School of Architecture Faculty, Students Reconstructing Drawings for UNESCO-Nepal

Professors William Batson, Stephen Song, Pankaj Chhetri Over the winter break, three professors from Prairie View A&M University’s School of Architecture (PVAMU-SoA) traveled to Nepal. Their primary focus — to measure the damage that was done to five historic temples in the country’s capital during a catastrophic earthquake in 2015.

“My colleagues Stephen Song, Pankaj Chhetri and I scanned and measured the Historic Pancha Deval [five temples] Hindu Temple in Kathmandu, Nepal with 3D laser scanning equipment, and we conducted field measurements,” said William Batson, an associate professor of Architecture. “During this spring semester, students enrolled in a Special Topics class are hard at work creating museum-quality drawings from our 3D laser point cloud and field measurements. From this group, we’ll have approximately ten students, who produce the best drawings, to go present those drawings to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)-Nepal during Spring Break.”

According to Batson, the five-temple complex was built centuries ago by expert Hindu craftsmen, without any drawings or floor plans. However, this is where PVAMU-SoA expertise will come in handy. “If the building is damaged or destroyed in the future, accurate and precise drawings that PV students produce will be useful in reconstructing the building,” said Batson. “This is a significant project for us. Our students’ drawings will be on record for the world to see, and so we intend to do an excellent job.”

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-This story by Marchita Shilo originally appeared in Academic Insights.