Belfast Telegraph

Belfast building firm Gilbert-Ash makes UK Embassy in Nepal quake-proof

By Rachel Martin

Belfast construction firm Gilbert-Ash will carry out structural work on British Embassy buildings in Nepal. The project is part of a £1m contract with the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and will see the firm design and reinforce supports for the buildings to withstand seismic activity.

Last year a powerful earthquake north west of Kathmandu killed more than 9,000 people and caused immense structural damage in the surrounding area.

While in the south Asian country, the Gilbert-Ash team will work closely with local structural engineers.

Senior estimator Graeme Gourley travelled to Nepal to survey the site and engage with the local supply chain.

"Being on the ground there, you are very aware of the devastating impact the 2015 earthquake had on people's everyday lives. I was humbled and overwhelmed by the collective response of the Nepalese people to the earthquake," he said.

"They have responded very proactively and positively to a very negative event by focusing on rebuilding a safer, stronger city." The project is expected to take around 22 weeks to complete.

Despite being based in Belfast, the bulk of Gilbert-Ash's work takes place outside Northern Ireland.

The latest project will mark the 42nd country the firm has worked in. In May the company announced it would work on the British Embassy in Budapest.

Its latest accounts showed the firm boosted turnover by 60% in the space of a year - rising to more than £117m.

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