Build Change

LOCATION: Colombia

SUMMARY: Build Change is working in Colombia to create an environment wherein homeowners, government, and private sector, can easily work together to retrofit (strengthen) existing vulnerable homes, saving lives in the next earthquake, and contributing with safety and improved construction practice as former slums continue to develop into vibrant, urban neighborhoods.

PROBLEM SPACE: "Over 200 million people worldwide live with the constant threat of being killed by their house collapsing in an earthquake or windstorm. The 2015 Gorkha, Nepal earthquake demonstrated the value and viability of retrofitting (strengthening) buildings to withstand earthquakes. Building on its experience retrofitting houses after the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, Build Change is now retrofitting houses and schools before the disaster.

Over 10 million Colombians live in disaster-vulnerable housing, most of them in dense urban, informally built areas; over 75% of the population of Colombia lives in cities.

Colombia is at the right time and place for a systems change. Colombia has been experiencing sustained economic growth and improved political stability, resulting in significant consolidation of the once informal neighborhoods. This prosperity has been very positive, but has also contributed to uncontrolled densification of homes and increased risk. The older, smaller houses posed little risk of collapse during an earthquake. Now, those homes have become multi-story masonry structures, built up progressively without professional design or supervision, with inadequate materials and dangerous configurations. Neighborhood improvement programs now need to ""go the last mile"" to address what has been happening inside the property line."

SOLUTION: Build Change is working in Colombia to create an environment wherein homeowners, government, and private sector, can easily work together to retrofit (strengthen) existing vulnerable homes, saving lives in the next earthquake, and contributing with safety and improved construction practice as former slums continue to develop into vibrant, urban neighborhoods.

CONTACT: [email protected]

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