Mw=8.0 earthquake near Pisco, Peru kills 519 people and destroys over 58,000 houses. Elizabeth visits the area in early 2008; many commercial building owners following good practices in rebuilding new confined masonry buildings, while homeowners lack access to engineering advice and construction supervision needed to rebuild safely. While trying to raise money to start a program in Peru, the earthquake happens in Sichuan and shifts Build Change’s course to China.
Two earthquakes hit West Sumatra and Bengkulu in the span of about six months; Build Change begins to wind down the program in Aceh and plan the move to West Sumatra, where the homeowner-driven model is more likely to work, given the low involvement of foreign NGOs and the Indonesian government’s pending shift to cash plus technical assistance housing reconstruction model.
That some organizations don’t care about construction quality, or lack the ability, will or budget to enforce it, starts to become evident in Aceh.
Mw=6.3 hits Indonesia near Yogyakarta, killing more than 5,700 people. Build Change does a reconnaissance study which uncovers some very compelling photos of why buildings collapse and why they don’t.
Build Change develops design and construction guidelines for confined masonry single story homes, Build Change expands to providing design reviews, train the trainer programs, and inspection services to other organizations such as CARE, Catholic Relief Services, Oxfam, and IOM, impacting over 4,200 homes by the end of 2007.
Build Change joins the Draper Richards Kaplan portfolio of social entrepreneurs.
Elizabeth featured as abc NEWS Person of the Week on World News Tonight.
Build Change finishes its first houses in Aceh. They are called “best in Aceh” by a team of Indonesian academics and engineers. Ibu Ruslan AB says, “now I can sleep at night”.
Mw=8.6 earthquake off Nias island rocks Aceh, a few days after Elizabeth arrives in Banda Aceh. Build Change hires its first three staff: an Indonesian engineer, an Indonesian architect, and an Indonesian quantity estimator, and begins designing and building houses with Mercy Corps in Lampisang and Keunue eu, Aceh Besar. The partnership with Mercy Corps has continued through other earthquakes in Indonesia, China and Haiti.
Build Change incorporated in State of California as Center for Earthquake Resistant Houses. A few months later, changed the name to Build Change.
Massive Mw=9.1-9.3 earthquake and tsunami in the Indian Ocean causes devastation throughout the region. Given the enormous need for housing in Sumatra, Indonesia and the high likelihood of additional seismic activity there, Elizabeth abandons plans for starting first programs in India and Iran and focuses on Indonesia.
Elizabeth wins an Echoing Green Fellowship, providing the seed funding and confidence to start Build Change.
Elizabeth visits Iran twice, in May and October of 2004, planning to start a technical assistance program in the areas hit by the Bam earthquake, noting deficiencies in construction practices on newly built houses. Unfortunately, Build Change’s application for a license from the U.S. Treasury Department to work in Iran is turned down.
Mw=6.6 earthquake near Bam, Iran kills 26,271 in the early morning hours, many crushed by heavy roofs on weak walled buildings.
Using the Gujarat homeowner-driven reconstruction model as inspiration, Elizabeth formulated the Build Change theory of change, and the Build Change six step model. We would not build houses for people, but instead use a technical assistance model and leverage the financing of others as incentives for safe construction.
True to the “learn first” part of the Build Change model: Elizabeth spends a year in India on a Fulbright Fellowship studying and assisting with the post-earthquake housing reconstruction in Gujarat, and visiting areas hit by the 1993 Killari (Maharashtra) earthquake and the 1999 Chamoli (Uttaranchal) earthquake.
Mw=7.7 earthquake in Kachchh near Bhuj, Gujarat, India kills over 20,000 people and destroys over 400,000 homes. It got Elizabeth’s attention: why do so many people die when an earthquake happens in a developing country? It’s not the earthquake that kills people, it’s the collapse of a poorly built building. A man-made problem with a man-made solution. So it started as an engineering challenge and a social justice issue: everyone deserves the right to a safe house.
David Friedman join the Build Change board of directors.
Martin Fisher, Co-Founder and CEO of KickStart and chair of the Build Change board of directors, hands the chair over to Paul VanderMarck.
Clinton Global Initiative and Build Change hosted an event in New York City detailing our advancements in post-disaster reconstruction using mobile apps and drone technology.