A house built using the compacted soil construction technique developed to rebuild a village destroyed by an earthquake received the title of Building of the Year 2017 at the World Architecture Festival awards, which aimed to display the best architecture of that year.

The Chinese University of Hong Kong has developed the technique to help residents of Guangming Village, badly damaged in the 2014 Ludian earthquake, rebuild using traditional materials.

Residents turned to brick and concrete to rebuild, but the price of the materials became unaffordable. As most of the village was originally built using compacted soil, a new earthquake-resistant method for using this construction technique was developed by researchers from the university.

Steel and concrete bars set into the walls were designed to increase resistance to seismic activity, and the team tested their plans by building a prototype house for an elderly couple in the village.

The project was chosen by Heneghan Peng from among 16 other category winners announced on the first and second day of the festival, including a limestone-covered museum dedicated to Palestinian culture and a plant-covered house in Ho Chi Minh City by Vo Trong Nghia.

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