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Build Change

Our mission is to greatly reduce deaths, injuries and economic losses caused by housing collapses due to earthquakes in developing countries.

Disaster Relief, Economic Development, Poverty


Date Founded: 2004
Number of Staff: 55

Description of Services:
Build Change designs earthquake-resistant houses in developing countries and trains builders, homeowners, engineers and government officials to build them. Build Change uses low-cost, earthquake-resistant construction methods that will continue to be used once it leaves the area. We collect and spread best practices and lessons learned from post-disaster housing construction programs; identify the needs and develop culturally appropriate training and construction manuals; and work with engineering experts to evaluate, develop and test innovative, low-cost methods for building and strengthening houses using locally available materials and skills.
Founded in 2004, Build Change has implemented post-earthquake programs in Indonesia, China and Haiti. Founder and CEO, Dr. Elizabeth Hausler Strand, is a civil engineer, an Echoing Green Fellow (2004), Draper Richards Fellow (2006), Ashoka-Lemelson Fellow (2009), Lemelson-MIT Award Winner for Sustainability (2011), Schwab Foundation US Social Entrepreneur of the Year awardee (2011), and a Fulbright Fellow to India (2002). In addition, Build Change is a 2008 Tech Awards Laureate and winner of the Katherine M. Swanson Equality Category Cash Prize. Build Change's work has been featured by the New York Times, abcNEWS World News Tonight, Christian Science Monitor, BBC Website, National Public Radio?s All Things Considered, and BusinessWeek.
Accomplishments & Progress:
Build Change has empowered 10,423 homeowners to drive the process for building safe houses. Using local materials, labor, tools, and working with partners, Build Change increased capacity for safe building and repairs, training 3,747 builders, 5,846 engineers, and 64 block-making enterprises.

To build a pipeline of safe builders, Build Change developed courses in hazard mitigation practices for technical schools across China, Indonesia and Haiti. Build Change developed housing guidelines and inspection systems for government staff in our programs to enable them to enforce building standards.

1 Group Affiliation
Group Verification Status
Ashoka Waiting verification
Financial Information   Verified
Year 2012 2011 2010
Total Revenue: $3,198,768 $3,589,096 $2,382,916
        Program Services Expenses: $3,142,875
(88% of total)
(85% of total)
(87% of total)
        Management & General Expenses: $290,463
(8% of total)
(8% of total)
(6% of total)
        Fundraising Expenses: $158,339
(4% of total)
(7% of total)
(7% of total)
        Total Expenses: $3,591,677 $2,843,612 $1,311,204

Additional Background Information: Millions of people in developing countries live with the constant threat of death or injury from earthquakes. In the past five years, over 4 million were made homeless by earthquakes, over 99% of them in developing countries. In the developed world, we have the knowledge and technology to build disaster-resistant structures. But in the developing world, that knowledge and technology is beyond the reach of the average person.

Build Change believes that, in the absence of building standard enforcement, the only way to bring about long-term change in building practices is to develop and promote building methods that are competitive in cost with common (but vulnerable) methods, easy to implement and accepted by the local population. Local Partners: Mercy Corps, Cordaid, J/P HRO, Oxfam International, CARE International, CHF International, Swiss Labour Assistance, Save the Children, Architecture for Humanity, UNOPS, USAID. Additional Affiliations: SEAOC Award of Excellence (2013), SEAONC Excellence in Structural Engineering Award (2013), Schwab Foundation (2011), Clinton Global Initiative (2010 - current), Ashoka-Lemelson (2009), Draper Richards Foundation (2006), and Echoing Green (2004). Build Change has affiliations with local non-profits, universities, private construction companies, and government institutions around the world.

Elizabeth Hausler
Founder and CEO Phone: 303-953-2563
Development Director:
Allison Heyne
Fund Development Officer
Phone: 303-953-2563
Volunteer Coordinator:
Trish Applegate
Human Resources Officer
Phone: 303-953-2563
Board of Directors and Board of Advisors:
Paul VanderMarck, Chairperson
M. Timothy Louis, Secretary and Treasurer
Dr. Elizabeth Hausler Strand
Dr. Martin Fisher

535 16th St., Suite 605
Denver , CO 80202
United States
Phone: 303-953-2563
Web: http://www.buildchange.org

Build Change Technical Assistance in Haiti
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Build Change Vocational Student Training in Indonesia
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Build Change Builder Training in Haiti
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Build Change Vocational Teacher Training in Indonesia
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Build Change Vocational Teacher Training Program in Indonesia
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Build Change-Trained Builders from Aceh
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Build Change Student Training Program
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Build Change Engineer Technical Assistance in Haiti
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Training engineers in Colombia
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