



Oct 2014 - Investigation in Guangming Village

Team members from The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Kunming University of Science and Technology and University of Cambridge had a visit to Guangming Village, one of the affected villages. After a detailed investigation, the team decided to launch a village rebuilding assistance programme in Guangming Village in late Oct and planned to rebuild the 1st demonstration village house within 3 months. Please click here to see the details of the work report (in Chinese version only).

Sep 2014 - 1st visit to affected areas in Ludian County

In order to learn about the situation after the earthquake, the team visited to affected areas in Ludian County, including Longtoushan Town, Huodehong Town and Shuimo Town, etc in late Sep.


Copyright © 2017. All Rights Reserved. The Chinese University of Hong Kong.