Innovative Engineering in Emerging Countries – Saving Lives at Scale
Date: Tuesday, March 6, 2018
Location: Thornton Tomasetti, 650 California St., Suite 1400
Build Change, a non-profit social enterprise that works with people in emerging nations to design and build disaster-resistant houses and schools, is innovating on its experiences in post-earthquake reconstruction in the past 13 years in order to support large scale rebuilding efforts in Nepal. To date, approximately 4,000 Nepali construction professionals (including engineers, overseers and masons) have been trained by Build Change and 4,500 households have been directly assisted by Build Change in rebuilding safer homes since the devastating 2015 earthquake in Nepal and, in 2018, Build Change started several programs with the goal of assisting another 24,000 households to rebuild for improved safety in future earthquakes. To reach this scale, new technologies and methodologies have been developed in key aspects of their work, with contributions from Bay Area engineers in several cases:
New Construction – Meeting the needs of individual homeowners with tailored designs while minimizing the design effort and providing new design guidelines where needed.
Retrofitting – Leveraging the similarity among rural houses to use a “type design” approach to simplify retrofit design effort according to specific house characteristics.
Technology – Making the most out of local tech capacity and support from partners, like the Autodesk Foundation, to develop design, monitoring and communication tools to streamline workflow and quality control.
Information about Build Change’s work, the Nepal earthquake and context, and the recent innovations, with perspective from past experiences, will be shared during the presentation.
Tim Hart has over 28 years of structural engineering experience. He is a licensed civil and structural engineer in California and Oregon and is a graduate of the Architectural Engineering program at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. He is currently a civil and structural engineer for Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Tim has worked with Build Change as a structural engineering consultant since 2005 providing engineering designs, peer reviews, and technical assistance on Build Change projects in 7 different countries, including on-site work in Indonesia, Haiti, and Nepal. He has traveled to Nepal on 3 occasions, including a two month stay as a volunteer engineer in 2016. Tim is a co-author of 2 EERI guidelines on confined masonry and is the chair of the development of a third EERI guideline on engineering confined masonry structures that is now being written. In his spare time, Tim serves as the current Vice President of SEAONC.
San Francisco, 94108
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