Disaster resilient construction techniques in Western Sumatra

Build Change’s project in Padang, Indonesia, aims to create permanent and positive change for local small businesses that produce bricks.
This is necessary to address challenges around current brick manufacturing practices, to meet the growing needs of the local construction industry, and to ensure that the resulting housing is more resilient to disasters.
CHF 111,000
2015 - 2016

During 2015, the first year of the program, Build Change will work with 45 small and medium-sized brickmaking businesses and their employees, reaching approximately 170 workers in total.

In addition, Build Change’s ‘Better Building Materials’ campaign, developed in conjunction with local authorities, expects to engage over 15,000 community members. This engagement will raise awareness of the importance of using high-quality bricks to create more resilient buildings.

Typical brickmaking practices in Indonesia can result in several problems: poor quality bricks, deforestation, and debt for small business owners.

First, brick quality can be poor, and houses built with poor quality bricks are at increased risk of collapsing during earthquakes and major storms.

Second, traditional kilns for firing bricks use fresh timber as fuel, causing deforestation and increasing the risk of mudslides and flooding. Build Change works with businesses to make kilns more efficient and to promote the use of less expensive alternate fuels.

Third, because businesses must buy materials up-front, then must wait for the bricks to dry and cure before they can recoup the cost, many brickmaking businesses are in debt to middlemen who buy the bricks at an unreasonably low price while they are still curing.

These businesses generate little profit, and have few resources to invest in new technologies and production methods. Build Change’s project will address these issues by training manufacturers to produce high quality bricks, and by stimulating demand for these bricks in the community through public awareness campaigns.

Build Change also works with brickmaking businesses to meet growing demand by developing their general business skills, including management training and implementing more cost-effective manufacturing techniques. Ultimately, having better bricks available at competitive prices will result in houses that are more resilient to natural disasters.