“The great advantage of Build Change’s method,” says Civil, “is that there is no waste and theft, because people in the neighborhood would not dare steal from me or be lazy on a job they’re doing for me. The project was a great success!”Civil
Elizabeth Senelia and Civil Senel have a big three-story house with 45 people living in it. There are nine families, four of which are renters. The house was damaged during the January 12, 2010, earthquake.
Elizabeth and Civil met with engineers from the homeowner-driven retrofit program that Build Change was implementing with partner J/P HRO. Civil learned that he would be in charge of purchasing building materials, hiring builders, and supervising the work according to his schedule. He agreed to the retrofitting program and convinced the reluctant Elizabeth.
Civil and Elizabeth were involved in the design process, arguing firmly to not reduce the living space on the third floor. In response, Build Change engineers came up with an alternate retrofit solution that took their wishes into consideration.
They understood the importance of making their property earthquake-resistant, and agreed to apply structural plaster to the walls on the second floor. Civil oversaw purchasing materials and observed the building crews under the oversight of Build Change engineers.
Civil and Elizabeth contributed $9,000 to the retrofit of their home. The total cost was $21,000.
Today, Elizabeth and Civil are extremely pleased that their three-story house is retrofitted. They value the fact that their asset is a safer place for all who live there. Civil especially values the fact that he was allowed to be in charge of the retrofitting of his house. He would not have trusted anyone to do it in his stead. In addition, he says he has acquired construction management skills, as he has had to hire builders and account for the materials, storage, and usage himself.
“The great advantage of Build Change’s method,” says Civil, “is that there is no waste and theft, because people in the neighborhood would not dare steal from me or be lazy on a job they’re doing for me. The project was a great success!”