The year is moving fast; my time supporting the team in Colombia is over. My time is now fully committed to the program in the Philippines.
During my initial trip, I had the chance to visit some of the communities where Build Change has been working and become familiar with the existing tools used in these communities. Also, I was introduced to the crucial role that microfinance institutions (MFIs) play in Build Change’s strategy to retrofit vulnerable houses in the Philippines.
When I think about my time working with Build Change so far, the phrase that comes to mind is “Easier, never simple.”
When I started my fellowship, several limitations for seismically retrofitting homes in Colombia quickly became apparent. These included delays in approvals by the local municipality, as well as an innovative Evaluation and Retrofit Manual that was not always well understood by local officials. Staff who conducted field surveys had a long list of items to verify, many of which were not easy to identify, resulting in reduced efficiency. It was common for staff to go back and re-survey in order to complete a full analysis.
We’re excited to introduce the recipient of the 2018–2019 Excellence in Engineering Fellowship: Juan Carlos Restrepo.
This is the second year of the fellowship, a successful partnership between Build Change, a Denver-based international nonprofit social enterprise, and Simpson Strong-Tie, a global leader in innovative structural solutions.