Reducing underlying risk factors (HFA 4)
Build Change believes that earthquake-resistant construction in developing countries will become common only if the right technology is locally available, widely known and culturally accepted. In addition, the cost of the technology must be competitive with existing, but not necessarily safe, building methods. With this understanding, Build Change developed and implements an innovative, highly sustainable six-step homeowner-driven model that creates permanent change in construction practice – to one that is safe, earthquake-resistant, culturally appropriate and widely accepted by local communities at all socioeconomic levels.
Build Change’s Six-Step, Homeowner-Driven Model
1. Learn First: Why did houses collapse in this earthquake? Why did they not?
We start out with forensic engineering studies after earthquakes, so we don't make the same mistake twice.
2. Design Earthquake-Resistant Houses: What types of houses do people want to build here, now?
It's easier to make minor, low or no-cost changes to existing ways of building than introduce a completely new technology, or reintroduce a traditional building method that has gone out of style
3. Build Local Skills: How can we disseminate this knowledge to masses of engineers and builders?
The best designs in the world will not save lives if they are not built properly, or local engineers remain unsure how to design them.
4. Stimulate Local Demand: How can we convince a rural homeowner with little money to invest more in building a safe house?
Make it affordable, easy to implement, and leverage the window of opportunity that exists right after an earthquake disaster.
And, how can we make it easy for local government officials to enforce building codes?
Create simple building codes, training seminars, and inspection systems that work in rural areas with little infrastructure, budget, time and personnel.
5. Facilitate Access to Capital: What is the minimum amount of funding required to build a safe house?
Build Change partners with governments and financing institutions to provide access to capital that is contingent upon meeting minimum standards for construction quality.
6. Measure the Change: Are people building safe houses now and will they do so after we leave?
Seeing homeowners building safe houses with their own resources – not simply living in houses built for them – is the true test of sustainable, long-term change.