Dear Friends of Build Change,
Five years ago, in the wake of a massive 7.8 earthquake that instantly destroyed more than a million homes in Nepal, Build Change began its most ambitious post-disaster program to date.
Nepal today is a country with better, stronger, safer housing, achieved through Build Change’s powerful combination of resilient building, national housing policy change, and pioneering technologies designed to empower homeowners to rebuild better.
By: Jessica Stanford, Country Director-Philippines
The COVID-19 pandemic is without doubt an unprecedented event, impacting lives, communities and economies around the world. As governments and nations work together to implement prevention, containment and mitigation measures, families from California to metro Manila are instructed to #stayhome, #shelterinplace to help curb the worst of this public health crisis.
But what if you’re one of the 1.2 billion people who live in substandard housing today?
Architectural Interns with their supervisors at the Build Change Kathmandu Office. Left to Right, Front to Back. Aastha Sigdel, Ayusha Joshi (Design Support Team Leader- New Construction), Sandesh Devkota, Salina Pradhan (Technical Liaison Coordinator), Astha Panta, Suresh Twanbasa, Dikshya Pokhrel.
Over the past year, Build Change, in partnership with the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) provided placements to five architectural interns from Tribhuvan University.
Autodesk’s Latin America Marketing Program Manager, Juan M Martinez, Senior Data Scientist, Patty Svenson, and Forge Product Manager, Philippe Videau went to Colombia as part of a pro bono project to support Build Change, an Autodesk Foundation grantee, as they set out to retrofit homes in earthquake prone cities. Juan is originally from Bogota, but Patty and Philippe had never been, so why did they go?
International Women in Engineering Day 2018
To live far away from home, in a different community and culture, and contribute towards a nation’s rebuilding after a disaster requires courage, character and determination for any young person. In Nepal’s traditionally patriarchal society, it can be especially challenging for young women to seize such opportunities. On top of this, success becomes even more challenging within an industry such as engineering which is still perceived in many countries as a “man’s profession.”
Corina Sutter is Director, Government and Regulatory Affairs at RMS, and is based in London. She joined fellow employees from RMS and RMS clients on our annual Impact Trek in Nepal during March this year. This is Corina’s account of her time in Nepal.
When you think about strengthening a building to make it more resilient to seismic events, does “retrofitting” come top of mind? And if you have heard of retrofitting,
Tom is a Senior Product Manager in the Model Product Management team, focusing on the North Atlantic Hurricane Model suite of products. He joined fellow employees from RMS and RMS clients on our annual Impact Trek in Nepal during March this year. This is Tom’s account of his time in Nepal.
Arriving in Kathmandu for the 2018 RMS Impact Trek, I was already aware of the many years that RMS has provided support for Build Change and its work in areas worst hit by catastrophic disasters.
Jochen Woessner is a lead modeler in earthquake model development at RMS, and is based in Zurich. He joined fellow employees from RMS and RMS clients on our annual Impact Trek in Nepal during March this year. This is Jochen’s account of his time in Nepal.
Callum Higgins is senior product analyst at RMS, and is based in London. He joined fellow employees from RMS and RMS clients on our annual Impact Trek in Nepal during March this year. This is Callum’s account of his time in Nepal.
Since March 2018, I have been working with the Build Change Philippines team in Metro Manila. The island country is absolutely breathtaking, and the team here is incredible!
Christopher Allen is a senior analyst – model development, working with the Event Response team at RMS, and is based in London. He joined fellow employees from RMS and RMS clients on our annual Impact Trek in Nepal during March this year. This is Chris’s account of his time in Nepal.
Pete Cormier is a lead cat analyst for Liberty Mutual, and joined employees from RMS on our annual Impact Trek in Nepal during March this year. This is Pete’s account of his time in Nepal.
Lusi Huang is a Risk Engineer for Chubb North America and joined employees from RMS on our annual Impact Trek in Nepal during March this year. This is Lusi’s trek diary.
“Press for Progress” is our motto this month as we celebrate Women’s History Month. Women have always been a driving force behind human progress, and this month we celebrate their contributions to the world.
With their exceptional abilities to create, design, and transform, women are already at the forefront in the field of architecture. In Nepal, as elsewhere in the world, more and more women are entering this field. Moreover, they have been using their architectural skills to design earthquake-resistant houses after the devastating earthquakes of April 2015,
Contributed by Dr. James Mwangi, Simpson Strong-Tie Fellow 2017-18
In October, I spent a few weeks at home in California with my family. Build Change’s annual event was also held during my time there, so I was able to meet the entire management team!
While in California, I spent time getting familiar with building designs Build Change uses in Colombia, in preparation for my next assignment. I was able to review the Colombia Building Design Codes (referred to by their official name NSR-10),
by Dr. James Mwangi, Simpson Strong-Tie Engineering Excellence Fellow 2017-18
Arriving on the other side of the Pacific
The journey to Padang, Indonesia started on August 3rd, 2017 in San Francisco, California with connections in Manila, Philippines and Jakarta, Indonesia. I arrived exhausted but excited in Padang on August 5th after almost 24 hours in the air. Padang is the provincial capital of West Sumatra and lies just south of the equator.
Women are leading the way towards the recovery of earthquake-affected communities in Nepal. Nearly 750,000 buildings were damaged or destroyed in the earthquakes in early 2015, leaving families in temporary shelters and students learning in makeshift school buildings. Rebuilding this infrastructure so that it does not collapse again in a future earthquake takes more than just bricks and money. Access to professional engineers and trained builders, along with other information on safe building techniques,
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