A timber building system developed by TRADA International to withstand earthquakes has featured in a BBC 2 Newsnight report about the construction of countries affected by the Asian tsunami.

Lionel Jayanetti, head of TRADA International, discussed the bamboo-based system on the January 6 programme and film clips of full-scale earthquake resistance tests were screened.

TRADA International said its existing projects on timber and pole construction in Sri Lanka and India, sponsored by the Department for International Development (DFID), have been brought into sharp focus by the tsunami disaster and the company is working with DFID and others to support reconstruction.

Mr Jayanetti told Newsnight that a key aspect of the company’s work involves training local people in the building system to create safe and affordable housing using local resources.

The earthquake resistance tests were carried out in collaboration with the Central Power Research Institute in Bangalore in February 2004. The building system, developed in partnership with the Indian Plywood Industries Research and Training Institute, underwent seven tests equivalent to 7 on the Richter scale and one at 7.8, without any damage.