July 22, 2015

Saving Lives through Retrofitting in Colombia

Build Change


Click here for link to Autodesk Foundation video.

“We can build buildings to withstand earthquakes. The knowledge and technology are out there. We just have to make it accessible to everyone.” – Elizabeth Hausler Strand, Founder & CEO, Build Change

In Colombia, we are working with city governments, the private sector, and homeowners to repair and strengthen homes before the next earthquake strikes. Retrofitting saves lives by ensuring that houses will protect families and children from future natural disasters.

We started out retrofitting a single house in Bogotá, Colombia, to provide an opportunity for local training and to demonstrate feasibility. Jorge Prada’s family now lives in a safe house and he will help retrofit others.

In partnership with Caja de la Vivienda Popular (CVP), the Swiss Re Foundation, and RMS, Build Change is now launching a pilot retrofitting project that will reach 50 houses. We are currently training CVP staff and contractors in retrofitting, to build permanent local skills. Then, the retrofits will begin and our staff will support those projects with technical assistance in design and supervision of construction.

We look forward to making at least 50 families safe in the next few months, and many more in 2016.

Thank you to all our partners in Colombia, including the Autodesk Foundation and Micro-Documentaries for creating the video above.

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