Six Steps to Safe Homes

Why did houses collapse in this earthquake? Why did some not?

Build Change begins with forensic engineering studies after earthquakes to understand why buildings collapse and how to build them better. We have studied housing performance after 12 earthquakes in six developing countries. See post-disaster reconnaissance reports.

For any type of structure, safe construction depends on the three C’s: configuration, connections, and construction quality.

  1. Configuration: simple, square, symmetric building layouts are best.
  2. Connections: tie upper structure to foundation, roof to walls, and walls to the frame or confining elements, and tie them to each other.
  3. Construction quality: concrete blocks need good raw materials, and enough cement, and proper curing. Masons must completely fill the joints between blocks.