Automating Structural Retrofits for Low-Income Households in Bogota, Colombia

Substandard housing is a widespread problem throughout Colombia, occurring most often in urban areas where homes are typically constructed without technical specifications. Due to increasing rural/urban migration, massive neighborhoods of these poorly built structures have emerged, leaving large communities vulnerable to environmental risks such as earthquakes, floods, and landslides. Build Change, working together with Colombia’s Ministry of Housing, has been working to employ Autodesk software to develop tools that automate the design of structural retrofits for these vulnerable homes. 

This fellowship sought to support Build Change’s efforts, providing a particular focus on data processing and document production of the automated retrofitting design process. Using the Dynamo visual programming environment in Revit, the team developed 12 different design scripts which interpreted, analyzed and prescribed retrofits for existing models of homes in nearby informal settlements. Depending on the desires of the homeowner, the Dynamo scripts can reinforce existing structural systems, add openings and pathways, or even add additional stories of construction. In order to ensure that the knowledge and tools generated throughout the fellowship is carried on by the Build Change team, software learning tools were crafted and collective learning opportunities were curated for the Build Change staff.

Build Change is currently preparing to transfer the Revit and Dynamo tools to the Colombian Ministry of Housing for pilot testing, improving their capacity to rapidly and efficiently provide structural upgrades and habitability improvements to families in need.

Figure 1: Data collection, meeting the owners of the house


E4C 2021 PROGRAM MANAGEMENT TEAM: Mariela Machado, Senior Program Manager; Grace Burleson, Research Manager; Marilynn Holguín Clover, Program Coordinator; Jonathan Kemp, Program Associate 

ADVISORS AND COLLABORATORSAllison Young, BIM Technologies Specialist; Stefano Pompei, Technology for Engineering Project Manager

This research was completed as part of the 2021 E4C Fellowship program. Learn more about the Fellows who worked on this research collaboration by connecting with them on LinkedIn: Valentina Ospina and Charles Newman.

No Comments.

Join a global community of changemakers.

Become A Member