Impact Assessment of New Ngelepen


In May 2006 an earthquake devastated the Indonesian island of Java. In the village of Ngelepen, many homes were not only rocked by the quake but swallowed whole by a catastrophic landslide.

Domes For The World met with representatives from the World Association of Non-Governmental Organizations (WANGO) and Emaar Properties. With a generous grant of $1 million from Emaar Properties, WANGO contracted DFTW who employed local labor and began building New Ngelepen in October 2006.

Completed in April 2007 – two months ahead of schedule – New Ngelepen now has 71 houses, 6 MCKs (laundry, toilet, shower), mosque, primary school, playground and medical clinic. The homes are clustered in groups of 12 surrounding an MCK and green space. Six new wells have been drilled to supply each cluster with potable water at the source. Six independent septic systems have been installed. Each home is equipped with ample ventilation, light fixtures and power outlets. Clean drinking water flows from every faucet in every kitchen in the village.

The Next Step

In 2011, DFTW began planning an Impact Assessment of this project. Andrew South, president of DFTW, said, "We hope to learn how the introduction of concrete dome EcoShells (and a top-down aid delivery method) has impacted the social-economic fabric of the local community. We also will be gathering data on how the use of local materials has performed, in contrast to materials traditionally used in the United States.

“From the Master planning side, we increased services and infrastructure beyond what was traditionally done, and we want to know the impact of that as well.

“Finally, we will evaluate the cost of construction to replicate the development in 2011 dollars versus 2011 dollars for traditional construction. Both qualitative and quantitative data will be used.

“We expect the answers to provide guidance for future developments at DFTW and be introduced to the international development community,” Andrew concluded.

DFTW’s Impact Assessment Team

Andrew South has supervised dozens of Monolithic Dome and EcoShell construction projects worldwide. He is an experienced negotiator and skilled communicator who works well with dignitaries, administrators and laborers.

Randy South is a DFTW Board Member and the founder of South Industries, Inc. Over the years, Randy has played a key role in the invention and development of the Monolithic Dome and the Monolithic EcoShell.

Chris Zweifel is a registered Professional Engineer (PE) in 19 states and the Chairman of the American Concrete Institute Committee 334. He carries a BS in Civil Engineering and an MS in Civil/Structural Engineering from Brigham Young University.

Mark Hutchings has a PhD in Urban and Regional Planning. He is a faculty member of the Construction Management Department of the School of Technology at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah.

Rudi Kuncoro is a native of Indonesia and a resident of New Ngelepen. He worked with the DFTW team rebuilding his village and will work with the Impact Assessment Team as translator and research assistant.

The Evaluation

Andrew reports that on April 13, 2011, DFTW’s Assessment Team began their 9-day field evaluation that had two components:

Structural Analysis – Given that local materials are used, which are oftentimes inconsistent and of a lower quality than those in more developed nations, and that local practices are sometimes less effective in application, DFTW feels that a periodic structural analysis will help us understand how the structures perform over time and allow us to better the process for future projects. Chris and Randy were the primary investigators, and a report will be forthcoming.

Impact Analysis – To help understand what impacts DFTW and its projects have, an assessment provides insights on how to better serve cultures and communities. Andrew and Dr. Hutchings were the primary investigators, interviewing residents of the community.

In Addition

Andrew gave a presentation to the Department of Architecture & Planning, Engineering Faculty and graduate students at the University of Gadjah Mada, Indonesia’s largest university. Titled “Balancing Culture and Innovation,” the presentation was part of DFTW’s outreach to foster the long term development of sustainable Dome structures in developing parts of the world.

Since completing the project in 2007, one International NGO choose to use Domes for an elementary school campus. They hired local workers to build the structures, consisting of two EcoShells with augmented architectural design elements. This school will serve children in the Bantul plain of Central Java.

Note: This Assessment was partially funded by DFTW and by Dr. Hutchings and Mr. Zweifel.