Safety Starts at Home: An Update from Build Change Regarding COVID-19

Dear Friends of Build Change, With millions in self-isolation or quarantined around the globe, homes are the front line in the battle against COVID-19. More than perhaps ever before, our homes are the center of our lives, and our retreats (forced or not) from an uncertain world.  My hope is that wherever your home is, it is a place where you feel safe riding out this disaster.  I know that I am increasingly grateful every day for a safe home, for a yard my son can play in, for our health, and for a grocery store where I can still buy food (if not toilet paper). But I am also reminded of the many people worldwide for whom self-isolation is even more daunting than it is in many parts of the United States, because of unsafe construction.  If you don’t … Read More

Surigao, Philippines: Examining Damages after the 6.7-magnitude Earthquake on February 10, 2017

From February 23 to February 25, 2017, Carl and Linnel from our engineering team in the Philippines performed post-earthquake reconnaissance following the 6.7 earthquake in Surigao Del Norte, on the north side of the island Mindinao. The team investigated and documented the response of rural school buildings and informal urban housing in the area, which will help inform our retrofit efforts in Manila and further our understanding of the seismic vulnerability of school buildings. The highest concentration of damaged housing exists in Surigao City, and San Francisco has experienced the most significant damage to schools. Unfortunately, San Francisco is inaccessible due to collapsed bridges and damaged roadways, and the team’s efforts have therefore been focused in Surigao City. Surigao City is a moderately dense city with a population of about 160,000 people. The team flew into Butuan on Thursday, about 4 … Read More