Lord of The Rings alternate universe: Its construction, significance and impact
Aim: Present meta-analysis aims to evaluate studies of low dose vs high-dose PPI post-endoscopic hemostasis, additionally including the newly published RCTs and to conclude if low-dose PPI can generate the comparable results as high-dose PPI.
Methods: In keeping with identification of suitable trials, the electronic databases Pubmed, Medline, Cochrane Library, and the Embase. All randomized control trials concerning low versus high dose PPI administration post-endoscopy haemostasispublished until 12/2014 were identified. Primary outcomes were rebleeding rates, need for surgical intervention and mortality.
Results: Studies includeda total of 1651 participants. There were significantly less cases of rebleeding in the low-dose PPI treatment arm (p=0.003). All but one study provided data concerning need for Surgical Intervention and Mortality. The respective effect sizes were [OR, 95% CI: 1.35, 0.72-2.53] and [OR, 95% CI: 1.20, 0.70-2.05]. Both treatment arms were comparable considering the aforementioned outcomes (p=0.35 and p=0.51 respectively). Meta-regression analysis likewise unveiled comparable outcomes between studies using pantoprazole versus lansoprazole concerning all three outcomes [Rebleeding (p= 0.944), Surgical intervention (p= 0.884) and Mortality (p=0.961).
Conclusions: A low-dose PPI treatment is equally effective as a high-dose PPI treatment succeeding endoscopic seizing of bleeding. We anticipate the completion of more high quality RCT’s that will embrace distinct ethnicities, standardized endoscopic diagnosis and management, double-blind strategies, and appraisal of results working specific standards over clear-cut follow-up periods.
Keywords: High dose PPI, Low dose PPI, evidence based medicine; systematic review; meta-analysis; ulcer rebleeding.
Emergency upper gastrointestinal hemorrhage is a frequent and a substantial situation in clinical practice (1). The fundamental management entails resuscitation and endoscopic therapy, but recurrence yet happens following primary control of hemorrhage (2). At present, proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) for endoscopic hemostasis is the customary treatment regimen, and convincing guidelines, consensus-generated, have endorsed the use of a high-dose PPI regimen (80 mg bolus followed by IV administration of 8 mg/h for 72 h) after arrest of bleeding for enhanced-risk upper gastrointestinal recurrence of hemorrhage (3, 4). The conceivable clinical advantage of the high-dose regimen is to progress clot firmness by maintaining the gastric pH more than 6 (5, 6). Nevertheless, when high-dose PPI is contrasted to a low-dose PPI administration after initial control of hemorrhage is accomplished, certain clinical trials (7, 8) and two older meta-analyses (9, 10) conveyed comparable results in recurrent hemorrhage rate and the demand for surgical management between the high- and low-dose PPI treatments.
Three adequately powered RCTs have been released (11-13) after the publication of the aforementioned meta-analyses. This meta-analysis aims to evaluate RCT’s of low dose vs high-dose PPI after endoscopic bleeding arrest by additionally including the newly published RCTs and to conclude if low-dose PPI regimen can generate comparable results as the high-dose regimen after initial hemostasis by endoscopists.
All RCT’s regarding low versus high dose PPI administration post-endoscopy haemostasis were identified (2, 7, 8, 11-17). In keeping with identification of suitable studies, the electronic databases Medline, Embase, Pubmed and the Cochrane Library were utilized to identify articles from 2000 to 2014 in the English language literature that encompassed the succeeding terms and/or amalgamations in their keyword lists, abstracts or titles: RCT, double-blind, dexlansoprazole, omeprazole, lansoprazole, rabeprazole, esomeprazole, pantoprazole, high dose PPI, low dose PPI, PPI, and bleeding. The last search was done in December 2014.
Where it was appropriate the afore-mentioned terms were inserted in “[MESH]” (Pubmed and the Cochrane Library) or else the terms were joint with “AND/OR” and asterisks.
The outline for this cyclic search is depicted in Figure 1.
Study was approved by the Ethics committee of Comenius University, Bratislava and was conducted in conformity with the ethics of ‘Good Clinical Practice’.
Two authors (G.CH, G.S) autonomously chose studies to include and exclude and reached consensus when they did not come to an agreement in the original assignment. The following variables concerning studies were collected: journal and year of publication, country of derivation, authors, duration of trial, participant characteristics and data in regard with rebleeding, need for surgery and mortality.
Trials were encompassed under the subsequent criteria: a) RCT, b) contrasting high-dose versus low-dose PPI for post-endoscopy hemostasis for acute ulcer bleeding and c) disposal of satisfactory data (rebleeding, need for surgery and mortality). Successively, studies were excluded if the PPI treatment was commenced before endoscopic engagement and in case they had not been published (conference presentations). Duplicate publications were excluded, and when a study had material overlay with another, the more recent study was integrated to the analysis. High-dose PPI was taken into consideration if at minimum twice the low-dose of any of the PPIs administered during the 72 h succeeding post-endoscopy hemostasis.
Interventions and outcome definition
There was a noteworthy discrepancy in the definition of rebleeding. The difference between failed haemostasis and rebleeding was not distinctly defined. Four studies (2, 14, 15, 17) excluded patients from registration if they did not have spontaneous hemostasis or bleeding was not fostered via endoscopic methods. Consequently, haemorrhage after the primary endoscopic intervention could be considered as rebleeding. Actively bleeding patients were excluded in one study (16). Two studies (7, 8) did not explicitly dismiss patients with bleeding ulcer and in whom it could not be ceased by endoscopy. Udd et al (8) outlined rebleeding as recurrence of bleeding endoscopically documented or continuing haemorrhage requiring an emergency surgical procedure and excluded patients whom endoscopic therapy and operation failed to cure. Bajaj et al (7) excluded patients with copious bleeding causing unrelenting shock who were incapable of resuscitation without interventional radiology or surgery. Rebleeding was substantiated by endoscopy. Andriulli et al (14) performed selective sequential endoscopy in high-risk patients presented with ≥ 6 points graded by the Rockall scoring system.
Indication for surgery was failure to stop bleeding despite repeated endoscopy or radiologic intervention. Only Yüksel et al (17) stated that surgery was contemplated in cases of failure of the second endoscopic treatment. Whether radiologic intervention was considered as a surgical intervention was not evidently specified in studies.
Of 9 studies providing data for mortality, four studies (2, 11, 12, 17) did not declare the timing of assessment. Hsu et al (13) reported mortality within 14 days. Three studies (7, 8, 16) reported a 30-days mortality while Andriulli et al (14) reported only in-hospital mortality.
A meta-analysis (adhered to the QUOROM statement) (18, 19) was done for all RCTs comparing low dose versus high dose PPI after post-endoscopy hemostasis. The primary outcomes used for this study were: a) rebleeding b) need for surgery and c) mortality.
In order to protect analysis against false positive conclusions we pre-specified the use of pantoprazole versus lansoprazole as a covariate to be investigated by subgroup analysis or meta-regression
The reviewer level of agreement was assessed by the Maxwell test statistic and the generalized McNemar statistic. A fixed-effects model was used to calculate pooled estimates of outcomes though a randomized-effects model was used conferring the level of heterogeneity. Individual studies binary outcomes were gathered to calculate individual odds ratios with 95% confidence intervals using the Mantel-Haenszel test. To each total or subtotal the test for overall effect and the test for heterogeneity were provided. Cochrane Q tests and I2 statistics, correspondingly, were operated to assess statistical heterogeneity and inconsistency of treatment effects across trials (20). For Cochrane Q test statistical significance was specified at 0.10. To investigate the extent of inconsistency among outcomes of the studies I2 statistics were measured. The results were stated as a portion of total variation across studies owed by statistical heterogeneity noticeably than chance. A level of 0% designates that all variability in effect estimates is attributed to chance instead of statistical heterogeneity. A level beyond 50% designates considerable statistical heterogeneity.
Kendall’s Tau and Spearman Rank-Order Correlation tests were employed to ascertain the symmetry of the funnel plot (Effect vs. Variance) and detect any publication bias. The standardized effect size was drawn compared to the normal quantile values for visual inspection of possible publication bias in the normal quantile plot.
The magnitude of the publication bias was assessed by the Fail-Safe tests.
The effect of covariates on management outcomes was assessed by Metaregression.
Results were significant if p< 0.5. Analysis of data was done by using the RevMan Version 5.3 (21), the Meta Disk version 1.4 (22) and Meta-Win version 2.1 (23).
Study quality assessment
the Jadad composite scale scored the quality assessment of the methodology of the studies integrated in the meta-analysis (24). Corresponding to this 5-point scale (0 point for “No”, 1 point for “Yes” for the succeeding factors: randomized study; randomization designated; double blind trial; double blinding designated; reference to withdrawals and dropouts) low-quality studies are attributed a score of ≤2 while the respective scores for high-quality studies are ≥3.
Ten of 859 screened RCTs were finally included (2, 7, 8, 11-17) witha total of 1651 participants.
Maxwell test statistic was insignificant (p =0.851) demonstrating that reviewers did not differ significantly. The generalized McNemar test (p =0.57) showed that the concordance was spread evenly.
The mean Jadad score of the studies included was 2.6 points. Seven studies had a score of 3 points (8, 12-17), two studies of 2 points (2, 7), and one studies of 1 point (11) respectively.
The baseline participant characteristics in the analyzed studies are synopsized in Table 1. The results of the included trials are depicted on Table 2. All ten studies provided data for rebleeding [OR, 95% CI: 1.55, 1.16-2.07]. There were significantly less cases of rebleeding in the low-dose PPI treatment arm (p=0.003) (Table 3, Figure 2). All but the study of Cheng et al (15) provided data concerning need for Surgical intervention and Mortality. The respective effect sizes were [OR, 95% CI: 1.35, 0.72-2.53] and [OR, 95% CI: 1.20, 0.70-2.05]. Both treatment arms were comparable considering the aforementioned outcomes (p=0.35 and p=0.51 respectively) (Table 3, Figure 2).
There was not Heterogeneity among studies considering all three outcomes. Normal quantile plots did not detect any obvious publication bias concerning all outcomes (Figure 3).
We utilized the fail-safe method (Rosenthal’s or Orwin’s Method) to calculate the number of future trials with a zero-mean effect size, essential to reduce the combined significance to a level (0.05). These tests disclosed that 9 studies to be needed to change our results concerning rebleeding, and 5 studies concerning need for Surgery. Considering the fact that there have been no further than 10 studies released over the past 14 years, it is extremely unlikely that such a bulky number of relevant trials would have gone unpublished or have been unexploited by our search approach.
Metaregression analysis also revealed that studies using pantoprazole versus lansoprazole were comparable to all three outcomes [Rebleeding (p= 0.944), Surgical intervention (p= 0.884) and Mortality (p=0.961) Table 4.
Summary of main results: High-dose PPIs do not deliver a greater efficiency to non–high-dose PPIs in decreasing the rates of rebleeding, surgical intervention, or mortality after post-endoscopic bleeding arrest. These outcomes did not change with the use of either pantoprazole or lansoprazole.
Overall completeness and applicability of evidence: Subsidiary evidence implies that PPI administration outcome may not be straightforwardly associated with intragastric pH. Udd et al (8) contrasted the influences of high- dose and low-dose omeprazole on gastric acidity in bleeding peptic ulcer managed via endoscopy. Authors discovered a significant difference in gastric pH comparing the two treatment arms on the initial two days of administration. Nevertheless, the difference recurrent haemorrhage rates between the two treatment arms was not statistically significant. Consequently, if gastric pH can operate as a consistent surrogate marker for satisfactory management is uncertain.
This analysis with fail-safe tests disclosed that 9 studies to be compulsory to change our results concerning rebleeding, and 5 studies concerning need for Surgery. Bearing in mind the fact that there have been no more than 10 RCTs published over the past 14 years, it is highly unlikely that such a large number of analogous studies would have been missed by our search.
Considering the quality of the evidence:Our study encompasses 10 RCTs. Seven out of 10 are of high quality (≥3) according to the Jadad classification (24). All but one study (7) were sufficiently powered to validate their results. There was notheterogeneity among studies with regard to each of the three outcomes. Normal quantile plots for inspection of publication bias concerning all three outcomes were normal. The distribution of effect sizes was similar to the distribution of normal quantiles.
Agreements and disagreements with other studies or reviews: A meta-analysis by Leontiadis et al (25) analyzed 24 RCT’s in which participants were provided with high-dose and non-high-dose PPIs. Rebleeding percentages and surgical management were significantly lessened in the high-dose and non-high-dose PPI arms in contrasted to participants who were administered placebo or H2-receptor antagonists. Nevertheless, meta-regression analysis revealed no association of PPI dose with treatment effects. Two meta-analyses (9, 10) have been published comparing low versus high PPI doses (administered after endoscopic hemostasis) in terms of rebleeding, need for surgery and mortality. In the meta-analysis of Wu et al (10) three of the included 9 studies were abstracts enhancing the possibility of selection bias. The meta-analysis by Wang et al (9) included 7 RCTs but the risk of bias was not provided for visual inspection in terms of funnel plots. Our results are in accordance with those of the aforementioned meta-analyses given the inclusion of additional three sufficiently powered RCTs. Besides the risk of bias is extensively analyzed both by statistical tests and visual inspection through normal quantile plots.
Potential biases in the review process: a)The time frame for recurrence of haemorrhage rates should be considered, since one study stated re-bleeding within the initial 72 h (17), one study stated re-bleeding within seven days (14), one study reported in-hospital only re-bleeding (8), one study stated re-bleeding within 14 days (13), and six studies stated re-bleeding within a month (2, 7, 11, 12, 15, 16). Results for re-bleeding should be unraveled with thoughtfulness, and additional subgroup analyses were not conducted in the present meta-analysis, b) Studies analyzed in the present meta-analysis were accomplished with diverging doses of PPI, various ethnicities with distinct preponderance of re-bleeding and fluctuating extent of related comorbidities and c) Analysis in the present meta-analysis was not completed in accordance to the intent-to-treat principle, with violations of this principle in four studies (2, 8, 14, 17). Yet, detailed data were deficient, and postulations were problematic to make.
In conclusion, a low-dose PPI is equally effective as a high-dose PPI administration succeeding endoscopic bleeding arrest in bleeding peptic ulcer patients. We anticipate the completion of more high quality RCT’s that will embrace distinct ethnicities, standardized endoscopic diagnosis and management, double-blind strategies, and appraisal of results working specific standards over clear-cut follow-up periods.
This essay will delve into the critically acclaimed Lord of the Rings alternate universe and propose how it was constructed, its significance and the impact it had on society. The rationale for the dissertation is based on the idea of Alternate universes and how they parallel amongst ours through the notion of film and specifically Peter Jackson’s trilogy from John Ronald Reuel Tolkien’s novels The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit in his universe of Middle Earth. The use and ability of technology and real landscapes to create the world Tolkien did not believe himself to ever see. Furthermore, considering the way the films impacted and rebooted fantasy films as a genre making the appearances of films alike further to be portrayed on screens after book deemed not possible beforehand.
I am grateful to my supervisor tutor, Mr. Suman Ghosh who assisted me in general ideas and focussing on narrowing down the idea to a question that could be taken in many ways.
I would also like to thank my friends and family for their encouragement and help in putting this dissertation together.
Table of Contents
Introduction: The significance of The Lord of the Rings in constructing the idea of the alternate universe.
To what extent does the universe as represented in the film parallel that in the original books. Questions of ‘narrative fidelity’. Identifying the points of departure and the reasons for these departures.
Technological Construction of the alternate universe: soundtrack
The Impact of The Lord of the Rings alternative universe on film/media culture: The Hobbit etc.
Conclusion: Lord of The Rings as an epic narrative and a turning point.
Table of Figures
Figure 1 – Gandalf and Frodo Perspective Scale
Introduction: The significance of The Lord of the Rings in constructing the idea of the alternate universe.
Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings was a standard set in the genre of Fantasy that has now become one of the greatest trilogies of all time. The Lord of the Rings as an alternate universe is the fact that it’s something that aligns to everyday viewers of the films and book. The Lord of the Rings has sparked fan fiction all over the world, with fans creating their own versions of Middle Earth in the modern day. Not only has LOTR become a key point in success for fantasy genre but, Peter Jackson’s filmmaking has solely surpassed what anyone anticipated or expected for J.R.R Tolkien’s exclaimed work. The essay itself will discuss the preliminary idea of Alternate Universe and how it’s used in Tolkien’s book and Jackson’s viewership. Then focussing on the adaption element, itself and how it became a success, despite Saul Zaentz deeming it impossible to recreate Middle Earth in film. Saul Zaentz had owned the rights for LOTR for over 25 years and had declined a vast number of filmmakers before Jackson, due to not finding their version worthy. Jackson said back in 1998 “You shouldn’t think of these movies as being ‘The Lord of the Rings.’ ‘The Lord of the Rings’ is, and always will be… one of the greatest (stories) ever written. Any films will only ever be an interpretation of the book. In this case, my interpretation.” (Peterson, 2012) Jackson even believed that you should just thank Tolkien’s work and that the films cannot ever be better than the book and Jackson himself would re-read each individual page whilst filming each scene to make sure he got it right. Screen Narrative was one of the reasons why LOTR became such a successful trilogy. This was because of the on location shooting and use of New Zealand as a film set, what this does for the film is the fact the scenery is epic in scale and beauty, the shoot of the films was done back to back and took over 274 days whilst added pickups took the film to take over a span of three years. Using screen narrative to successfully create Middle Earth for all its grandeur by using New Zealand as his back drop further explained in later chapter. Jackson also succeeded in the relationship that he could make with the characters Barker and Mathijs said “how fully audiences are absorbed in and “go along with” with film’s events: the stronger the bond with one or more characters, the stronger the involvement in the film.” (Barker and Mathijs, 2007) Noting the fact Jackson made the characters more relatable due to their human nature and the reason that they seemed to be doing the quest as a group and many people relate to the bond they had in the films. How the story was told from the perspective of multiple characters rather than a singular character focus point, this providing the on screen telling of their group bond and the Fellowship. Weta Digital has become a co-founder in modern visual effects and use of actors to manipulate and control effects is breath-taking. Weta was founded by Peter Jackson and others in 1993, No VFX was available in NZ at the time, Weta went on to be extremely successful for other filmmakers and has won five academy awards, including Avatar and obviously LOTR (Com and Floyer 2016).
The reason to focus primarily on the idea of the alternate universe is the fact that Tolkien’s world is relatable in so many ways, Tolkien shaped the way fantasies are based upon and set a benchmark that many other authors followed e.g. J.K. Rowling. It can be related to in many ways but characters are something that Jackson makes so enjoyable. You feel like you’ve known someone or connected to dies such as Boromir when he gets shot multiple times or the fact it’s breaking this unstoppable (well what we believed as viewers and readers) group on their quest. An example of this is the connection the viewer feels when one of the ‘heroes’ dies. Boromir’s death breaks the unstoppable/invincible perceived group of heroes on their quest this makes it relatable and brings us back to reality. The concept of a group of either high-born or an unknown and smaller race of Hobbits doesn’t matter in the film, it’s still all about the quest and how the group they form eventually breaks which makes this such a captivating story. My rationale for focussing on the alternate universe is because it seems fit that people find these films so obsessive to watch with their extended versions and ongoing fan fiction allowing fans to further delve into the world Tolkien created whilst staying within reality itself.
In “Entertainment and Utopia,” Richard Dyer discounts the possibility that entertainment can provide “models of utopian worlds” – a contentions that fan responses here would seem to disprove. However, Dyer’s argument that utopianism is an affective sensation produced by movies (in his example, musicals), “contained in the feelings” movies produce and in their ability to present “head-on, as it were, what utopia would feel like,” helps to define the Rings’ experience for its most ardent fans. The inner and outer worlds forged by RotK, as the apotheosis of the Rings trilogy, produce a sensation of what “utopia would feel like.” Further, this is an alternate universe, where viewers are provided with “something better’ to escape into, or something that [they] want deeply that [their] day-to-day lives don’t provide.” As Dyer continues, “Alternatives, hopes, wishes-these are the stuff of utopia, the sense that things could be better, that something other than what is can be imagined and maybe realised.” As a viewer commented, “the movie captured well the importance of friendship, perseverance, love and courage…qualities that are all too often absent in today’s modern movies. (Barker and Mathijs, 2008)
Dyer is stating how Lord of the Rings not only made it more relatable for fans but, having these themes makes it more than just a traditional modern film, its very nature appealing’s to all audiences. Creating this perfect setting that viewers can appreciate and want more of. Tolkien’s idea of writing the books was about how he would have liked our history to be Lord of the Rings. He wishes this is what had happened, the idea of the elves leaving could be something that they did as they thought men could rule the world once more etc. Tolkien himself once said “Mine is not an ‘imaginary world’, but an imaginary historical moment on ‘Middle-Earth’” – which is our habitation, thus making it clear that he believed the stories he wrote were not real but imaginary. (Tolkien, Carpenter and Tolkien, 2014)
To what extent does the universe as represented in the film parallel that in the original books. Questions of ‘narrative fidelity’. Identifying the points of departure and the reasons for these departures.
Comparing Tolkien’s work to the films are always considered for fans alike. The film itself holds greatly in comparison to some other adaptation in Hollywood which people would be far more disappointed with their adaptation. Lord of The Rings are hugely detailed books with an extensive amount of text and backstories alike which have had to been cut etc. It’s the way Jackson went about not including parts is that makes the film a success and his extended editions which added a further look at parts missed out from the book which would just give a nod to fans of Tolkien. Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy is similarly shaped, not only by its attempt to remain faithful to Tolkien’s epic but also by its determination to avoid duplicating the reception of Ralph Bakshi’s 1978 animated adaptation. The surprising but logical attempt to translate Tolkien’s unfilmable novel into an epic cartoon had earned respectful but unenthusiastic reviews but won little loyalty from fans of the novel and enjoyed no great financial success, partly no doubt because of Bakshi’s dubious background as the auteur of the X-rated cartoon feature Fritz the Cat (1972). Jackson’s tireless insistence in interviews on the unity of his project, its status as a single three-part film rather than a trilogy would at the same time allow him to align his work more to Tolkien’s. (Leitch, 2007) Books and movies tell stories in vastly ‘diverse ways, and one of their primary differences is lengths. Novels often tend to contain more information than a two- or three-hour movie can possibly cover, and short stories are frequently used as the basis for film adaptations instead.’ (Sparknotes.com, 2004) This noting how Jackson’s authenticity to the books was essential for the trilogy’s achievement. Dedicated readers of The Lord of the Rings are the book world’s equal of Trekkies: they are archivists of unclear, trivial details, even protective of these details. If Jackson was to disappoint them, he would have lost a crucial audience and even caused a public relations mess. ‘To turn thousands of pages into roughly nine hours of film, Jackson had to simplify the original story by eliminating or changing certain characters. For example, Tom Bombadil, a significant character in the novel version of The Fellowship of the Ring, is absent from the movies. As a hard-to-classify godlike creature, he may have required more explanation than a fast-paced film could make time for.’ (Sparknotes.com, 2004) ‘Crucial scenes involving Bombadil are therefore missing, including one in which the four hobbits come across a cache of elf weapons, weapons that prove important when Merry uses an elf sword to slay the witch-king, which cannot be killed by a human, in The Return of the King. Jackson works around Bombadil, however, to get the same information across. He gives the hobbits their weapons more directly: Aragorn gives the hobbits a sack of weapons on the hill called Weathertop in The Fellowship of the Ring.’ (Sparknotes.com, 2004) Jackson also emits a scene from The Return of the King where the hobbits are returning home whilst they find that Saruman has come to the shire to gain revenge. ‘While die-hard fans of the books might be miffed at these omissions, the narrative of the three films collectively and singularly, work seamlessly without them. Then narrative order of events is also slightly changed from the original prose, an example being the attack of the giant spider Shelob, which takes place at the end of The Two Towers within the books but features early in The Return of the King.’ (Sparknotes.com, 2004) The narrative threads of Frodo and Sam’s journey to Mount doom are separated when we the viewer is taken back and forth between characters on their individual quests which lead to the final quest. This allowed Jackson to tell his story with the flow of the characters and not breaking down the story or dumbing it down.
Frodo was changed for the films. In the novels, he comes across as the heart of the story, the leader of the Hobbits. He is mature, insightful, courageous and has the wisdom of his folk. Although appearing younger than he is due to the Ring’s influence, he is a middle-aged scholar turned adventurer turned hero and deeply damaged by the Ring’s influence over the course of the story. In the movies, Frodo is a schoolboy, terrified and tearful for practically ten hours straight, and never stands up and fights for himself or uses his willpower. In a few moments, they take away from him for no good reason: bearing the knife shard (which in the film they never really address the significance of) for seventeen days; cursing and attacking the Nazgul at Weathertop; defying them again at the Ford of the Bruinen after riding away by himself to save his friends; being the first to attack the cave troll in Moria). You don’t even notice how much the Ring damages him, because he seems so weak throughout. Aragorn & Arwen: Theirs is an epic love story of decades of fidelity and perseverance, that gets short-changed a bit in the book. Peter Jackson had the chance to bring in some of their story from Appendix A, but instead chooses to have Aragorn seem attracted to Éowen and Arwen consider leaving Aragorn and sailing for the West. They also cut out one of the most meaningful and epic moments of the book, Aragorn receiving and then using the flag Arwen made with his heraldry. What they should have done was replace Arwen’s brothers with Arwen herself and had her travel with her fiancé through the Paths of the Dead to Minas Tirith—that would have been true to the theme of the books, for it’s clear she was there in spirit. (Snerdley, 2014)
“The parallel between each of Tolkien’s three books and its corresponding film adaptation remained nominal. The Two Towers bears particular evidence of its origin as half of what Jackson calls Film one. Their concern for chronology, counterpoint, and dramatic effectiveness led Jackson, Walsh, and Boyens to move many of the events presented in the last four chapters of Tolkien’s Book Three and the last four chapters of Book Four of The Two Towers to The Return of the King. The resulting lack of drama and incident in The Two Towers – Jackson complained that no major characters die in this second film – required the introduction of new dramatic developments. Faramir, who had easily resisted the temptation to take the Ring from Frodo in Tolkien, now takes Frodo, Sam, and Gollum captive and free them only after much soul-searching. Frodo, inflamed by Gollum’s innuendoes against Sam, turns against his old friend.” (Snerdley, 2014)
Another theme that appears several times in The Lord of the Rings’ is the conflict between nature and industry.’ (Snerdley, 2014) Tolkien had been raised in the countryside and was very attached to nature, so you could understand his disappointment with his fellow humans when industry and machines began taking over. ‘Because of his childhood home, he made a noticeable connection between evil and metal by making the Shire a rural place and filling Mordor and Isengard with machines, forges, fire, wheels, and other objects associated with manufacturing and war. As Isengard is piled up with machines, Saruman levels the trees surrounding, the tower (called Orthanc) to fuel the fires that power the machines.’ (Snerdley, 2014) When Treebeard and the rest of the Ents attack Isengard, they flood the inside of Saruman’s territory and destroy the machines. Only when the machines are destroyed, Isengard’s armies are scattered at Helm’s Deep and nature returns to Isengard, does Saruman’s power begin to dwindle. (Burik, 2015)
The purpose of allowing what you can imagine of alternate world is New Zealand itself and the way in which that works with what location Tolkien would have imagined. ‘The meticulous use of location shooting helps to add an implicit sense of character to many scenes so that as characters’ journey onwards through the narrative, the audience sees more and more of Middle-Earth and the location itself becomes an integral character in the films.’ (Rogers, 2015)
‘Overall The Lord of the Rings trilogy succeeds in its attempt to adapt prose onto the screen. Jackson’s trilogy conveys the tone which made the books so outstanding, less antiquated, whimsy and more medieval grunge for the screen and while not a religious adaptation, the divergences from the source material serve to illustrate a genuine attempt to render the story in a truly cinematic fashion. ‘(Rogers, 2015) Jackson could never be accused of not being enthusiastic, especially with the release of the extended editions of the films which feature many scenes which were left on the cutting room floor and not included in the theatrical release. Despite some of the changes the essence of Tolkien’s novels remains intact. ‘Jackson’s decision to forgo the obscure, extra details that round out the author’s trilogy didn’t lessen the thematic and narrative meat of Tolkien’s work,’ (Sparknotes.com, 2004) and the conflation or elimination of characters from the novels ultimately does not change the story very much. The films and the novels are not interchangeable, but the films prove as faithful as they can be to the novels without testing the limits of viewers’ patience and attention. (Snerdley, 2014) ‘The editing process which took place for the theatrical release was appreciated by many, although the ending of The Return of the King was criticised for its length, while the extended cuts were still available to those enthusiastic enough about the material with the time to spend watching all of it.’ (Rogers, 2015)
Technological Construction of the alternate universe: soundtrack
The construction of Tolkien’s world to screen wasn’t anything but genius from the Hobbit’s height to the size and scales of the battle sequences to creating whole new lands and of course Gollum using Weta Works. This all allows us to escape to the world Tolkien would have wanted through Jacksons on set location shooting in New Zealand which created The Shire, Hobbiton and more, thus making the viewer fully immersed throughout the films. Weta Workshop is a special effects and prop company based in Miramar, New Zealand, producing effects for television and film. Founded in 1987 by Richard Taylor, Tania Rodger and Jackson himself. Weta has gone on to be a tremendous success with TV collaborations with Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, Xena: Warrior Princess and after LoTR went on to be part of some hugely successful films such as, Van Helsing, Hellboy, I, Robot, King Kong (Another of Jackson’s films) etc. When making the films Andy Serkis was hired to just do Gollum’s creepy voice, but as he ‘arrived on set and started stepping in with other actors to help their responses to Gollum feel more genuine, Serkis’ presence inspired rewrites that delved deeper into the character and Serkis also started acting out solo bits in motion capture studio. At the turn of the 2000s, that meant putting on a skin-tight suit with reflective markers placed at key points on his body. The crew had to eschew all other reflective material, down to water bottles, so cameras shining bright lights could only record the markers. The data yielded a 3-D approximation of Serkis’ movements that could then drive the motion of Gollum, an animation complete with skeleton and muscle system.’ (Steinmetz, 2012) In the Fellowship, techniques used were crowd animation software, motion capture techniques, digital grading which helped balance and change colours of the final film. We meet three largest CG creatures in the Dwarrowdelf chambers: the octopus-like watcher who guards the gate, the 10-foot-tall cave troll who protects the goblins in the Mines of Moria and the fiery Balrog, a giant composed of ‘Shadow and light’ Also, in the Fellowship we get a glimpse of Gollum, a de formed hobbit-like character with a warped mind.
‘For the monster Balrog, a cloud of smoke often hid such details. In fact, the 25-foot-tall brute seems to be composed entirely of the fire billowing out from deep, black crevices in his skin and the smoke that surrounds him. To create this fiery fiend, Gray Horsfield, environment department head, used sprites, which are little 2D cards, onto which the team put 100 to 150 frame clips of painted fire and film footage of fire. These cards were texture mapped onto particles, which were used to create an animated, general fire shape. “We’ve probably got 5000 images of fire organized into clips and categorized by the way the fire behaves,” Horsfield says. “We want fire coming from various parts of the Balrog body to behave in different ways.” To get the fire on all the sprite cards to point in the correct direction while being driven by the particles, the team assigned orientations to the sprites in Maya, and then via Mel scripts, used the screen velocity of the particles and key frame animation to control the flow. The team also used similar techniques to create smoke for Balrog, replacing the fire on the cards with footage of smoke. Finally, they composited several layers of fire and smoke, sometimes as many as 33, using Nothing Real’s Shake to create final frames.’ (Robertson, 2001)
Demonstrating how technical it is just to create the Balrog without it looking overly out of place as it’s still fitting within the scene and the fear is there for the characters especially as the this signals the ‘Breaking of the Fellowship’ when the first member dies or what we are shown as Gandalf gets dragged down with the Balrog.
‘All The Lord of the Rings movies employed so-called bigatures, a term coined by a Weta Workshop model-maker to describe the 9-foot-hight miniature Bara’Dur, castle home of Sauron and perch for the villain’s baleful, all-seeing eye. Nearly every memorable environment, including Helm’s Deep, made extensive use of models, but Weta’s crowning achievement in miniatures is arguably the city of Minas Tirith in, 2003’s The Return of the King, which stands 14 feet tall at its highest tower and sprawls some 30 feet wide, with as many as 1000 houses dotting its bulk. The besieged city is often shown surrounded by a CGI landscape, forming the basis of composite shots, and portions of it were hyper-detailed enough to stand up to extreme close-ups.’ (Sofge, 2013)
The way the miniatures worked in the films was superb as it transitioned so well you wouldn’t realise that you were in a tiny scale battle, you are sucked in to the film the performance of the actors drawing you towards these characters. The whole point of using a miniature is to photograph something that you couldn’t photograph in the real world. Either it’s too big or doesn’t exist.
‘By using a miniature, you can control the lighting and the way the cameras move. You always want to shoot as big a miniature as possible to get maximum detail and keep it sharp. Unfortunately, in this series the miniatures that they shot were depicted to be so large in the real world that they went into very small scale. This creates problems because there must be extreme precision. You must shoot extremely close and the scales are made with very odd numbers. After the miniatures have been made, the art department goes in and look at what will be on camera. They tell the makers how to make extremely accurate shots by using certain types of dust, weeds, grounds. By doing this, the camera comes in close but it still looks very realistic. After this is done, the digital team comes in and starts to work with the lighting and space made in the miniature to create scenes such as the battle of the Hornburg, Minis Tirith and the tower of Isengard. Jackson tried to use as many miniatures as possible because it lets the film makers use real photography for the background and then finally incorporating the digital populate the area with orcs, warriors, ents and more of Tolkien’s creatures.’ (Shubitidze, 2013)
Obviously, films further went on to succeed with the same kind of model sets of miniatures and bigatures examples are Narnia or looking at the latest Star Wars using models again. But it’s been shown in film now that CG effects are now used more such as majority of Marvel films and even the Hobbit series but Lord of the Rings truly proved that you can’t beat practical effects combining some greatly used techniques and artists to using on set location shooting all around New Zealand. There were so many options Peter Jackson could have used to portray the Hobbits and Dwarves but forced perspective would seem the most viable of ways and it wasn’t anything new or a technique that Jackson himself invented. The basic idea is that you put objects farther away from the camera and they will appear smaller. By cropping a scene, you can make it look like two figures are next to each other with one of them being Frodo for example and the other Gandalf, they may be the same height in real life but it’s the way Jackson would carefully choose and shoot each scene thinking about how he makes sure that the scale would be portrayed. For example, in the scene where we see Gandalf arrive in the Fellowship of the Ring on his cart. In real life, the cart is split into two pieces. The side with Frodo on it is set back further than the side with Gandalf. The trick is to get the seats lined up to look seamless, quite tricky but done exceptionally well. (Allain, 2012)
Figure 1 – Gandalf and Frodo Perspective Scale
Comparing Jackson’s, The Hobbit trilogy to The Lord of the Rings is comparing old to the new but whereas normally new is more up to date, it doesn’t always mean it tells the narrative and makes use of the effects as well. In The Lord of the Rings to keep it more real and to make the fear of orcs and Urak-hai they had real people play them rather than CGI which wasn’t as scary as if you compare to The Hobbit. One of the problems with creating so many Orcs, Trolls and other fiendish characters is that there must be variance in their appearance. Just like how no two humans look alike, there must be the same type of variance with every other character. One way this was resolved was by using real actors and putting makeup on them along with skins so that they would resemble the original actor. However, when it came to creating armies of Orcs and warriors the creators had to look at what to do with digital effects. A lot of work went into creating approved designs of certain components of each character and in the end over 200 different components of each aspect of the orcs was made. The computer then used a random number generator to morph components together to create unique orc. The Hobbit took advantage of further technology advancements that Jackson did not have available to him when doing Lord of the Rings 12 years before. CGI wasn’t scary in the Hobbit it didn’t create a sense of fear such as the character Lurtz in Fellowship of the Ring, the actor portrayed this character and then split apart the Fellowship but also was fierce in his looks and makeup. CGI also ages badly, in a few years time even the best CGI will look painfully obvious. Another example of practical effects and how its aged far better would be the opening of the original Star Wars with the chase of the Tantive IV, this is because practical effects are physical objects you’re looking at. The subtle details of a real physical object are captured on film. Middle Earth in Lord of the Rings looked thousands of years old and looked like how I would imagine Tolkien depicted it rather The Hobbit looks so clean and fresh as its this beautifully pictured CGI film. The Hobbit had a huge budget in comparison per film to the Lord of the Rings and thus I think was a problem as this then went on to allow Jackson to just enjoy the modern technologies available. Including further advancements in CGI and motion capture which is greatly utilised but the use of CGI dumbed down his film making it not as real. Where when doing LOTR he didn’t have no way as near the budget or the technology. Peter Jackson on talking on the technology in the Hobbit.
“The technology that advanced the most, in the last 10 or 12 years, is really the fact that we did a lot of miniature shooting on The Lord of the Rings. All the big architectural structures of Middle Earth were really miniatures, some of them quite large. But, you’re limited to what you can do with a miniature because you literally have to have a big camera that has to sweep past it, so you can’t get too close to it and the detail doesn’t hold up too well if you do.
This time around, there are no miniatures. It’s all done with CGI. Everything that we need to build, from a miniature point of view, we build as a CG miniature. I can now swoop in, over rooftops and through doorways. I can do things that I never could have dreamt of doing with the miniatures. For me, that’s actually one of the most profound differences. Gollum has more muscles in his face than he did 12 years ago. We deliberately made Gollum look very similar to how he did because we wanted consistency through the films. WETA Digital, who do the work, have subsequently been working on Avatar and built a very sophisticated motion-capture facial system, and Gollum inherited some of the technological advances of that.” (Osegueda, 2012)
Noting how the technology has changed and that Jackson used this to his advantage but it didn’t do well with fans who were expecting the same quality of films that The Lord of the Rings brought. Howard Shore composed Lord of The Rings and the Hobbit and has gone on to claim accolades from all films but also his soundtrack has been rated the top among all soundtracks. This is because it’s not just a theme which you recognise with films such as Star Wars, Indiana Jones etc. John Williams’ composures not that they are to be compared in a sense as they are dynamically different in all senses. However, it’s the fact if you say Star Wars theme you would think of Imperial March rather than Lord of the Rings which has so many different components in each piece. The original opening that Shore wrote, the filmmakers originally shot Fellowship’s prologue as a shorter sequence for which Shore wrote a self-contained four-minute composition. During the film’s editing, it was decided that a lengthier sequence would set up the film’s story with a more detailed and visceral punch. The film’s Prologue was expanded, and so Shore went back and composed a new work to match the edit. The first composition (featuring the text, “The Battle of Dagorlad”) was presented on The Fellowship of the Ring’s original soundtrack album in 2001, but never appeared in the final film. While the two Prologue scores are similar, the definitive version (now presented on disc for the first time) considerably expands the original concept and captures the opening action with a raw collection of orchestral outbursts, hinting at the level of conflict that The Two Towers and The Return of the King will present. (Adams, 2005) The themes created in The Lord of the Rings allows us to align which each part of Middle-Earth we are within or just make us a part of their universe. The theme of Elves is called Galadriel by some writers, and could probably just as easily be called Lothlorien, or perhaps The Power of the Elves. Any of those names would work in the context of the story. So, what does the theme “mean”? These themes don’t mean things in the same way that, ‘say papillon means butterfly.’ (Rawlins, 2006) They suggest: they resonate. Galadriel is an elf-queen, she wields great power, and that power is centred in Lothlorien. They are all a piece, and the theme calls them all up at once and allows them to rattle against each other. The Big three themes are The Shire, The Fellowship and the Rohan theme as they are the most recognisable. The Shire theme represents the Shire and home, of course and occurs many a time whenever the Shire is mentioned as they reminisce about going home and often is rendered in a folksy, slightly out-of-tune pennywhistle flute version, it is warm-hearted, comforting and inviting to the viewer. The Fellowship theme is repeated the most out of all themes counted over thirty-five times through the films, it is a signature theme to the first movie as that is the title and it has heroic, jagged and assertive feel to it. Whereas the Rohan theme is about the culture and the place as this is a talent Shore has. Rohan theme, especially in its realisation on the Norwegian Hardanger fiddle. It manages to convey in a few notes the essentials of Rohan culture: simplicity, military prowess, sense of honour. It is the signature theme for the second movie, heard over the title. In the DVD documentary, this theme was long in the making, as Jackson insisted that Shore come up with something catchy and hummable. Shore at last suggested the theme we hear, and Jackson agreed to it when he found himself humming it in his car.
The Impact of The Lord of the Rings alternative universe on film/media culture: The Hobbit etc.
Lord of the Rings has impacted an array of films prior to Jackson’s trilogy to after the trilogy with film adaptations of CS Lewis’s novels Narnia. Jackson could pave the way for the return of big-screen fantasy films after the success of LOTR with other directors moving towards fantasy films. ‘Prior to 2001, professing a public desire to paint tiny Orcs and engage in dice-based role-playing games would have probably seen you wedgied and hung on the nearest coat hook. However, Peter Jackson’s Tolkien trilogy brought epic fantasy back into cinemas and the mainstream in a major way.’ (Gray, 2012) Motion capture was still clearly in its infancy at the turn of the millennium. The moment Gollum came to our screens in The Two Towers audiences realised mocap was going to revolutionise modern digital effects. In the last decade, motion capture evolved to become performance capture, graduating from a few ping pong balls stuck on a black leotard to a bona fide method of capturing an actor’s entire performance.
The Lord of the Rings due to its resounding success caused many directors to feel as if they were being compared and in its shadow. Duncan Jones directed Warcraft: The Beginning in 2016. Duncan stated ‘Warcraft itself put its own twist on Tolkien by allowing players to play as the hero as any kind of creature in the game…when Peter Jackson did The Lord of the Rings trilogy he brought everyone in to fantasy and set a level which everyone has been striving to achieve since. In those movies, the good guys tend to be the humans and hobbits and the cute characters and anything that was ugly was a bad guy. That came from the time when those stories were written.’ (Fennell, 2016) Obviously, it always goes back to Tolkien’s source material, which even in the literary would already rule over its counterparts. For example, Terry Pratchett’s Discworld was a long-running series and huge seller, but to a degree was held back from Tolkien-level cultural impact because of their number of instalments. Casual readers could be overwhelmed by the sheer number in a series whereas with Tolkien the storytelling meat is all contained within The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. Of course, there’s plenty more such as the appendices, The Silmarillion and Unfinished Tales, but that’s optional for the hardcore fans to explore at their will. When you look at the comparison of Harry Potter franchise you can see it was a bigger contemporary, phenomenon perhaps having the constant ‘ongoing book series helped, but Lord of the Rings inspired more critical love during their time of release compared to Chris Columbus’ weighty franchise openers. It also explains why The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe can draw large box office numbers but audiences simply weren’t that interested in films of Narnia’s more obscure instalments.’ (Adcock, 2016) The Film itself had similar concepts in terms of a vast range of characters we were trying to follow but they didn’t have the build-up like The Lord of the Rings has when you get attached to characters that’s the reason Lord of the Rings did well because it had the length to show character build up. ‘Tolkien having his towering status over fantasy,’ (Adcock, 2016) has undouble influenced fantasy worlds that came afterwards. ‘Although there is obviously literal difference between Lord of the Rings and those books, what Tolkien did with elves and dwarves has remained a signpost for fantasy ever since. Elves are the wisest and most magically inclined, while Dwarves are the more materially minded race, proud of weapons and treasure, with corruptible human races coming somewhere in between.’ (Adcock, 2016)
‘It is not enough however, to consider only the text and its audience, whilst neglecting the forces present in the production of the text. Gary K. Wolfe notes that “the marketing and acquisitions practices of publishing houses have tended to emphasize certain conventions” within the genre, so that extratextual devices like maps, glossaries, genealogies, and multivolume novels (“the fat fantasy trilogy”) have become standard signifiers of the genre. “Commercial marketing category” is therefore another way of defining genre. The maps, genealogies and glossaries in most fantasy books are not only marketing devices following Tolkien’s prototype, but also act as aids to readers, allowing a fuller immersion in the imaginary worlds and geographies of fantasy. This lends them an air of “truth” or credibility by co-opting the symbolic devices and narrative techniques of factual historical discourse. Tolkien’s impact in this regard is undeniable: in the verisimilitude of Middle-earth lies its strong appeal. Tolkien’s meticulously created world, complete with maps, languages, and phases of the moon, aspired to be as real and convincing as possible. Tolkien said later, “I wanted people simply to get inside this story and take it (in a sense) as actual history.’ (Selling, 2003)
Jackson stated from the beginning he didn’t want to make a traditional fantasy film, he wanted to make something that felt much more than that. ‘Tolkien writes in a way that makes everything come alive and more real for the audience and we wanted to set that realistic feeling of an ancient world-come-to-life right away with the first film, then continue to build it as the story unravels.’ (Jackson, 2002) Constantly referring to the book Jackson would get as close to the best book to film adaption. The likes of Ian McKellen has stated the films being. Game of Thrones is a new and upcoming show that has been going on for a few years but some may relate this to the success of Tolkien’s writing which George R.R Martin has admitted to being a huge influence whilst the battle sequences and storytelling can be similarly related to Jackson’s trilogy and would question whether if Lord of the Rings trilogy would have not been filmed would we have Game of Thrones? Martin’s series is ‘darker, grittier fantasy claims the medieval turf of blood, and gore, infanticide and incest. The great dynastic houses are weakened, and petty fights for the throne undermine the need for a united defence against the looming enemy beyond the Wall. But the basics in The Lord of the Rings and A Song of Ice and Fire are the same. Like Tolkien’s Sauron, willing to slaughter however many it takes to gain power of the ring, Martin’s fantasy series is fuelled by primitive motivation: killing something to get something.’ (Ciabattari, 2014) Another book that then went on to be adapted was The Golden Compass, ‘the trilogy’s success also demonstrated that fantasy was no longer for a niche audience, unleashing floodgates for films such as Stardust, Snow White and the Huntsman, Clash of the Titans, John Carter etc.’ (Ciabattari, 2014) Even the manner of their production was imitated by high-profile blockbusters such as The Matrix Reloaded/Matrix Revolutions and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest/At World’s End, instalments which were filmed simultaneously. While this wasn’t new to the film industry, the risk that New Line Cinemas took on developing an entire untested concept was staggering. (Liptak, 2016)
‘The influence of the epic saga Lord of the Rings started immediately in the 1960’s when the imitation story The Sword of Shannara by Terry Brooks was released. The book was also the stepping stone for 1970’s popular fantasy-fiction game Dungeons and Dragons, a role-playing game that allows individuals to become fantasy-like creatures, many derived from Lord of the Rings characters such as hobbits, elves, dwarves, and orcs. The book continues to impact the fantasy video-gaming industry and has influenced popular games including Dragon Warrior, The Elder Scrolls Series, EverQuest, and Warcraft; and that’s only to name a few. Other role-playing video games are set in Middle Earth, a major area in the storyline of The Lord of the Rings.’ (Faming, 2013)
Alternate ways that Lord of the Rings trilogy influenced other forms of media, such as Fantasy genre, Music. Listening to the complete score by Howard Shore you hear every type of orchestral music throughout the films. Shore has a hugely diverse range but it’s the constant use of an initial theme but adapting it to each problem or scene that makes his score so iconic and the best score of all time.
The popular three-part book has also had a major impact on the music industry, beginning in the year 1965 when songwriter Donald Swann decided to take six poems from the book and put them to music. ‘Approved by J.R.R. Tolkien himself, the songs were published in 1967. Later in 1988, composer Johan de Meij would create Symphony No. 1 “The Lord of the Rings”, a gorgeous composition connected directly to the book with titles including “Gandalf”, “Gollum”, and “Lothlorien”. From the beginning of 1970’s to present day, rock and heavy metal bands have been heavily inspired by The Lord of the Rings. The popular 70’s band Led Zeppelin developed an array of songs including “The Battle of Evermore” and “Over the Hills and Far Away” with explicit references to the book, while Black Sabbath’s song “The Wizard” pays direct homage to the notable character Gandalf of The Lord of the Rings. Several bands created their names based on the book, including heavy metal band Cirith Ungol, which created their name from one of the mountain passes found in Middle Earth.’ (Faming, 2013)
Conclusion: Lord of The Rings as an epic narrative and a turning point.
Lord of the Rings may be defined as the best adaptation of all time with the extended editions further following up Tolkien’s epic story more so than any other film has achieved on an adaptation. Considering LOTR was never up for adaptation many attempts had been made through variety of media, including radio, stage plays, and unproduced screenplays, Tolkien himself believed his own book would never hit the big screen. The commercial and critical success of Jackson’s films brought the fantasy genre to new heights of recognition. The Return of the King is the only fantasy film to ever have won the Oscar for Best Picture, and is tied with Ben-Hur and Titanic at eleven for the record of most Oscars won by a single film. Fantasy had been a genre on screen, usually in the form of Sci-Fi with Star Wars or Back to the Future. Only 20 fantasy films were produced in the 1990s in comparison over 50 between 2000-2010, this shows the impact Lord of the Rings had made. One of the reasons this was a huge turning point is that people never thought some of these big scale fantasy novels or scripts could never be portrayed on screen e.g. not having the adequate technology at hand but Lord of the Rings changed this with making use of what they had and using old techniques and long shooting. (Dresdow, 2016) The effect of Lord of the Rings inspired films like Percy Jackson, Eragon, Harry Potter, Narnia, Spiderwick, Divergent and The Hunger Games, yet not all have succeeded in the way Lord of The Rings did but, there has always been notions of influence throughout. Lord of the Rings already had a huge audience with fans always awaiting a film but many still unsure that it would live up to what they imagined whilst reading the novels themselves. Post the films there has been an infinite amount of media based around the book and the world of Middle Earth through forums where fans would create their own characters or just discuss the origin of some certain characters.
‘History of fantasy film is linked to what is for most of us by now a familiar critical debate about ‘spectacle versus narrative’ in cinema. This is because, once again, along with other spectacle-based film genres like horror or science fiction, the use of effects sequences in fantasy films has been said to disrupt the progression of narrative… Whereas narrative is classically said to give drive, coherence and meaning to a film, spectacle has traditionally been regarded in terms of self-contained moments of visual excess. Seen in these terms, spectacle in effect short-circuits narrative, almost putting the film on hold while we’re pulled into some other dimension where action and effects take over from natural storytelling properties and dramatic revelations.’ (Furby and Hines, 2012)
CGI has dominated fantasy-films but it’s the way it’s used in The Lord of the Rings which allows it to still create a spectacle and storytelling in contemporary cinema. ‘According to Tolkien, one of the main attractions that the story world of fantasy holds for the audience is an imaginative escape from the primary or known world and real life. However, it is important to remember that this does not mean that fantasy story worlds are unable or unwilling to engage with the primary real worlds in which they are produced and consumed.’ (Furby and Hines, 2012) Rather, as we have argued, fantasy is about much more than escapism and, typical of cinema, there is often a direct correlation between the making of fantasy films and major social, cultural and ideological shifts. (Furby and Hines, 2012) Lord of the Rings is a universe which is parallel to ours in many a way as Tolkien wanted it to be our history. It’s all possible in the way it’s portrayed-on screen. This could have happened in a way but it’s the way the narrative is built with all aspects of technology and Jackson choosing what was the best to keep in flow of the films. The way Lord of the Rings shaped fantasy films for the next decade onwards was a turning point that will always have been a film that future fantasy directors will admire. As well as the success of the films it also generated a huge amount of media surrounding the franchise, with games and even just musical events of live scores being performed for years after which has allowed fans to either play or be a part of the world of Tolkien. Texts set in the future or in alternate universes are open to fan activation: the fantasy included in the original text legitimises the flights of fancy engaged in by the fans as they revise, continue and rework plot lines. Producerly texts invite fans to incorporate their own ideals and practices into the original narratives. (Mathijs, 2006) Jackson made Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings as close as many of us readers would have liked it I mean there was always going to be parts missed out but it’s what he kept in and the way it all flows that makes Jackson’s telling of the novels the best. Jackson allows us to follow his vision and be a part of what we all wanted to see in its best format. I believe Lord of the Rings to be the best book adaptations out there. Whilst it’s not perfect it’s as close as anyone has got so far and think will. Jackson created this universe that aligns to us the viewer and makes us want to be a part of it and delve deeper.
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Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001), Directed by Peter Jackson, NZ, New Line Cinema
Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002), Directed by Peter Jackson, NZ, New Line Cinema
Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003), Directed by Peter Jackson, NZ, New Line Cinema
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012), Directed by Peter Jackson, NZ, New Line Cinema
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (2013), Directed by Peter Jackson, NZ, New Line Cinema
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (2014), Directed by Peter Jackson, NZ, New Line Cinema
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005), Directed by Andrew Adamson, USA, Walt Disney Pictures
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (2001), Directed by Chris Columbus, UK, Warner Bros
Fritz the Cat (1972), Directed by Ralph Bakshi, USA, Aurica Finance Company
Star Trek (1966-1969), Created by Gene Roddenberry, USA, Desilu Productions
Hercules: The Legendary Journeys (1995-1999), Created by Christian Williams, USA, MCA Television
Xena: Warrior Princess (1995-2001), Created by Sam Raimi, USA, MCA Television
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Hellboy (2004), Directed by Guillermo del Toro, USA, Revolution Studios
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King Kong (2004), Directed by Peter Jackson, NZ, Universal Pictures
Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope (1977), Directed by George Lucas, USA, Lucasfilm
Avatar (2009), Directed by James Cameron, USA, Twentieth Century Fox
Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), Directed by Steven Spielberg, USA, Lucasfilm / Paramount
Game of Thrones (2011- ), Created by David Benioff, D.B. Weiss, USA, Home Box Office (HBO)
The Golden Compass (2007), Directed by Chris Weitz, UK, New Line Cinema
The Matrix Reloaded (2003), Directed by Lana Wachowski and Lilly Wachowski, USA, Warner Bros
The Matrix Revolutions (2003), Directed by Lana Wachowski and Lilly Wachowski, USA, Warner Bros
Pirates of the Caribbean Dead Man’s Chest (2006), Directed by Gore Verbinski, USA, Walt Disney Pictures
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Ben Hur (1959), Directed by William Wyler, USA, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)
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Percy Jackson & the Lighting Thief (2010), Directed by Chris Columbus, USA, Fox 2000 Pictures
Eragon (2006), Directed by Stefen Fangmeier, USA, Fox 2000 Picturesdo not necessarily reflect the views of UKDiss.com.
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The relationship between loss of self-identity and depression in victims who sustained a traumatic brain injury
Introduction and Literature Review
A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is an injury to the brain that is often associated with impairments on a cognitive, behavioral and psychological level for affected individuals. Around 3.5 million individuals in the U.S. sustain a traumatic brain injury each year (Coronado et al., 2012). Those affected by TBI in the U.S suffer significant rates of mortality and disability (Goverover & Chiaravalloti, 2014). The disabilities caused by trauma to the brain depend on several factors, such as the severity of the injury, the location of the injury, as well as the age and health of the patient (National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, 2013).
TBI is probably one of the most profound life events that an individual can experience, resulting in many changes across all aspects of life for the affected individual. Common disabilities associated with TBI are cognitive impairments (difficulty with thinking, memory and reasoning), sensory processing (impairments with seeing, hearing, tasting touching and smelling), communication (trouble with expression and understanding), and mental health or behavior problems (anxiety, depression, personality changes, aggression, acting out and inappropriate behavior) (National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, 2013). These acquired disabilities after the TBI can critically affect individuals’ satisfaction with life, especially for those suffering with pervasive cognitive and behavioral changes (Juengst et al., 2015).
Life satisfaction, also referred to as quality of life (Degeneffe & Lee, 2010) has shown to be intimately connected to depression, where higher levels of depressive symptoms correlate with negative reports of quality of life, memory and satisfaction with life (Goverover & Chiaravalloti, 2014). Quality of life has many definitions, and according to the World Health Organization (WHO), it is “an individual’s perception of their position in life in the context of the culture and value systems in which they live and in relation to their goals, expectations, standards and concerns” (Billington, 1999, p.3). The term health-related quality of life (HRQOL), however, encompasses a more specific subset of life quality (which has received major attention in medicine and health fields) where a common measurement, the SF-36, measures physical functioning, social functioning, role limitations due to physical problems, fatigue, pain, general health perception and perception of health over the past year (Degeneffe & Lee, 2010). In this paper, quality of life will be referred to as health-related quality of life for victims with TBI. Greater quality of life is associated with higher life satisfaction, higher life satisfaction is associated with less depressive symptoms, and lower life satisfaction is most often associated with greater depressive symptoms (Juengst et al., 2015).
Previous research has explored associations between quality of life and the effect that a shift in personal life roles have on victims with TBI. Recognition of losses, such as loss of life roles (worker, friend, parent, hobbyist, etc.) after traumatic brain injury (Tasker, 2003) can make a person feel that the life they previously lived has been lost, thus creating a sense of lost identity (Haynes, 1994). Identity can be defined as the active and dynamic understanding of self, and are derived from the interactions between people and the environment (Simon, 2004). There are many components that make up a person’s self-identity, and in line with the Social Identity Theory, individuals construct their sense of self through social relationships (Freeman, Adams, & Ashworth, 2014). Therefore, in this paper, loss of self-identity will largely refer to the loss of social identity in victims after sustaining a traumatic brain injury, as well as the loss in life roles such as hobbyist, home maintainer, friend, leisure activities participant, parent, religious participant, sibling, volunteer, etc.
Depression and Life Satisfaction/Quality of Life
Many previous studies done on victims sustaining traumatic brain injury demonstrate the prevalence of depression. According to Bombardier et al., (2010), there was a prevalence of new on-set depression for 49% of victims who had suffered a TBI. Depression can cause further cerebral damage and even slow the recovery process in victims with TBI (Perna, Rouselle, & Brennan, 2003). Bryant et al., (2010) found that major depression and generalized anxiety disorder were the two most frequently diagnosed psychiatric conditions following TBI. Furthermore, the prevalence of depression after traumatic brain injury often leads to determent of functional outcomes and community integration (Hart et al., 2011).
In one study, the adult siblings of victims sustaining TBI wrote out responses to the question, “What is your feeling regarding your sibling’s quality of life” and using comparative text analysis, the researchers found high reports of depression among their siblings with TBI (Degeneffe & Lee, 2010). It was important for the brothers and sisters to assess their siblings’ quality of life, because the often intimate, lifelong bonds between siblings make the observations of their affected siblings valid. Furthermore, depression has shown to negatively impact the accuracy of self-reports in victims with TBI, due to impacted self-awareness following TBI (Goverover & Chiaravalloti, 2014). Individuals who are more aware of their disabilities tend to have higher rates of depressive symptoms than the individuals who are not aware (Malec, et al., 2007).
Life satisfaction refers to an individual’s cognitive assessment of his or her own overall life and is intimately connected to depression. According to Perrone & Civiletto (2004), life satisfaction is “…a global feeling of contentment, fulfillment or happiness with life in general.” Individuals afflicted by moderate to severe traumatic brain injuries tend to report low levels of life satisfaction immediately after the injury (Cicerone & Azulay, 2007; Williamson et al., 2013) as well as over time (Grauwmeijer, Heijenbrok-Kal, & Ribbers, 2014; Resch et al., 2009). Research supports the notion that life satisfaction is connected to the satisfaction of life roles that an individual holds (Hughes and Galinsky, 1994).
Depression in victims who had suffered TBI was significantly associated with self-reports of quality of life, showing that the greater the depression, the lower the quality of life and life satisfaction (Goverover & Chiaravalloti, 2014). The study examined the relationship between self-awareness and depressive symptoms through self-reports of memory, quality of life and life satisfaction in victims with TBI. The Awareness Questionnaire, Health Status Questionnaire, SWLS and Memory Function Questionnaire were the measures used. It was found that while lesser symptoms of depression were associated with greater quality of life and life satisfaction, the pattern also indicated that these individuals had greater difficulty with self-awareness.
A study done by Azouvi et al. (2016) found that quality of life was the only factor out of the different factors they had measured (such as disability) that was directly related to psycho-cognitive factors for the 147 victims aged fifteen and older who suffered a severe form of traumatic brain injury. Their study followed up with the participants after four years post-injury, thus demonstrating the importance of quality of life and its effects psycho- cognitively years after the initial TBI event.
Loss of Social Roles
Previous research shows that physical and cognitive disability are the major components affecting life satisfaction for traumatic brain injury victims (Hernandez et al., 2014; Huebner, Johnson, Bennett & Schneck, 2003; Resch et al., 2009; Williamson et al., 2013), with little research focusing on the impact that a change in life roles has on the individual. A study done by Juengst et al., (2015) found, however, that cognitive disability significantly predicted the trajectories of life satisfaction over motor disability. Results from their study further suggested an importance of life role participation to be measured in combination with depressive symptoms, as lack of research in life roles may actually be more predictive of life satisfaction. The shift of life roles may affect life satisfaction on a greater scale after TBI than even cognitive or motor disability (Juengst, 2015). An account of a sibling’s report of their siblings with TBI indicated a shift in their role and the effect it had on their sibling:
“The hardest thing for me to see is the way his friends and girlfriends treat him. Once the center of attention, now nobody wants to be around him. Inside he’s the most friendly, kind-hearted and loving person I know. I guess it pisses me off when people that used to love him have completely deserted him when being with him takes more effort than it did before. I’m afraid he’s lonely, and that he always will be somewhat lonely because of something he can’t control (Degeneffe & Lee, 2010).
Once a socially well-liked person, this victim of TBI is no longer viewed the same because of his loss of social roles after the injury, and the quality of his life changed due to this loss, isolating him from his social circle which created a sense of loneliness.
In a study using siblings of victims with TBI, the greatest indication of negative quality of life was associated with role strain (Degeneffe & Lee, 2010). Their study found that the brothers and sisters of those with TBI noted that their siblings struggled with maintaining employment, caring for themselves, relationships, physical health, financial dependency and an active lifestyle.
Life satisfaction, or quality of life, (Degeneffe & Lee, 2010) is often associated with higher rates of depression in victims after sustaining a TBI (Underhill et al., 2003). A study done by Juengst et al. (2015) investigated life satisfaction trajectories between one and five years post-injury using the SWLS (Satisfaction with Life Scale in conjunction with the PART-O (Participation Assessment with Recombined Tools Objective) measuring the level of participation among different life roles, such as home-maintainer, worker, family member, friend, leisure activities participant, volunteer and religious activities participant. These findings allowed them to identify four major groups: stable satisfaction, initial satisfaction declining, initial dissatisfaction improving and stable dissatisfaction. The rates of depression among these groups were associated with the roles they continued to participate in.
The stable satisfaction trajectory group had the highest rate of participants in life roles across the ages of 16 and 30, reporting the lowest rates of depression and cognitive disability (Juengst et al., 2015). The stable dissatisfaction group had the most participants between the ages of 31 to 59, with the least number of participants reporting high levels of participation across life roles, and also reported the most cognitive disability along with the most depressive symptoms. The members of the group categorized in satisfaction declining reported low participation as workers and in leisure activities, with a lower percent of participants aged 60 and older whose satisfaction had improved with time. Finally, the group with their initial dissatisfaction improving had the second lowest rates of life satisfaction and second highest rates of depression symptoms, but improved enough by the fifth year that they reported higher levels of satisfaction and lower levels of depression than the initial satisfaction declining group. These results show correlations between life satisfaction and depressive symptoms, in that the higher the life satisfaction, the lower the depressive symptoms and vice versa. These findings also reflect the positive correlation between having higher rates of life satisfaction when there are higher rates of life role participation. There is, however, a need for more research to be done in the arena of life role changes for individuals with traumatic brain injury (Juengst, 2015).
A longitudinal study used 253 adults with either mild complicated, moderate or severe TBI, and found associations between life satisfaction, community integration and emotional distress (Williams, Rapport, Millis, & Hanks, 2014). The study used measures such as the Satisfaction with Life Scale, Positive Affectivity and Negative Affectivity Schedules (which rated how much individuals were experiencing 10 positive affective states and 10 negative affective states), The Craig Hospital Assessment and Reporting Technique Short form (which measures mobility, social integration and occupation), The Community Integration Measure (10 items on a likert scale measuring levels of community integration) and The Brief Symptom Inventory-18 (which measured emotional distress, somatization, depression and anxiety). The study found a positive relationship between life satisfaction and community integration, which was inversely related to emotional distress. The participant’s subjective beliefs of their integration within the community was greater linked with positive affectivity and life satisfaction, and less so with social participation, mobility and occupational roles.
Loss of Identity
A sample of 279 brothers and sisters of individuals with TBI reported what they felt was the quality of life of their post-injured siblings (Degeneffe & Lee, 2010). Many of the participants reported that their siblings felt a loss of identity. One participant stated,
“He has lost his identity but has not really replaced it with a new one” another reported, “But he has no ambition to do things. He has no goals or anything in his life right now. I don’t know if he ever will” and yet another stated,
“He is also not interested in a career and just doesn’t know what to do with his life”.
The reports of loss of identity tended to include high reports of losing motivation to ever going back to a life they had before the injury. These negative psychological adjustment reports also indicated higher rates of depression.
In a study done by Carroll and Coetzer (2011), 29 adults with TBI participated in an investigation to see how perceived identity change correlated with grief, depression, self-awareness and self-esteem. The range of time since the injury ranged from 2.25 years and 40 years, and they gave participants several questionnaires, such as the Head Injury Semantic Differential Scale (HISDS-III), Brain Injury Grief Inventory (BIGI), Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale-Depression, Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale (RSES) and the Awareness Questionnaire (Self/Significant other/Clinician versions). They found that there were significant changes in self-concept of victims post TBI, with currently viewing themselves negatively in comparison to how they viewed themselves before the traumatic injury. They found that perceived identity change had a positive relationship with depression and grief, and perceived identity change had a negative relationship with self-esteem and awareness.
Semi-structured interviews conducted on nine adult males (aged between 22-59 years) who survived a TBI provided insight into their sense of lost identity, talking about being “different” from who they were before the injury (Freeman et al., 2014). The researchers used thematic analysis to analyze their responses, and loss of identity was reported amongst all nine of them. One participant, Tony, reported:
“…but, um it was about me and it’s been all… it was always about me… wanting the old-me I des…desperate to have that old-meback…”
Another participant, Andrew, said:
“… [sighs] yeah I… I feel, at the moment, I feel not worth as much because, erm, I’m struggling to…err do some of the more basic things than I use to and, erm, so if you measure your self-worth by the amount, the complexity of what you can do then my self-worth has….has dropped considerably”
Both participants expressed their unhappiness with their current identity. Other participants also discussed losses to their identity that they had previously valued, such as masculinity, physical fitness or intelligence (Freeman, Adams, & Ashworth, 2014). All of the men also talked about their withdrawal from their social world, mostly physically. When they were in the company of others, they reported feelin a sense of being silenced or passive for fear of being judged and patronized by others. For those that were more cognitvely aware, they felt feelings of shame about their acquired disabilities.
A study done by Walsh et al., (2015) investigated the relationship between social identity, social support and emotional status in 53 European adult survivors (39 men and 14 women) of traumatic brain injury. Their ages ranged from 20 to 65 years of age. To measure identity, they used affliliative and “self-as-doer identities”, where affiliative refers to often unconscious identities that demonstrate belongingness, such as family and nation, and “self-as-doer” identities are self-categorized and consciously constructed. Social support was measured by the Medical Outcomes Study social support survey, and emotional status was measured by the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale.
They ran their data through SPSS and found support for affiliative identity being a driving force behind wellbeing through social support and self-as-doer identity. There was a positive correlation between affiliative identity and social support, but affiliative identity was not correlated with emotional status. Self-as-doer identity was positively correlated with emotional status as well as social support. The sense of group belonging (affiliative identity) allows a sense of social support, and that perception of social support facilitates participation in activities, which then allows for the internalization of social identities (self-as-doer identity) (Stephen Walsh, Muldoon, Gallagher, & Fortune, 2015). Thus, the study highlights the importance of identity and social support for wellbeing in victims that sustained a traumatic brain injury. The data gives support for the idea that a loss in identity would deter individuals from seeking out participatory behaviors, thus creating an increase in emotional distress.
Through this literature review, there is support for the interrelatedness of quality of life, loss of self-identity and depression for individuals affected by traumatic brain injury. However, there were limitations to these studies. Some of the studies had small sample sizes, some of the studies only investigated male participants, and many of the studies had participants with wide age ranges, different locations of brain injury as well as differing levels of injury severity. When there are reports for loss of identity in victims post-TBI, there is a trend for lower levels of quality of life and higher rates of depression. Therefore, does loss of identity increase depressive symptoms in individuals with TBI?
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Low Cost Housing Schemes and their Seismic Resistance
Resilience in Buildings through Low-Cost Approach
Resilience has been accepted as an aspect that is inevitable in the construction industry owing to the vulnerability to disasters. In order for resilience to be of practical importance, affordability is a major factor that has to be tackled. Achieving resilience in buildings through a low cost approach is the topic under consideration. Protection of buildings from disasters or providing them with the ability to keep the inflicted damages in check, would essentially invoke images of high-end technological innovation at play which would in turn be highly expensive.
As has been defined by Hollings (cited by (Dipasquale et al., 2016)) – “Resilience is the capacity of an ecosystem to tolerate disturbance without collapsing into a qualitatively different state that is controlled by a different set of processes” and is agreed to by Van et al., 2012 (cited in (Dipasquale et al., 2016)), the notion of resilience involves the capability of a system to:-
Adapt to the changing conditions in its context
Take advantage of the changes imposed on the system and learn from it
Have a high degree of self-organistation
The literature review covers the earthquake as a natural disaster and the possible low-cost resilience achievement strategy.
Narrowing in onto the locality of Delhi, Delhi is most vulnerable to earthquake and the government has initiated various low-cost housing schemes which need to be looked into. The research question intended to narrow upon is: ‘Are the EWS Housing Schemes of the DDA and other private initiatives constructed after 2001, seismically compliant?’ The low-cost housing schemes that the government has initiated are essentially low-cost but are they resilient?
Since resilience is not a consistent factor throughout the country, and it is highly variable with respect to the geographical location of any place, the study of such variability is important which can be achieved by the mapping of vulnerability to disasters.
This dissertation aims to examine and evaluate the earthquake resisting capability of the various designed low-cost housing schemes of the DDA (Delhi Development Authority) and other private initiatives constructed under the supervision of an architect and an engineer. It will focus in on the project post Bhuj earthquake i.e. 2001.
In this research the main objectives are to:
List down the various designed low-cost housing schemes existing in Delhi
The various schemes will be evaluated upon whether they are earthquake resilient based on various criteria using the Evaluation Tool for Seismic Conscious Architecture
To draw a conclusion of how architecturally earthquake resistant the schemes are.
To draw a conclusion as to what percentage of the housing schemes are likely to survive an earthquake.
The study is restricted to urban areas.
Although low-cost housing schemes exist throughout the country, for research and survey purposes only the schemes of Delhi and NCT have been studied.
The earthquake resilience of only the multi-storeyed low-cost housing schemes has been studied.
The projects past 2001 are those under consideration.
The research will focus only on the architectural parameters in evaluating the seismic resilience of the projects under study
The study will be limited to the resources available due to limited availability of time.
The information regarding the type of housing typologies is strictly based on census reports by the BMPTC 2014 and thus subjected to variation over the years.
The study will not include a quantitative analysis on the structural seismic resilience of the projects under consideration.
‘An Evaluation Tool for Architects: Seismic Conscious Architecture’ developed by Prof. Dr. Mandeep Singh will be my primary tool for evaluation of the structures that have been conceived under the Pradhan Manthri Awas Yojana. The evaluation tool has been developed with the help of references from international sources and is well ahead of the revised Indian Standard Codes.
The research methodology demands access to the architectural drawings that have been promised by the DUSIB (Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board).
The architectural drawings will be evaluated using the Tool developed by Prof. Dr. Mandeep Singh and will be checked for seismic compliance. The various aspects will be checked and tabulated and possible methods to overcome the shortcomings will be included.
An analysis will be conducted for the buildings constructed from the 2001 period and on how the buildings have been made adaptable to the revised codes. My findings will include the safety of various structures and a trend if any is followed as per the codes.
Disaster mapping of India:
This chapter will look at how disaster vulnerability varies across the regions of the country and the how vulnerability of a place is not only dependent on the incidence of disasters in the area but also on the demographics.
Earthquake Vibration and Measuring Ground Motion:
Seismic Response of Structures
Damping in Structures
A Study on the Seismic capability of the Dhajji Dewari System
Factors Affecting Damage to Buildings:
Regular and Irregular Configuration
Can vernacular methods of construction be counted as low-cost?
This chapter will lead a debate on whether vernacular construction is actually low-cost or not and takes account from various sources and authors based on their various opinions
Is vernacular method of construction a possible low-cost approach towards resilience: A Case Study in Nepal
This chapter will look at the EWS and LIG Housing Schemes with respect to the Indian Context and how the low-cost aspects incorporated into it along with how the aspect of resilience is achieved in the process.
Secondary Case Studies
Primary Case Study
Disaster mapping of India:-
‘Vulnerability is defined as the susceptibility of human and environmental systems that are likely to experience harm or damage from the exposure to stresses and from the absence of capacity to adapt’
as mentioned in IPCC (2001) and cited by Adger (2006) (cited by (Chakraborty and Joshi, 2016)).The concept of multi-dimensionality is now being used for the vulnerability analysis i.e. vulnerability of an area is dependent upon the following aspects:
Exposure (earthquake, cyclones, floods, droughts, and sea-level rise)
Sensitivity (Population Sensitivity: population density, marginal workers; Ecological sensitivity: forest cover, protected area, and net sown area)
Adaptive Capacity (literacy rate, electricity availability, road facilities, communication facilities, and medical facilities)
The concept of multi-dimensionality called for a process called Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP) that calculated the weights of each of the above mentioned criteria involved.
Even with the indicators in place, the vulnerability of various districts in India will not be invariably the same. Therefore, a composite vulnerability index was developed which would combine the measures of the indicators suggested above and return a gross value that indicates the vulnerability position of the particular area. The results show that north and north-eastern parts of India require immediate attention in terms of disaster resilience, whereas the least vulnerable states are those in the southern part of the country. The author points out to the fact that being highly exposed or highly sensitive does not necessarily mean that the area is highly vulnerable to disaster, nor does having high adaptive capacity mean that the area is any less vulnerable (Chakraborty and Joshi, 2016).
‘The prior knowledge of vulnerability of the system and ways to increase its adaptive capacity would help in reducing the adverse risks due to disasters. In resource-constrained countries, disaster vulnerability assessments will help in identifying and enhancing the actions required for adaptation and mitigation strategies for the most vulnerable communities’ (Chakraborty and Joshi, 2016)
‘Modularity’ in Resilience of a City:-
Modularity in the strictest sense of the word refers to the property of a certain unit to be constructed within a standard or particular set of dimensions for flexibility and variety in use (Merriam Webster, n.d.). This property is particularly efficient as a characteristic of a resilient city as the general working of a particular unit will be independent. This approach will mimic the connectivity as in a star typology of networking where in the server will have the highest priority and provided the best possible resistance against mishaps, in the context under consideration, the service headquarters of the city. This approach can be extended for every building but has to be incorporated in its conceptual stage itself and thus will result in minimum running cost after instances of disasters. ‘A modular system has more capacity of adaptation compared to a non-modular system’ (Ozel, Dipasquale and Mecca, 2014). Research is yet to figure out how modularity can be effectively put to place in building construction.
Earthquake Vibration and Measuring Ground Motion:
Although the origin of earthquakes is not fully understood, enough is known to affirm that some earthquakes are of volcanic origin, others caused by cave-ins, landslides or other minor phenomena, and still others are of tectonic origin. Since the vibratory motion of the ground is manifested in structures in the form of inertial forces directly related to the acceleration of the ground, scientists have designed instruments called “strong motion seismograph” which make it possible to record in an instrument called an accelerogram, the motions of the ground during an earthquake. (Low-Cost Construction Resistant to Earthquakes and Hurricanes, 1975)
Seismic Response of Structures:
Since structures are not infinitely rigid, they are deformed when subjected to inertial forces and move in a direction opposite to that of the seismic motion applied to the base of the structure. Thus the inertial forces whose magnitude is the mass of the structure times its acceleration, are a function of the characteristics of the ground motion and structural characteristics of the building.
The most severe seismic motion to which a structure may be exposed during its useful life cannot be accurately predicted, but from a knowledge of the geology of the region and an analysis of the properties of the soil on the foundation site, it is possible to estimate the most likely characteristics of earthquakes which may affect a given structure. (Low-Cost Construction Resistant to Earthquakes and Hurricanes, 1975)
Damping in Structures:
Damping is referred to as the changing response of a building to ground motion by making the vibrations inefficient i.e. when the structure is in motion, it has the tendency to return to the starting position quickly. This is done in order to avoid a situation where the building period might coincide with the period of the ground vibration and the building might start to resonate, highly increasing its acceleration and the seismic forces. The magnitude of damping also depends upon its connections, on-structural elements and construction materials (Prof. Dr. Singh, 2013).
Type of Structure Damping (%)
Reinforced Concrete 5-10
Metal Frame 1-5
Source: (Low-Cost Construction Resistant to Earthquakes and Hurricanes, 1975)
Factors Affecting Damage to Buildings:
Building Configuration: It is used to describe the shape and size of the building, the size and location of the structural elements and the nature, size and nonstructural elements that may affect structural performance (Prof. Dr. Singh, 2013).
Regular and Irregular Configuration:
To perform well in an earthquake, a building should possess four main attributes, namely:
simple and regular configuration, and
adequate lateral strength,
Buildings having simple regular geometry and uniformly distributed mass and stiffness in plan as well as in elevation, suffer much less damage than buildings with irregular configurations (IS 1893 (Part 1), 2002).
i) Torsion Irregularity:
To be considered when floor diaphragms are rigid in their own plan in relation to the vertical structural elements that resist the lateral forces. Torsional irregularity to be considered to exist when the maximum storey drift, computed with design eccentricity, at one end of the structures transverse to an axis is more than 1.2 times the average of the storey drifts at the two ends of the structure
ii) Re-entrant Corners:
Plan configurations of a structure and its lateral force resisting system contain re-entrant corners, where both projections of the structure beyond the re-entrant corner are greater than 15 percent of its plan dimension in the given direction
iii) Diaphragm Discontinuity:
Diaphragms with abrupt discontinuities or variations in stiffness, including those having cut-outs or open areas greater than 50 percent of the gross enclosed diaphragm area, or changes in effective diaphragm stiffness of more than 50 percent from one storey to the next
iv) Out-of-plane Offsets:
Discontinuities in a lateral force resistance path, such as out-of-plane offsets of vertical elements
v) Non-parallel Systems:
The vertical elements resisting the lateral force are not parallel to or symmetric about the major orthogonal axes or the lateral force resisting elements. (IS 1893 (Part 1), 2002)
(i) Stiffness Irregularity
A soft storey is one in which the lateral stiffness is less than 70 percent of that in the storey above or less than 80 percent of the average lateral stiffness of the three storeys above
Extreme Soft Storey
An extreme soft storey is one in which the lateral stiffness is less than 60 percent of that in the storey above or less than 70 percent of the average stiffness of the three storeys above. For example, buildings on STILTS will fall under this category.
(ii) Mass Irregularity
Mass irregularity shall be considered to exist where the seismic weight of any storey is more than 200 percent of that of its adjacent storeys. The irregularity need not be considered in case of roofs
(iii) Vertical Geometric irregularity
Vertical geometric irregularity shall be considered to exist where the horizontal dimension of the lateral force resisting system in any storey is more than 150 percent of that in its adjacent storey
(iv) In-plane Discontinuity in Vertical Elements Resisting Lateral Force
An in-plane offset of the lateral force resisting elements greater than the length of those elements
(v) Discontinuity in Capacity – Weak Storey
A weak storey is one in which the storey lateral strength is less than 80 percent of that in the storey above. The storey lateral strength is the total strength of all seismic force resisting elements sharing the storey shear in the considered direction (IS 1893 (Part 1), 2002).
Revision of the IS Codes:
The following revisions have been made in the 6th Revision of IS 1893:
Additional clarity has been brought into the mechanisms involved in handling different types of structural irregularities.
Explicit inclusion of the effect of masonry infill walls on design of frame buildings.
Simplification of torsional provisions and performance factor.
Including simplified method for liquefaction potential analysis. (Sinha, 2016)
‘Structures designed as per this standard are expected to sustain structural damage, but are not expected to collapse during strong earthquake ground shaking.’ (Sinha, 2016) He also mentions that in seismically active areas, construction that would result in heavy debris and consequent loss of life and property, such as unreinforced masonry (e.g. adobe, stone or brick masonry in mud mortar, and random rubble stone masonry) should be avoided. In account of the fact that earthquakes can cause other chain effects such as landslides, floods, tsunamis, fires and disruption to communication, precautions in the siting, planning and design of the structures have to be taken. (Sinha, 2016)
Our country India is facing an intense crisis due to rising population with a present population count of 1.23 billion. Severe competition for the limited resources available means the shortages work against the poor and the under privileged needless to say land and housing requirements continues to be a constant necessity (Mitra, 2012).
Cost effective housing is a relative concept and has more to do with budgeting and seeks to reduce construction cost through better management, appropriate use of local materials, skills and technology but without sacrificing the performance and structure life (Tiwari et al., 1999). Tam opines that low cost housings are not houses which constructed by cheap building materials of substandard quality but that which is designed and constructed as any other house with regard to foundation, structure and strength. The reduction in cost is essentially achieved through effective utilization (Tam, 2011).
Ar. A. K. Jain opines that it is not always true that higher FAR can help in creating a higher quantity of housing. And that sometimes increased FAR has led to creation of vacant, speculative, luxury housing, with no relation to the social needs and poverty. As such the Floor Area Ratio has to be seen in combination with plot coverage, density and housing form which involves a balanced trade-off between open and built-up spaces (Sharma et al., 2016).
‘While deciding the FAR, a balance has to be struck between the cost of land per unit and construction cost. While higher density and FAR may reduce the cost of land, the cost of construction increases steeply’
and also high-rise living has negative environmental consequences, heat island effect, air pollution and increase in carbon footprint. Higher energy spent on the lifts, pumps and air-conditioning in high-rise housing, and is technology intensive and more fire and earthquake prone (Sharma et al., 2016).
Income Category Income Limit (₹ Per month) Housing Shortage in Millions at the end of 10th Five Year Plan (2002-07) Housing Shortage in Millions at the end of 11th Five Year Plan (2007-12)
Economically Weaker Section (EWS) Upto 5000 21.78 24.71
Low Income Group (LIG) 5001-10000 2.89 5.63
Source: (Housing for Urban Poor, 2011)
The Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana has been the most successfully undertaken project regarding the housing for the urban poor. Recent innovations have led to PMAY adopting them in the construction process. Till date 11 new technologies have been earmarked to be adopted under the PMAY (U) mission: (Annual Report, 2016-17)
1. Monolithic Concrete Construction System using Plastic/ Aluminum Formwork
2. Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) Core Panel System
3. Industrialized Precast RCC components technology
4. Glass Fiber Reinforced Gypsum (GFRG) Panel Building System
5. Factory Made Fast Track Modular Building System
6. Light Gauge Steel Framed Structures (LGSF)
7. Wafflecrete Building System
8. Modular Tunnel-form System
9. Pre-cast Large Concrete Panel System
10. Structural Stay-in-place formwork system
11. Pre-stressed precast hollow core slab, beam, column, solid wall system (Annual Report, 2016-17)
Shri. R. B. Suryavanshi and V. G. Jana opine that construction with precast concrete is sustainable, economical, high quality and earthquake-resistant and names prefab technology as the ‘only definite solution’ if chosen appropriately-basically because of the reduction in dead-weight due to light-weight prefab components. They also mention SHRIKE group as a pioneer in prefab building system by the brand name of ‘3-S’ which fulfills the end-users ultimate needs of strength, safety, affordability and availability in the shortest possible time. The system is claimed to have been tried and tested on all types of climatic conditions and seismic zones (Sharma et al., 2016).
The load-bearing shear wall construction using High Strength Reinforced Hollow Concrete Block Technology (RCB technology) replaced the RCC framed construction. The conventional load bearing construction was becoming obsolete due to 2 reasons:
Strength of brick used was limited by the quality of clay available, which made wall thickness higher as height of building increases
The RCB technology is used as earthquake resistant seismic rehabilitation structures in almost all earthquake-hit areas in India, post-earthquake. Moreover, in seismic regions, special attention is required to make foundations continuous using horizontal reinforcement. Prefabrication is not recommended for foundations in normal situations. A cost saving tip is that in case of black cotton or other soft soils, ream pile foundation is recommended which saves about 20-15% in cost over conventional method of construction (Sharma et al., 2013)
‘CPWD, DDA & NBCC have adopted the three new technologies approved by the Ministry viz. Monolithic Concrete Construction system using Aluminium Formwork, Industrialized 3-S system using Cellular Light Weight Concrete Slabs and Precast Columns and Monolithic Concrete Construction system using Plastic- Aluminium Formwork mandatorily for all the projects across the country, irrespective of location and project cost w.e.f. 01.04.2017.’ (Annual Report, 2016-17)
In the case study conducted in Ahmedabad regarding Slum Upgrading Programs and Disaster Resilience (2016) it was discovered that residents with concrete shelters or pucca (permanent) houses are, on the whole, not as concerned with the danger of earthquakes as residents in more kutchcha (temporary) housing. It was learnt that that kutchcha housing needed a stronger foundation, cemented walls or soldered electrical circuits. One focus group agreed that they need to secure their homes with brick walls and construct pillars to prevent the house from collapsing. However, the governing body felt they had to make trade-offs based on upgrades to deal with both concerns of heat stresses and earthquakes (Yu et al., 2016).
When asked where information for disaster preparation or mitigation has been collected, almost all residents said that there is no Community Resource Centre to collect information – most have learned from their own experiences. Only one resident had received disaster training from a local NGO, and responded that it was for this reason he made these structural adaptations for his home. Other respondents noted that they receive disaster information from the television or radio, but many rely on the community response to let them know if there is a disaster.
The communities were chosen based on advice from a local organisation (All India Disaster Mitigation Institute has been involved in the recommendation of the several communities for the interview. Seven different communities were chosen to provide an equal representation of Ahmedabad’s slum community members from both the East and West part of the city (within the corporation’s limits) with a range of different religions, cultures, and occupations. Meetings were held with home owners and community leaders whenever possible. All interviews were performed in the local dialect (Gujarati) with the help of a local interpreter and translated to English. All interviews were recorded with hand written field notes. (Yu et al., 2016)
A number of community members (CMs) have been involved in the disaster mitigation actions and they opine that the effectiveness will depend upon the physical, social and political structures in place.
“No information was given to me by the government. I use my own thinking and look at what (my) neighbours are doing.” CM#1
Most interviewees responded that they did not receive any training from a community resource center, government or NGO programs; they use more popular formats such as the television, radio, newspaper, and endorsed more self-help models (Yu et al., 2016).
Whereas, the case with the building material affordability is that over the last decade the prices have tripled. The last report published by the World Bank was in 2012 for domestic income till 2011. It was recorded to be 55,000 billion. However within 10 years the income has rose from 30,000 billion to 55,000 billion. So the total percent rise can be aggregated to merely 67%. However, the steady rise of the building materials prices has increased with an exorbitant rate of 300%. This haphazard rise has caused an economic imbalance in the society which has led to the decrease in the housing affordability index. (Kulkarni, Dr. Jakharb and Prof. Hudnurkar, 2014)
Asok Lall opines that for an Affordable housing Scheme an FSI of 1-1.2 would give a good density and should not be more than that. This would mean not only that the building would then be 4-5 storey I but also many people are willing to share such a multi-storey building as they would be close to the round and have access to open round as a compensation for their small home. Moreover, even if the construction cost is high, if focused upon just the construction cost, ten building 4-5 storeys is optimal. And the moment we to 8 storeys there comes another 15% and so on proportionally which is literally moving away from affordability (Gopalan and Venkataraman, 2015).
Is vernacular method of construction a possible low-cost approach towards resilience: A Case Study in Nepal:-
The argument that modern construction has an upper-hand in mid-rise as well as high-rises is irrefutable and cost-efficient as is the case with buildings architecturally designed to take challenging forms (Ali and Moon, 2007) in contrary to the case of shallow buildings, is acceptable.
As Disaster resilient vernacular housing technology in Nepal (2016) puts it, modern methods of disaster tackling are better if we have the means but if not, then vernacular means have to be depended upon. The studies that it presents to support the reasoning are as follows:
Kaski – the hilly countryside of Nepal that was chosen to be the earthquake prone area, boasts of houses with mud bonded bricks or stones with a significant fraction of timber elements called the rounded houses or Ghumauro dhi, locally. They are symmetrical and may go upto 2 stories. The wooden elements such as rafters and struts introduced at openings. Roofing is generally done with seasoned stones properly tied with iron wires providing integral framework. The units are tied to purlins using wooden pegs. There is load reduction happening in the upper storey which was consequently incorporated in the modern building codes. The openings are smaller which would increase its load-bearing of support in addition to wooden sill and lintel bands. The foundation was ensured to be leveled despite the site being contoured.
The Rajbanshi architecture of the Terai (Jhapa) region- a low lying plain area prone to floods- have wooden pillared structures with unconstructed platforms (about 1-3m in height). Wooden pillars extended upto the roof made of the dampness resistant Shorea robusta was used. The use of mud-bonded bricks or stones is prevalent for walls. And so are the walls made by bamboo tied together. The structures are mostly single storied. The gable roof is separated from the structure by using a wooden slab or a slab constructed using bamboo.
It has been proved in the recent earthquakes that these two forms are adequately resilient. The authors are clearly confident about the resilience of these structures and have mentioned that they are cost effective as well. “-so sometimes such features perform better than deficient RC structures”. (Gautam et al., 2016). That points to an added bonus of cost effectiveness.
The authors opine that compiling together local practice codes, such as standards and quality controls could be a key to conserving and designing resilient structures. (Dipasquale et al., 2016)(cited by (Hicyilmaz et al., 2012); (Gautam et al., 2016).
It also claims that since traditional indigenous methods have been in use for centuries, local people have stuck to them “due to economic and technological constraints of switching the construction practice towards reinforced concrete”. The author points out that money and technology are the aspects that are pulling them back from using present modern methods for construction. In addition, since majority of the population is concentrated in rural areas, it is difficult to ascertain whether the Building rules and codes are being enforced properly (Gautam et al., 2016).
Can vernacular methods of construction be counted as low-cost?
Timber is without doubt the best material to be used for earthquake resistance as has been proved by the vernacular examples of dhajji dewari construction techniques in Jammu, as is the case with the Ghumauro dhi and the Rajbanshi architecture in Nepal (Gautam et al., 2016) (Hicyilmaz et al., 2012). Timbre is by far the expensive material in the construction industry owing to the difficulty in procurement. Therefore, timbre is definitely not the low-cost alternative for earthquakes.
Though earthquake and flood events occurring in quick succession have together severely affected parts of Nepal as had happened in 2015, building codes have been formulated only for safety against earthquake events though there is no authority that presides over to check their implementation, neither are they being revised. Although, MRT (Mandatory Rule of Thumb) – a section devoted to modern construction practices is followed atleast in the urban and suburban regions, implying there is still a general difficulty in following engineered construction methods (Gautam et al., 2016).
Kumar (2007) points out that while building in areas which are seismically vulnerable, certain aspects in the building planning can reduce the structural expenses i.e. for the reinforcement and the grade of concrete used. This is because inherently some building characteristics provide it with a greater resilience than others which would then demand careful designing and increased use of reinforcement and higher grade of concrete, which would in turn increase the cost of construction. This can be avoided by keeping in mind the following rules of thumb to avoid failures due to seismic events:
Symmetrical structure calling for least mass eccentricity.
Avoid structural discontinuities in plan, and also in elevation resulting from hanging/floating columns, weak storeys, and large cantilevers (generally cantilevers with a length more than 2m are uneconomic for a grid size of 6 x 6m).
Since openings in walls tend to weaken them, lesser the openings the better seismically. (Abraham et al., 1996) points out that for optimum day-lighting, an opening of 40% area of the wall face is enough. This thumb rule for sustainability can be used as a limiting factor for openings.
The use of shear walls: Past experience has shown that buildings with well distributed reinforcement in the form of walls, even if they were not especially designed for seismic performance, were saved from collapse. Kumar (2007) holds up shear walls as a popular choice in seismically active countries such as Chile, New Zealand and the U.S. because their reinforcement detailing is straightforward and hence easily implemented at site. The claim that shear wall designing is straightforward has to be refuted as shear wall construction is extremely expensive and hence its provision has to be agreed upon. The author also states that shear walls are efficient, both in terms of construction cost and effectiveness in minimizing earthquake damage in structural as well as non-structural elements.
The simple post and beam structure- the basic building configuration if for used a modern concrete multi-storey building is inherently unstable with regard to horizontal forces regardless of the strength or stiffness of the beams and columns. In such a case, points of failure have to be identified and dealt with rigid frame structural arrangement (Kumar, 2007).
A Study on the Seismic capability of the Dhajji Dewari System:
After the 2010 earthquake in Kashmir, around 100,000 houses were reconstructed using the dhajji dewari system. Analyses were carried out to evaluate the performance of this construction technique when subjected to high earthquake loads and to find out ways in which this system can be enhanced by using modern technology. This study was to find out whether it can be offered as a credible technology against ‘technologically complicated modern construction methods’ (Hicyilmaz et al., 2012)
The Dhajji dewari system also referred to as ‘brick nogged timber frame construction’ is constructed using local materials hence easily accessible timber and masonry infill with mud mortar. A digital model of the Dhajji dewari building was created using the software LS-DYNA while physical testing using actual prototypes was carried out at the University of Engineering and Technology (UET) Peshawar. The results of the analyses are as described below:
Significant difference shown in the construction with and without nails.
Push-over analysis of the building revealed that building with nails can withstand lateral drift more than that expected of the largest earthquake mentioned in the uniform Building Code 1997, hence proving that this system of building construction is valid for areas of high seismic vulnerability as long as it is properly constructed and carefully maintained.
Timber framing and connections should be well detailed to have adequate strength and ductility.
The strategic use of metal straps and/or nails improves building performance. Wooden joints are a better option as they do not pose the risk of getting corroded.
Sensitivity Analysis -Application of overburden on the walls were found to increase the resistance of the system against lateral movement due to the friction capacity of the assembly proving that the use of this system for two or three storey building may be satisfactory.
The analyses conducted prove that it is possible to model the behavior of traditional systems.
The computer quantitative analysis was shown to be consistent with the physical testing.
The computer was able to reproduce the deformation mechanisms as visible in physical tests.
Shortening of the braces were resulting in improved seismic load absorption. Consequentially, removal of braces didn’t show adverse effects and might as well point to a simpler construction system (Hicyilmaz et al., 2012).
Since dhajji dewari system uses friction between the infill panels and the timber frames and also between the mortar joints of the infill itself and not through the non-linear deformations of the frame case as would be in case of modern concrete and steel construction, traditional construction system is at a clear advantage here (Hicyilmaz et al., 2012). What this paper does not describe is the standard guidelines for an earthquake engineered dhajji dewari building, the repair and retro-fitting of existing buildings.
Another construction system present in the vale of Kashmir is the Taq system. ‘Taq construction is a composite system of building construction with a modular layout of load-bearing masonry piers and window bays tied together with ladder-like constructions of horizontal timbers embedded in the masonry walls at each floor level and window lintel level.’ (Dar and Ahmad, 2015) The use of timber proves to be useful in arresting disruptive cracking, while it evenly distributes the deformation that adds to the energy dissipation capacity of the system without jeopardizing the structural integrity and vertical load-carrying capacity. Timber although is inelastic, it is capable of undergoing inelastic deformation which exemplifies the assembled character of absorption of seismic vibration. Kashmir especially being a site having loose soil that aggravates the seismic vibrations, energy absorption is an absolute necessity, and timber helps to achieve this. The buildings are very flexible but not elastic. Timber ties the short walls and the long walls together and also tie up the pier and infill to some extent. ‘If old buildings built by hand with few tools, little formal education, and even less money can outperform new buildings of modern materials and technology in response to –‘clearly shows that Dar and Ahmad confident regarding the strengths of this vernacular typology against modern concrete and steel structures. They also point out that if that is the case then the cost of construction that has to be borne will be significantly less and resilient structures will then be affordable to the economically weaker sections of the society (Dar and Ahmad, 2015).
Resilience of vernacular architecture (2015) claims that vernacular structures are far more predominant in resilience as compared to ‘western influenced’ concrete buildings .The example given by Ovali et al. (2014) to support this argument is that of the Nias- an island located to the western coast of Sumatra where 80% of the modern concrete buildings collapsed, while very few vernacular buildings were damaged and ultimately caused less casualties in 2005 earthquake. This they claim is due to the relative lightness of wooden structures (Dipasquale et al., 2016).
Resilience and Intangible Heritage of Vernacular Architecture (2015) claims that construction with locally available resources has more resilience than the construction with materials which are difficult to access (Ozel, Dipasquale and Mecca, 2014). This is the same claim raised by ‘Principles of Sustainable Development: Volume 1’, as a part of vesting in efforts for reducing the carbon footprint and in turn striving for a more sustainable approach (van Weenen, 2009). ‘In the context of resilience, local materials provide buildings the capacity of adaptation to the changing climate conditions as they keep evolving in the terms of time according to the changing environment’ (Ozel, Dipasquale and Mecca, 2014). One exception to this case as pointed out by Gautam et al. (2016) is that, the use of mud-mortar is the reason that the structures lack structural integrity. Instead, preference is towards the usage of cement mortar which is conventional.
Affordable Housing and Earthquakes:
The correlation between poverty and affordable quality of housing is evident from the comparison of the earthquakes in Chile and Haiti. Even though the 8.8-magnitude earthquake in Chile was 500 times stronger than the 7.0-magnitude earthquake that rocked Haiti, the scope of damage was significantly less. Chile has been able to take into account the effect of earthquakes and designing for them since the beginning of the 20th century. Haiti, on the contrary, is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere and has rather weak construction practices (SadreGhazi, 2011)
The example of Saraman shows how a combination of advanced technology, transfer of know-how, training and local adoption using local resources and capacities can pave the way for new solutions. Effective use and implementation of technology speeds up the production process, hence reduces the construction time and saves costs making products affordable. Such technologies address a major problem facing housing in earthquake prone developing countries where high costs of construction, fraud and ineffective monitoring systems give way to construction of unsafe and low-quality houses. Such low-quality houses are like time-bombs that destroy the life of the poor with the trigger of an earthquake (SadreGhazi, 2011).
Secondary Case Studies:-
Saraman: Affordable Earthquake Resistant Housing in Iran
MARKET AND LOCATION CONTEXT:
Iran (1,648,195 km²) is the 18th largest country in the world in terms of area with a sprawling population of about 70 million, of which 67% is urban. Much of the country consists of a high central plateau ringed by mountains and major faults cross at least 90% of the country. Iran has a long history of disastrous earthquake activity. Not only have these earthquakes killed thousands but they have also lead to waste of valuable natural resources.
Among the Middle Eastern countries, Iran has experienced one of the fastest urbanization periods. Due to a baby boom in the early 1980s and rural-urban migration, during the last decade, just the urban population has increased by 11 million. This has created a challenge for urban housing, especially since it is coupled with increased urban poverty level. Unemployment rate is estimated at 20%.
Two academic entrepreneurs, one German and one Iranian, decided to address the challenge of affordable earthquake proof construction in the developing world using state of the art technology.
CONSTRUCTION CHALLENGE AND HOUSING MARKET
In Iran, housing has a very low state capital share and the majority of investment is done by the private sector. Constructors when enquired about this obvious safety problem frequently answered:
“Everybody cuts cost this way. I would not be competitive not using these opportunities.” On the other hand, Saraman proves that building safe construction can be profitable, provided that proper technology is used efficiently and in a systematic way.
Average construction life in Iran is 30 years, which reduces the economic value of the construction. Seventy percent of the houses are vulnerable to earthquake; thus Iran’s geographical position over a seismic belt necessitates the renovation of the construction sector and the building of earthquake-proof houses. This requires a boom in real-estate development, foreign investment and use of advanced technologies.
There is a severe housing shortage as each year about 800,000 new families are formed, but only around 450,000 housing units are built.12 Iran needs to build over one million housing units annually, but this has not been achieved yet. Another major issue is the rising price of accommodation, which is a big burden especially for lower income households.
Earthquake-proof constructions are mandated by law in Iran. However, experts who visit Iranian construction sites will observe frequent and obvious contradictions between the regulation and actual practice. This is mainly due to fraud in the construction sector, which is at times facilitated by lenient monitoring (SadreGhazi, 2011).
COST REDUCTION BY ENHANCING EFFICIENCY
“We adopted the procedures of safe flaw-less production…We learned how to do it using older machine tools.”
-Professor Jamshid Parvizian, Iranian co-founder of Saraman
In order to understand how the use of advanced construction technology, despite its initial high price, reduces the final cost of the construction, first we should take a look at the conventional construction projects in Iran. There are four major costs associated with a construction project: land, construction material, machinery and labour. Saraman utilized technology and process optimization to reduce costs at various stages. Using advanced construction technology and fully prefabricating in an industrial workshop can significantly reduce the construction time, hence the unnecessary capital lock-up. In addition, the safety of such construction is by far better than conventional construction. There is no production on site any longer, no risky on-site welding. Erection of structures is reduced to assembly only, using bolts (SadreGhazi, 2011).
In line with that approach, Saraman adapted innovative construction methods, a modular design for the industrial production of earthquake-safe structures, strictly separating safety relevant components from non-relevant ones. First, the safety-related structure is fabricated in the industrial workshop of Saraman by engineers and practitioners who had received professional vocational training. There is a strict quality control by the professors and their PhD students. In the next step, the components that are not safety relevant, mainly the in-fills, can be done by local low-skilled labour to create jobs. In-fills are made by locally available, cheap material in an environmentally friendly way. This cheap or free material, such as soft sun-dried adobe, is the cost-cutting feature to compensate for the cost of steel structures to guarantee safety.
The Iranian co-founder summarizes the cost reduction of the Saraman approach compared to the conventional construction as “…for simple residential houses the steel structure is about US$60/m2, and the total cost of the construction, including the piping and kitchen is about US$250/m2. If you compare this with other construction methods, for massive construction, the Saraman product can be 20-40% cheaper. The saving is due to the modular design which reduces scrap, the CAD modeling which makes any re-doing on site unnecessary, and the time saved by fast processing techniques which is against inflation“.
Figure 1 Figure 2
Case Study: Moladi- an affordable housing solution
BACKGROUND: THE CONTEXT OF AFFORDABLE HOUSING IN SOUTH AFRICA
In a country with deep socio-economic divides such as South Africa, housing is one the most sensitive and immediate issues affecting the lower income segments. According to current estimates, close to 14% of South Africa’s 13.4 million households consist of informal dwellings, the generic term employed in South Africa to designate shacks, corrugated-iron structures and other makeshift shelters. This represents around 1.8 million households and anything between 7.2 and 10.8 million people (Coetzer, 2010).
In order to translate this commitment into results, the first fully democratic South African government, immediately upon taking office in 1994, embarked on a far-reaching economic policy framework called the ‘Reconstruction and Development Programme’, widely known as the RDP. Even though the RDP itself has long since been shelved in favour of updated and modified economic policies, its name lives on in the collective imagination of South Africans, and government-subsidized housing units are still commonly referred to as ‘RDP houses’ – usually small, simple 40m2 brick units with a basic corrugated iron roof.
Unit cost of Moladi 40m2 unit Average unit cost of conventional 40m2 unit
R 45,280 R 55,000
Source: (Coetzer, 2010)
1 Rand (R) = 4.89 INR
Moladi is based in Port Elizabeth, the largest city in South Africa’s Eastern Cape Province.
The province itself, with an estimated population of 6.65 million in 2009, is in many ways a microcosm of South Africa, characterized by sharp disparities of economic development and income. It is the second poorest of South Africa’s nine provinces, with an average annual income of R 48,000 (US$6,400) per household, a third lower than the national average household income of R 74,500 (US$9,930) .
MOLADI – THE EARLY DAYS
Trying to build a conventional brick wall around his first house in the early 1980s, Botes realized, in his own words, “how difficult it was to put bricks on top of each other in a straight line, and, once the wall is built, to plaster it.” The wall was eventually erected, but the frustration inspired him to search for new ways of building walls. In November 1985, he started experimenting with a mold system which would enable him to cast entire walls at a time, rather than single bricks.
He realized that if he could cast one wall, he could actually cast all walls simultaneously for an entire house or a building. He looked at different types of materials that would be appropriate for the formwork (or casting), and initially looked at steel and wood, before settling for injection-moulded plastic components, since assembling plastic panels required no skilled labour in the form of carpenters and welders, which are in short supply in South Africa.
The technological milestones “Concrete is not a liveable product,” Botes was told upon first attempting to get the process certified by the Engineering Council of South Africa in 1987. With the help of a chemical engineer, he then formulated a chemical which, mixed with the concrete, aerates the wall, ensures it is waterproof and gives the wall better thermal properties compared to block structures.21 This mix is now patented as ‘MoladiCHEM’ and is used as an essential ingredient of the mortar mix.
The next milestones were reached during the 1990s. Moladi first had to obtain quality accreditation and conform to all the regulatory requirements needed to comply with essential building standards. In 1994, the company obtained certification from the ‘Agrément Board’ of the South African Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).22
Basic robustness tests were then conducted and certified by the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS): these included a water penetration test, a soft body impact test and a chisel impact test. In all three standard tests, walls built through the Moladi test surpass the minimum standards required. Monolithic structures such as Moladi walls also contain the key advantage of being able to withstand earthquakes.
THE BUILDING PROCESS
The building process offered by Moladi’s technology can best be unpacked in four basic steps:
Erecting the formwork (i.e. the basic casting)
Pouring the mortar mix into the casting
Removing the formwork panels
Erecting the formwork:
The essential component of the formwork is 30x30cm plastic injected molded modular panels. These panels are clipped together and then joined by link rods to form wall configurations of any desired length and height with a wall cavity of 100mm for internal walls and 150mm for external walls. Once the assembly of the panels are complete, the process does not need to be repeated – the formwork panels can be re-used up to 50 times, making the technology cost-effective thanks to the repetitive application. This factor is one of the key elements of Moladi’s cost-effectiveness and speed, with savings on transportation costs as well. The molds are also entirely boltless, freestanding and do not require struts or bracing.
Once the formwork casing is erected, the wall cavities are fitted with steel reinforcements, as well as water pipes and electrical conduits, and blocks-outs for doors windows. The steel reinforcements ensure that Moladi walls are particularly resistant (as attested by the SABS tests).
Pouring the mortar mix:
An engineered mortar mix consisting of a specified ratio of cement, river sand, water and MoladiCHEM is then poured into the entire mould in one single step. This can be done either manually (requiring local, unskilled labour), or with pumps.
Removing the formwork panels:
After 12 hours of drying, the formwork panels can be removed and re-erected on an adjacent site. The result is smooth off-shutter walls that do not require any plastering. The structure can now have a roof fitted, as well as the basic sanitation equipment (washbasin, toilet, shower or bath), doors and windows.
The final product, once fitted with a roof, looks rather like a smaller suburban unit.
Moladi claims to be able to control costs better than traditional construction firms by consolidating the supply chain. Its kit concept ensures that it controls costs by sourcing almost all components needed for a building site in one go, ensuring better control over prices and costs. Furthermore, says Hennie Botes, “the streamlined building process is designed in such a way that we can avoid expensive stoppages which are common on traditional building sites, where the builders have to wait for the electrician, then for the plumber, and new holes need to be drilled every time, wasting building material and time.”
Furthermore, “during the design process, precise weight and volume calculations can be made for all materials and components thanks to standardization, which simplifies project management and drastically reduces the wastage factor on site.” Hennie Botes on an interview held on 4th September 2009. Finally, the speed of construction effectively reduces other costs related to the hiring of equipment, labour requirements and transport.
The cost savings achieved through this model, Moladi claims, can reach up to 35% compared to conventional building techniques. This figure is an estimate, and would be a factor of local labour costs, soil conditions and the overall size of the project, but it demonstrates that Moladi’s process and technology is very competitive on large scale, low-cost housing projects compared to similar units build with traditional techniques.
Primary Case Study:-
To be done on the five storeyed EWS Housing for Slum Dwellers at Sec. 16-B, Site No. 1 Dwaraka (Phase – II) for which the architectural drawings have been collected from the DUSIB (Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board).
Striving for low-cost resilience is important, but it should be taken care that the methods undertaken are sufficient enough and worth than investing for the expensive method. The high cost v/s low-cost comparisons are yet to be analysed in the same way that initial cost and running cost of a building has to be analysed when a new technology is being introduced. Only after such an analysis, the true effectiveness and cost efficiency of a method of construction can be known.
Resilience is a necessity given the increasing population of the world that leads to greater risks and loss in the event of a catastrophe. In addition to that achieving resilience has to be accessible to every person regardless of his economic capabilities, hence calling for a low-cost approach. The low-cost approach ameliorated by awareness spreading will help the techniques employed to be replicated and to be made use of by a greater fraction of people than foreseen at present.
From the various examples seen, in the same way that vernacular techniques are inherently taking care of resilience, and considering the way that vernacular approach is linked with sustainability it should be concluded that, sustainability and resilience can be thought of as the two sides of the same coin. This of that vernacular architecture dominates in a way that it is able to satisfy the terms low-cost, resilience as well as sustainability. Similarly, ‘know-how’ is also important method of resilience since the community is capable of recovering from the trauma as the inhabitants know the simplistic techniques making the reconstruction of the damaged parts of the structures easier.
It is evident that a conventional construction practice with low-quality materials, ill-calculated technological adaptations with lower resistance to natural hazards are inferior to fully local options. The tendency that still hasn’t changed is that, funding is done for the high-tech and industrial solutions as they turn a blind-eye towards evidently cost-effective vernacular technology. Proper steps must be taken to adequately prep them, analyse and validate their ability to withstand a disaster (Moles et al., 2014).
Adoption of vernacular techniques in building ensures the safe-keeping of the culture and tradition of the inhabitants and thus initiating a better response to the idea of building resilience in case of integrating the houses with conventional techniques for better resilience.
Hence, it can be concluded that to achieve the aim of low cost resilience studies and analyses have to be conducted on the various vernacular systems available and proper guidelines issued so that they become standards for low-cost housing and standards be updated in the IS Codes. Concurrently, architects and engineers have to become aware of the validity and availability of the different methods that cost-efficient resilience can be achieved with. For this reason, architects have to design buildings keeping in mind the site, context and associated method to be adopted to achieve resilience and this must be integrated in the design conceptual stage itself. This would call for a good architect-engineer relationship as agreed by Kumar (2007) in his undergraduate unpublished dissertation.
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The Spiderwick Chronicles (2008), Directed by Mark Waters, USA, Paramount Pictures
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The Hunger Games (2012), Directed by Gary Ross, USA, Lionsgate